Cold Brew for Beginners

I love coffee. In an obnoxious way. I recently moved to New York, and I’ve spent most of my free time scouting the best coffee shops this city has to offer. (If you’re curious, my current favorite is La Colombe on Lafayette, but I also really enjoy The Chipped Cup in Harlem and Prodigy Coffee in the West Village.) But what I really love is good cup of home brew, be it a pot, a press, or a pour-over.

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For me the process of making coffee is meditative. I love the patience and precision of it. In my never, ever humble opinion, the worst thing in the world of coffee are those little plastic cups that go into that coffee robot machine. I get it, they’re great for busy people. So fine, enjoy them in the morning when you’re running late to work or you’re too tired to think straight, but don’t make a habit of it. That’s not how coffee should be prepared or enjoyed—it takes all the romance and finesse out of it. And brewing cafe-quality coffee at home is not that hard or time-consuming.

Which brings me to cold brew. Cold brew is great for those of us who don’t have time to spare in the morning. I like to brew a big batch over the weekend and bring it with me in a to-go cup every morning. I’m a newbie at home-brewed cold coffee, so I haven’t had time to experiment with technique or tools, but the following recipe is a great starting point for anyone interested in brewing a batch of ice-cold coffee at home.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 3/4 cups coarsely ground coffee
  • 4 1/2 cups cold water
  • Ice
  • Milk, cream, or alternative
  • Sugar or simple syrup

What to Do:

1) In a pitcher or large container, combine the coffee grounds and water. Stir thoroughly.
2) Cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap, and let brew at room temperature for 12–24 hours.
3) Line a handheld mesh strainer with a coffee filter, and strain the brew into a serving pitcher. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
4) Pour brew over ice and, if desired, add cream and sugar.

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