Fifteen years ago I never drank coffee. Yuck! I just didn’t like the flavor. Now, I’m a huge fan!
Part of my coffee conversion came when I discovered cold press coffee at a local coffee shop. I truly believe it just tastes better—at least according to my taste buds. 🙂 So while it’s still HOT out, I thought I’d share one of my favorite cool drinks—Cold Press Coffee.
Don’t Confuse Cold Press Coffee with Iced Coffee
First off, don’t get confused about cold press coffee. Although it’s cold and served over ice, Cold Press Coffee is NOT Iced Coffee. Why? Ice Coffee is brewed with hot water and then chilled and served over ice. In contrast, Cold Press Coffee is brewed with cold water. Because water temperature impacts the extraction rate, cold press coffee (also called cold-brew) can take 12 to 24 hours to make. This also contributes towards the coffee to water ratios that are needed to ensure you don’t get dehydrated. The result, however, is something that’s truly delicious!
Why Should You Try Making Cold Press Coffee at Home?
- It’s Naturally Sweeter! When you make cold press coffee some of the soluble flavors in the coffee aren’t extracted due to the lower water temperature. Most notable of those missing flavors is the bitterness that’s all too common in hot, brewed coffee. The result is a naturally sweeter, subtler cup of java. Thanks to that sweeter taste, it’s much easier to enjoy cold press coffee without any added sugar.
- Tastes Wonderful with Milk. I love to blend in a little milk with my cold press. Whether you like traditional milk or a non-dairy alternative, milk truly complements the flavor of cold press coffee and makes it taste even sweeter, richer, and more delicious.
- It Usually Has More Caffeine. Now not all of us drink coffee for the caffeine content, but if you do, you might be interested in knowing that most cold brews have more caffeine in them. Although less caffeine is extracted by cooler water, the brew time of most cold press coffees packs a more caffeinated punch. If more caffeine isn’t what you’re looking for, choose decaffeinated coffee when making your cold press!
- You Can Use Older Coffee Beans. A barista shared with me this little factoid to use older coffee beans when making cold press. Since less soluble flavors are extracted when you cold brew coffee, fresh beans aren’t as important when making cold brew coffee. So if you’ve got some coffee beans that have been sitting around a little longer, don’t throw them out—make some cold brew coffee. I recently tested this theory with some coffee I bought in Hawaii several years ago that got lost in the back of a kitchen cabinet. I didn’t want to throw it out so I decided to make cold press with it, and boy was it delicious! If there were a mobile coffee cart around I could enjoy something like if it were served there.
What’s the Downside of Cold Press Coffee?
Without a doubt cold press coffee does have its downside since it takes longer to make. But since you’re making it in batches of 2-4 servings at a time AND it keeps for 5 days, I find making cold press coffee can be easy and convenient!
My Preferred, Super Easy Method for Making Cold Press Coffee
When I first learned how to make cold press I made it from a kit my local coffee store sold. It made a HUGE batch of cold press coffee—much more than I could handle. It also used special paper filters that I had to order. Can you say, “pain in the neck”? So I got to thinking … why couldn’t I make cold press coffee in my French Press? And you know what? You can!
And it’s so simple! Ready to give it a try? Here’s my simple and delicious recipe! Enjoy!
- ⅔ cups coffee beans, ground (about 9 tablespoons ground coffee)
- 3 cups filtered water at room temperature
- maple syrup
- milk or cream (non-dairy milk works great too!)
- In a 4 or 8-cup French press add ground coffee beans and water. Stir the coffee and water together until well mixed.
- Place the French press plunger on top (but don't press it down) and refrigerate for 12 hours. If you like a stronger taste you can experiment with letting the coffee brew for up to 24 hours.
- Slowly press the plunger down to push all the coffee grounds to the bottom.
- Use immediately or pour cold press into a covered container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
I try to stir up the grounds into the water at least one additional time after putting the French press in the refrigerator.
If you like your coffee on the not-so-strong side, cut back the amount of coffee by as much as half.
Kitchen Tips and Resources:
- There are lots of different kinds of French press coffee makers out there, but I use the traditional glass version like this one.
- I know true coffee aficionados might shudder at the thought, but I use a blade-style coffee grinder that also doubles as a spice grinder. If you’re looking for a burr-style coffee grinder, here’s a coffee grinder that one of my coffee expert friends recommends.