Simple Green: Cold Brew Coffee

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After biking to work on humid summer days, the last thing we wanted was a hot cup of coffee. But like most folks, we needed something to get us going in the morning. Making ice coffee the usual way (with a coffee maker or French press over ice) uses energy, requires added equipment, creates unwanted heat and even cracks the occasional pint glass! We were at a loss until last month, when a friend told us about cold brew coffee...

Cold brew coffee requires nothing more than some ground coffee grounds, an old spaghetti jar, a filter of sorts and some planning ahead. This method works great with just about any coffee and produces a wonderful flavor, without the bitterness associated with less expensive beans.

There are a few recipes online with conflicting coffee-to-water ratios, but in our experience, just about any combination of coffee and water, left over night in the fridge, seems to work! We typically put a quantity of medium-course grinds in a spaghetti jar, fill it up with water, shake, and let it sit for a couple days in the fridge. When you're ready for a cup, simply filter it through a coffee filter, or a fine strainer, dilute to taste, and enjoy over ice. We also like to try fastening some cheese cloth over the jar for an instant as-you-pour filter. If anyone tries this, let us know if it works!

For those who prefer a more precise recipe, here's one compliments of The New York Times:

1. In a jar, stir together 1/3 cup (medium-course grind is best) coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.
2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

Related Posts:

Hot Tip: Do More With Your Coffee Grounds
AT on... The Continuing Coffee Debate
Reusable Coffee Filter vs. Paper Filter?
How To Dispose of Used Coffee Grounds and Tea Leaves?

Posted originally by Trent on 2008-07-21 - CB

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.