Caregiving from my kitchen

Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)

One of the great advantages of  blogging is that I can work from home.  I don’t have to dress up, fix my hair and makeup, pack a lunch (or try to find someplace I can eat,)  spend half an hour commuting…  I can fix lunch, start dinner, answer the door, choose to run a personal errand.

One of the great disadvantages of blogging is that I work from home. I forget to wear pretty things, I need to make a point of getting out of the house to walk and get fresh air and sunshine, there’s no clear beginning and end to my workday.

And there are no co-workers to chat with at the water cooler, waiting for the elevator, or over lunch. The isolation can get bad…

I cope with that by having a network of people I chat with online. Some I have known for fifteen years or more, some I just met, some I originally knew in person, some are half a world away.  And enough also work from home that we have the same needs… Pop in, check in with each other, mention a problem or an accomplishment – and then go back to work without anyone wondering why we don’t hang out and chat.

Unsurprisingly, I connect with people interested in food and cooking, whether or not they blog. So lists of accomplishments may be “I posted, I finished the photographs, I edited another chapter, I finished the pattern for the jacket” but they’re as apt to include “I canned six quarts of stock, I put the pork in the slow cooker, I found a source of periwinkles!” (Periwinkles are small edible sea snails, if you wonder, as I did…)

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)

And one woman has listed “I made the coffee syrup.” The what? Well… she has a fancy gadget to make cold brew coffee – but as a concentrate, not just to pour over ice and drink as is. She dilutes it with ice and cold water in summer, sure, but also with boiling water in winter, so it’s as fast and easy as instant on a busy morning, but tastes so much better with the smooth cold brew flavor. She’s done this for several years. Last year I started asking questions, and she was very helpful – because no, you don’t need the gadget. And I started making my own.

Now, I will admit I returned to the French Press in the winter –  partly because refrigerator space is at a premium in this house in peak harvest season! But I love having this for iced coffee – and it’s so convenient to easily make a single cup if I want one during the day, without fussing with the coffee pot! And, well, my friend has been nudging me to share it on the blog…  so here you are. It’s really barely a recipe – and so easy…

When I started making it, I didn’t have the French Press, and just used bowls and strainers. I’ll write that up as the basic way since most of us don’t have French presses – but if you do, they make this task much easier!

First, you need a coarse grind of coffee. Most of my adult life I’ve carefully purchased fine grind for drip coffee, so that took me a while to get used to… but this process uses time instead of either a fine grind or heat to extract the coffee.

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)

Place one and a half cups of coarsely ground coffee in a large bowl. Add two cups of cold water, and stir. Add another two cups – you want one quart, all together – and stir that well. (Sure you could add all the water at once – I find it is easier to mix well this way.)

Let it rest about fifteen to twenty minutes. During that time most of the grounds will float to the top and join together in what is called a raft. You don’t want that, as it keeps the coffee from steeping properly, so take a spoon or whisk and carefully stir, breaking up the raft. Now the grounds will sink to the bottom, but much more loosely – this will steep well.

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)

Cover it, and set it aside roughly 20-24 hours. I usually mix it right after breakfast, for breakfast the next day – if mornings are crazy, do it at night. It only takes a few minutes of your time. You don’t need to refrigerate it at this stage.

The next day, you need to strain it. I use a fine kitchen strainer, and start by ladling off the liquid on top, so I don’t get much of the grounds to begin with. After straining, I pour that liquid into my bottle through a coffee strainer to get the silt. Then I pour the rest of the coffee and grounds into my strainer, and give that some time to drip. Then I pour that coffee through the filter.

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)

You started a quart of water, but some is still absorbed by the grounds, and some has evaporated. Add more water to bring it up to the quart. And there you have a quart of coffee concentrate!

Now, if you do have a French Press, all that straining is easier… Just put your coffee grounds and water in the pot, and stir. Let rest, just as you would in the bowl – you can just see the way the raft floats above the coffee! Stir that down, and put the lid on, but leave the press up – and let that rest until the next day. Then just push the plunger down and pour off the coffee. I do still pour through a coffee filter – there is always a little silt at the bottom, and too much will muddy the flavor, especially if it sits a few days.

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)

I dilute this one part concentrate to three parts water. For iced coffee, that usually means one part concentrate, two parts cold water, and 2-3 ice cubes… In the glass I most typically use, I add one third of a cup of concentrate, a splash of half and half, two ice cubes, and then fill it with ice water. You will, of course, work out your own ideal proportions and measurements, in your own glasses.

Keep the concentrate in a covered container in the refrigerator. (Yes, I use an old milk bottle – it holds the right amount, has a cover, and fits nicely on the shelf!)

Wouldn’t this make your morning easier?

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)

Yields 1 quart

Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time

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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c coarse ground coffee
  • 1 quart cold water

Instructions

  1. Mix coffee and water in a large bowl or pot. Let rest 20 minutes.
  2. Stir down the raft of coffee grounds that will have formed at the top - stir well. Cover, and let rest 20 - 24 hours.
  3. Strain well. Refrigerate the concentrate.
  4. To use, mix one part concentrate to 2 parts cold water and one part ice, for iced coffee, or one part concentrate to three parts boiling water, for hot coffee. (Or to taste.)
7.8.1.2
250
https://www.inhabitedkitchen.com/cold-brew-coffee-concentrate/

 

Make cold brew coffee concentrate at home, for the flavor of cold brew and the convenience of instant coffee! Just add water (and ice.)



10 thoughts on “Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate”

  • Blogging can indeed be lonely but fortunately I live in the city which makes it very easy to get human contact on a daily basis. What's more. . .I have to walk everywhere (or take the subway) because less than ideal parking situation makes it near impossible to hop in the car and go anywhere. What's more. ..coffee is always a few steps away. But loving this idea of making home brew at home because it gives me permission to hole myself up in my apartment every now and again.
    • Yes, I agree about the city - I live in Manhattan! And these days I walk almost everywhere... Though I never did tend to go out for coffee, I always preferred to make it at home and relax over it to start my day. But then, when I started the blog, I was a freelance vendor in stores - I always say, I made my living talking to strangers! But it's not the same as a regular workplace. There were a few stores I worked in often enough to build relationships with associates (and even a regular customer or two!) but in most... I recognized people and we exchanged pleasantries, but if you talk to someone for five minutes every other month, you don't get to know each other at all well... So the online community gives me that, while I still make sure I get out and chat with shopkeepers and other customers, for that face to face interaction!
    • It's funny, I always drank hot coffee in the morning before this - but on a muggy summer morning? I love it!
  • I never thought to use a French press for straining cold brew coffee - Great idea! I totally hear you on the working from home thing. Social interactions are good every now and then!
    • The French press makes it so much easier! You'd think it was designed for the job! LOL I started without it, though - and then we were given one and I thought, well, I'd try it... I set it up in a few minutes one morning, pour it off in a few minutes the next - and then have concentrate to last the two of us 3-4 days. So convenient!

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