If you have a French Press or enjoy using one to make hot coffee, you may not have realized that you can also use it to make cold brew coffee for those hot summer days or when you are looking for cold coffee to drink. The best part about using a French Press is how easy it is to make Cold Brew Coffee
How to make Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press
- Weigh out 50g of Coffee and Grind Coarse
- Get 350g of room temperature water
- Put the Coffee in a French Press
- Slowly Add the Room Temperature Water to Coffee
- Let it sit overnight or between 12 – 24 Hours
- Press down on the French Press Plunger
- Put in a Mason Jar or similar and put in Refrigerator
See that? No fancy equipment or barista skills are needed. Before we now go into more detail how to make this tasty beverage, let’s take a closer look at what exactly cold brew is and the benefits of drinking it.
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
“Cold brew” is not a fancy term for iced-coffee, as many might think at first glance. While the two beverages appear similar, differences in the brewing process account for differences in the taste.
Iced coffee is made, as the name suggests, by adding ice to coffee. Hot coffee is brewed and is either poured over ice (which seems to create a sad, watery, luke-warm concoction) or is chilled first before being added to a glass with ice.
Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, is created by soaking coffee grounds in water and then straining to separate the liquid from the grounds. Oddly enough, there is nothing “cold” about the brewing process, as room-temperature water is used (although if you use hot water, it can speed up the process some). The cold part comes in later when the drink is either refrigerated or added to ice.
The taste of these two coffee drinks, is, of course, somewhat similar. Both processes use the same ingredients, but there are definite differences you will notice from the first sip. People often describe cold brew as being less acidic, rounder, or smoother than regular coffee. You will have to try both yourself to see which one you prefer
Cold Brew Coffee With A French Press
A french press simplifies the cold brew process as you can filter the grounds and the concentrate in the french-press. This eliminates the need for a separate filtration set-up and is a good choice if you frequently wish to make cold brew.
There are also different cold-brew makers on the market for those who wish to invest even more money in their cold-brew adventures. A simple Amazon search will yield a myriad of results ranging from ten dollars to hundreds.
Of course, if you already a French Press then have the materials needed to create cold brew coffee in your kitchen (minus, perhaps, a coffee grinder). A cold brew maker would be more suitable for someone who makes cold-brew regularly and wants to simplify the process even further.
How To Make Cold Brew with a French Press
- Fresh Roasted coffee beans ( use a 1:7 coffee to water ratio) – I prefer a African coffee for my cold brew from either Ethiopia or Kenya
- Water – If you don’t have good water in your area, then use filtered Water.
- Scale – Its important to have the right coffee to water ratio
- Burr Grinder – You will need a coarse grind of evenly ground coffee beans and this type of grinder will do that.
- French Press – Self explanatory… I hope!
Step By Step Guide
Making Cold brew with a French Press is so easy, you won’t believe it and you will wonder why you didn’t start making it before. I mentioned the steps at the beginning, but lets review them with a little bit more detail .
Step 1 – Weigh and Grind
Take your 50g of whole bean coffee and grind to coarsely
Step 2 – Grab your French Press
Take the freshly ground coffeee and Add it to your French Press
Step 3 Add Water
Take your 350g of room temperature water and pour it in the french Press. You will want to stir the coffee and water gently, just a couple of time in order to make sure all the grounds are saturated.
Step 4 . Put the Lid on and Wait
Put the top back on but Do not press the plunger down at this stage. Store it away from heat and light for 16 hours ( or whatever amount of time between 12 – 24 that you prefer)
Step 5 – Plunge and Pour
Once the time is s up then use the weight of your hand to press down on the plunger and that’s it! You know have cold brew coffee. Told you it was simple!
Step 6 Pour in a Jar and Refrigerate
You will want to pour the coffee into a decanter or some other container so it doesn’t continue to brew and when you drink it, make sure to cut it with water or ice and maybe even some milk. I like to use a 1 to 1 ratio.
Put any unused cold brew in the refrigerator for the next cup
Drinking Cold Brew Coffee
The concentrate you just created isn’t really meant to be consumed straight. It should be poured over ice and combined with water.
The strength of your brew is going to vary with the ratio of cold brew concentrate to water. Try starting with half concentrate/half water and adjust accordingly. Note that the longer you let your concentrate brew, the stronger it will be, so keep that in mind for your next batch of cold brew.
If you aren’t a fan of straight black cold brewed coffee, here are some add-ins to improve your cold brew drinking experience:
- Sweetener. Of course, sugar doesn’t dissolve well if the liquid isn’t hot, so try a liquid sweetener such as this one.
- Flavored creamer
- Caramel or chocolate sauce (like these)
If you plan on making a larger batch of cold brew, store it in the fridge as a concentrate (no added water). Make sure to place a lid on it while it is stored. In this form, it can last up to two weeks. If you add water, it may only taste tasty for 2-3 days.
Benefits of Cold Brew
The process of making Cold brew is how you get some of the benefits from this typ of coffee drink as compared to others. Since the coffee is made a room temperature and over a long period of time, the coffee that is made from it has very little acidity.
Another benefit (if you see it as that) of cold brew coffee is that you can make a more intensely caffeinated beverage than regular coffee. Due to the brewing process the coffee that you get is a concentrate and therefore has a higher amount of caffeine, some say up to twice as then amount, then in hot brewed coffee.
And lastly, according to Healthline, cold brew may boost your metabolism, lower your risk of heart disease, and overall increase your life span (due to the antioxidant content).
Keep in mind that regular coffee also offers many of the same health benefits, so if health is your goal, it really comes down to which taste you prefer. Also, cold brew can be just as low-calorie as regular coffee.
For example, a Starbucks cold brew drink contains merely 5 calories in 16 oz of coffee (without sweeteners/flavors/creamers, of course). Many cold or frozen coffee beverages are packed with calories (think of those delicious, whipped cream topped Frappucinos). Cold-brew doesn’t have to be, as the simplest form of the drink is merely coffee and water.
Cold brew is an excellent choice of beverage for cold coffee lovers. Being simple and inexpensive to make, it offers a unique spin on the classic coffee taste. Cold brew offers the same versatility as regular coffee as it can be easily customized with sweeteners, creamers, and flavors.
If you are hoping to enjoy some homemade cold brew, some forward-planning is involved as the brewing process is lengthy, but one batch of cold brew can last you up to two weeks.