How to Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home That Rivals Starbucks

For coffee drinkers, there are only a few things more satisfying than the cool, caffeinated sip of iced coffee. Somehow, it always seems to taste better when it is prepared for you by someone else! But, costs can add up.


The good news is that cold brew is easy to DIY (do it yourself), and we are going to share all the secrets that coffee houses and big-name brand coffee shops (think: Starbucks) use so you can enjoy your very own homemade cold brew.



Cold Brew Coffee Is Where It’s At


Cold brew is just as refreshing as iced coffee and is unbelievably easy to make at home. You will be shocked at the results of your homemade brew and how it can rival even the best coffee shops around.


The technique of cold brewing reduces acidity of coffee, which enhances coffee’s natural sweetness and complex flavours. Many people who drink hot coffee with sugar and cream find themselves preferring to drink cold brew plain!



Dark Roast Or Light


Since cold brew is coffee grounds and water, it’s all about the quality of the two products and how you treat the two ingredients that make up your cold brew.


Asking your local roaster or favourite barista what roast they recommend is a great place to start for picking out a roast.


Experts are divided on the question of dark roast or light. Some suggest light to medium roasts, which are naturally more acidic, because the cold brewing process eliminates much of the acidity. Other cold brew experts recommend dark roasts because cold brew has a tendency to taste of darker, richer flavours, like chocolate, nuts, and earthiness.


You can make cold brew with any coffee roast you like. Choosing between a dark roast or a light roast coffee is largely a matter of personal preference. Your best bet is to experiment. Your preference for hot coffee might not hold true for cold coffee!


Whichever you choose, keep in mind that lighter roasts will require longer extraction times because the cellular structure of the beans has been less damaged by a quicker roasting process. This could be important to you if you do not like the already long, straining process and want to wait only 12 hours instead of 24 hours of brewing.



Why Starbucks Cold Brew?


First off, in our experience, people either love or hate Starbucks. Whether you are a fan or not…their big batch cold brew is probably the drink they do the best. Even their darkly roasted coffee tastes sweet and smooth when it is brewed this way. Starbucks uses a large-scale brewing system to make their large batches, and they soak their cold brew for 20 hours before straining.



How To Make Delicious Cold Brew Coffee At Home


To make a coffee shop-worthy cold brew at home, follow this recipe.


You will need:

  • 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee
  • 1 cup of simmering hot water (optional)
  • 6 to 7 cups of cold water

Step 1: Grind the coffee beans

  • Grind the coffee beans in a coffee grinder until they are coarsely ground, not a fine powder. Depending on the size and capacity of the grinder, you may need to grind the beans in batches. The grounds must be ground to a coarse grind resembling the size of raw sugar.

  • OPTIONAL Step 2: Bloom the coffee

    • Place the coffee grounds in a clean glass mason jar and pour in the hot water and let stand for a few minutes. You will see the coffee swell and bubble up. This is called blooming.

    Disclaimer – This is optional! While many cold brew recipes do not use any hot water, this additional step releases the carbon dioxide in the grounds, which extracts more flavour and aroma from the beans. If you want to use cold water only, skip this step and add an extra cup of cold water to the jar.


    Step 2: Add cold water

    • Once your grounds have bloomed, pour the cold water over top. Stir gently with a spoon to make sure the grounds are thoroughly saturated with water.

    Step 3: Steep overnight

    • Cover the mason jar with a lid to protect it from spilling, and prevent any dust or bugs from getting in. Place in the fridge and allow it to steep for 12-16 hours, to a maximum of 24 hours. The longer the coffee brews, the stronger the flavour.

    Step 4: Strain slowly

    Strain the coffee and discard the grounds.


    Step 5: Serve and enjoy!

    You can store cold brew in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you want your cold brew extra cold, not just fridge cold, freeze some coffee in ice cube trays. The frozen coffee cubes will chill your beverage without watering it down.


    Most drink cold brew with a dash of milk or cream, but cold brew coffee is also delicious black! You can even add in a little simple syrup to sweeten it up.



    Quick Tip


    Make a big batch in advance. This is helpful for two reasons. Firstly, by always having cold brew coffee in your fridge, a short walk to your kitchen is faster than hopping in the car and “whipping” through the Starbucks drive thru. Secondly, it will save you money by NOT going through the Starbucks drive thru every day.


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