Thursday, April 22, 2010

How to Cold Brew Coffee

As we hit the summer months and Richmond slowly melts into a pile of goo, you run into the problem of wanting sweet, sweet, coffee but not a fan of more heat. We have the solution for you and it is Cold Brewed Coffee (cue triumphal horn music).

Behold the top secret Blanchard's Cold Brewed Coffee Recipe;

1.5 Lbs of coffee into 1 gallon of water [obviously, you'll need bigger-than-a-gallon container for the first part].
Mix for a few minutesu ntil it looks like brownie mix, and none of the coffee is dry.
Put in the fridge for 20-24 hours.
Pour through a sieve (or colander) to get out most of the grinds.
This is what it looks like unfiltered & filtered.
Pour through coffee filter to get out most of the silt and extra oils. You may have to squeeze the filter(s) at the end.

Cut in half with water (which should give you a gallon of liquid when all is said and done. Alternatively, you can cut in half on a cup-by-cup basis, and it will take up less storage space). Add ice when serving.

Theory behind it:
a cup of coffee requires water, coffee, and heat. But hot coffee, when cooled down, tastes "old", as i'm sure you know. So, we take away the heat. To make up for it, we have to add more coffee, and also time. The first mix creates a coffee concentrate, which is three times stronger than regular coffee. However, you also get all kinds of high-choleterol oils, and other suspended particulates (silt) along with, obviuosly, coffee grinds. The first filter is to get out of the large particles [grinds].The second filter is to remove the silt, which gives the coffee a strange texture, and can be bitter.

When you cut in half with water, (3 divided by 2 = 1.5) you are getting strong, but tolerable coffee. Adding ice, which slowly melts, gives the cup a normal cup-of-coffee strenght. It is important to note, however, that because of the brewing process, most of the caffeine remains in place (some is filterd out in the second filter)--this stuff is very high in caffeine, even after the cutting process.


  1. I do smaller batches in my press pot, which makes the filtering process easier.

    Also, I asked you a question on Twitter, but you don't appear to be responding to people there, only sending tweets, so I'll ask it here: Which of your roasts/blends do you recommend for cold brew coffee?

  2. Sorry I missed your Tweet yesterday Anna. It is not going to make a major difference. In general go with what you like. Our feeling is the less acidic the better. Right now the Indian Monsoon would make a good cold brewed.