Tonx’s Fuss Proof Cold Brew Coffee Guide

[as adapted from the old tonx.org site]

Cold brew coffee will surprise you with how easy it is to make and how incredibly tasty and refreshing it is. While there are some nice tools that make cold brewing a breeze, you’ve probably already got the means in your kitchen to make a great batch without much fuss.

For Cold Brew you are brewing a concentrate using cold water, very coarse grind (as coarse or coarser than you’d use for a French press), and a long steep time — 12–14 hours works great.

Selecting a vessel

A big french press works really well. A large mason jar will get the job done as will just about any clean pitcher or carafe that can hold water and ground coffee.

Using a French press has the added benefit of a built-in filter mechanism. If you’re using a pitcher, you’ll need a strategy for pouring off the brew from the grounds. A rice strainer works well as does a layered cheese cloth or a very clean (but not for long) cotton shirt.

Good coffee-to-water ratio

Here are a few different proportions — all using the about same coffee to water ratio — that can serve as a starting point for your brew recipe depending on your preferred system of measurement and your vessel:

140 grams (just over 1¼ cups) of coffee per liter of water

or

about 5 Tbsp coffee per 8 oz (1 cup) of water

or

roughly double the amount of coffee you normally use for the same amount of water

Brew!

Add your cold filtered water slowly into your coffee, stirring just a bit as the coffee releases gas. If you’re using cheesecloth, you can create a makeshift “tea bag” that will make it much easier to separate your brew from your grounds at the finish line.

12–14 hours of steep time works great with a very coarse grind. Go much longer (or grind too fine) and the brew will start to taste more sour. Lightly covered on your kitchen counter is the right spot (expect it to smell wonderful).

Decant and filter

Pouring off your resulting concentrate from the coffee grounds can be an easy or messy affair depending on your choice of vessel. A proper or makeshift strainer, mesh colander, clean shirt, or just some careful pouring ought to do the trick. To remove additional sediment, pouring your concentrate through a paper filter works nicely or you can just let the residual sediments gradually sink to the bottom of your pitcher before serving.

Serve and enjoy

Your resulting concentrate can be diluted 50/50 over ice with water or to taste. You can also use milk or your favorite creamer. The concentrate will stay awesome in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Bonus tip

A secret of many top coffeebars: cold brewing is a really great thing to do with your leftover or not-so-fresh beans. Even beans that are several weeks old can still show very nicely as cold brew.