The Founder of a Coffee Company Says This Is How To Make Cold Brew Perfectly at Home

Did anyone else used to think that an adult budget was just like, only buying one coffee per week as a treat and then you’d be able to save enough to own a home? (Thanks, education system, for teaching me nothing advantageous about managing finances.) And sure, creating coffee yourself does save a bit bit of money, but to be honest, coffee just flavors better when someone else steeps it for you (see also: salad). Until now, that is…because Jordan Karcher, founder of Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co., is about to break down exactly how to make cold brew and iced coffee at home like a pro.

First, let’s chat about the difference between the two because they are not interchangeable. “Though they do seem similar, there is, in my opinion, a substantial difference between cold brew and iced coffee,” Karcher says. Iced coffee is hot coffee served over ice, while cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 8–24 hours and then straining it to get a concentrate.

Creating cold brew in your kitchen is very simple once you understand what you’re doing. For starters, Karcher advises against the methods that involve mason jars and cheese cloth due to the reality that they’re just messy and cumbersome. Instead, he recommends investing in a relatively inexpensive cold brew maker. “This won't only make the procedure much easier, but the end product will taste considerably better,” he says. “My favorite is the Toddy Cold Brew Maker ($40). The brewer comes with all needed brewing accessories, and you will literally need 12 ounces of ground, cold-brew-blend coffee.”

You can also work with a French press—fill it halfway with coarse ground coffee, then top it off with cold water and let it steep for 12 hours. “Plunge the Cafetière to filter the majority of grounds and transport the coffee into a vessel for storage and future utilize,” Karcher says. If you’re still like, that is too much work, you can buy pouches of coffee—like Grounds & Hounds Sunny Spot Cold Brew Pouches ($13)—that you just stick into a pitcher of water and let steep for 12 hours.

Aside from their infusion methods, there are two significant reasons why iced coffee and cold brew taste different. “First, the technique of brewing hot coffee results in more acidity (as well as more antioxidants) than cold brew,” Karcher says. Second, when you pour hot coffee over ice, some of the ice melts and dilutes your ingest.

Right about now, if you’re thinking: I’ll just wait for my coffee to cool off and then pour it over ice, problem solved, simply understand that’s going to result in sour coffee in addition to making you wait for it. “Brewing hot coffee extracts quinic acid, which leads to a sour flavor as coffee cools over time. So, by using ‘old hot coffee’ your iced coffee experience will be less than ideal,” Karcher explains.

Another common mistake people make? Opting for iced coffee and not cold brew. (Kidding! Sort of…) “To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of iced coffee when compared to cold brew, as I do find hot crafted coffee to taste considerably better over ice,” Karcher says. “However, if you are attempting to make the perfect possible iced coffee, I advise using a dark roast blend, coarse ground, and made using a pour-over tool such as a Hario V60,” he says. You’ve gotta make it stronger than usual since the melting ice will dilute it—Karcher recommends using one tablespoon of coffee for every three ounces of water. “Then basically brew the coffee directly over a tall glass filled with ice and leave around 2-½ inches of room to add fresh ice and any creamer desired.” You’ll feel like a bonafide barista before you understand it.

This post first of all appeared here, and it was syndicated on our website on the Cold Brew Coffee section.