It’s hard to start your day without any coffee, but when it’s scorching hot outside, drinking a hot cup of coffee doesn’t sound very appealing. A nice cup of cold brew coffee is the perfect solution to give you your morning pick me up without making you sweat.
Cold brew can be pricey at your local coffee shop because it’s more expensive to brew. Making cold brew at home is much more cost-effective. But how do you make cold brew, and can you use your trusted French press to make it?
You Can Make Delicious Cold Brew With Your French Press
If you’re a cold brew fiend, you’ll be excited to know that you can make cold brew with your French press at home. The days of spending all your money on this delicious iced beverage are over.
Of course, if you don’t have a French press, you’ll need to spend some money on one. Luckily, you can buy these appliances for a very affordable price. Even spending money on this appliance and the coffee to make it will be more cost-effective than buying cold brew every day.
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
The vast majority of people think that iced coffee and cold brew are the same things. While they’re both chilled coffee beverages, they are not the same thing.
The biggest difference between iced coffee and cold brew is how they’re brewed. Iced coffee is hot, regular coffee that is served cold. When serving iced coffee, people will pour the hot coffee over ice to chill it or put it in the fridge to reduce the heat slightly before serving.
Cold brew coffee is brewed by steeping coffee beans that have been coarsely ground. The beans will step in water for anywhere from six to twelve hours. You’ll mix this coffee concentrate with water or other liquid.
If you suffer from acid reflux disease or regularly experience heartburn, drinking cold brew may be the solution to getting a caffeine fix without harming your body. Cold brew has a significantly less amount of acid than hot coffee or iced coffee.
How to Make Cold Brew With a French Press
Making cold brew in your French press isn’t very challenging. The most challenging part about this process is waiting between six to twelve hours before enjoying your delicious cold brew.
A typical recipe is to use six ounces of coffee grounds and 28 ounces of water. You can use more or less depending on your preference. You may need to test out different combinations of beans and water to find the perfect cold brew for you. The rule of thumb is to use the 1:8 ratio of coffee to water.
You’ll take six ounces of coarsely ground coffee and pour it into your French press. You can purchase coarsely ground coffee grounds at some stores, but it’s better to do this yourself if you have a coffee grinder. Doing it yourself allows you to reach the exact consistency you’re looking for.
When you’re grinding the coffee beans yourself, you’ll need to set the grinder to the coarsest setting available. You’ll know you’ve finished grinding your coffee beans when they resemble breadcrumbs.
When you’re ready to pour your water into your French press, remember that you will not be heating the water like you would when making anything else in the appliance. You want to use cold water. It doesn’t need to be ice cold, but slightly colder than room temperature.
Once you have your coffee grounds and water in your French press, do not press down on the plunger. Now the waiting game starts. You’ll need to store your french press in a dark place for six to twelve hours. Some people even store it for 15.
You can leave it on your counter with the lights off while you sleep, but the best place to store it is in your fridge. It will be dark, and the temperature in the fridge will make it the perfect temperature to drink when you wake up.
When the cold brew is ready to serve, you can press the French press plunger down. You’ll then pour your cold brew into a glass and prepare it however you like. You can drink it black, add any sweetener, cream, or milk.
Things to Keep in Mind When Making Cold Brew in a French Press
Making cold brew in a French press is easy, right? As easy as this process is, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re going to brew cold brew this way.
Cold brew requires that you steep the ground coffee beans for anywhere from six to twelve hours. You can soak them for longer, but keep in mind that the longer you steep the coffee grounds for, the stronger your cold brew will be.
If you love an exceptionally strong cold brew, feel free to steep your coffee grounds for twelve or more hours.
Most cold brews have way more caffeine than a traditional cup of hot or iced coffee. If you’re not caffeine sensitive, this may not be an issue for you. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you’ll want to limit the amount of cold brew you’re drinking until you know how it will affect you.
As mentioned before, your coffee grounds should look like breadcrumbs. If you use coffee grinds that are too fine, you’ll end up with a cloudy, cold brew that has a lot of grit. Not only will the texture be off-putting, but the taste will be repulsive.
Alternatives To Using a French Press for Cold Brew
If you don’t have a French press or have no desire to purchase one, there are other ways you can make cold brew at home.
Purchase a Machine for Cold Brew
There are several products online that are made to specifically make cold brew. The prices range from affordable to more expensive, though.
Use a Large Pitcher
That large iced tea pitcher you have in your cabinets can be used for making cold brew too. You’ll follow the same process as you would with a French press, but with this pitcher.