Cold brew coffee is a method of extracting the coffee's flavor and caffeine without using hot water. Unlike hot brew coffee, which can be made in a matter of minutes, cold brew coffee can take up to 12 hours to steep. This method produces a coffee concentrate that's lower in acid than its hot brew counterpart, and is used as an ingredient in iced coffee and coffee flavored beverages. If you like, you can even heat the cold brew concentrate and enjoy a cup of hot, low acid coffee.
Currently, there are two popular cold brew coffee makers available for purchase: the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee System and the Hourglass Cold Brew Coffee Maker. While each of these cold brew coffee makers will set you back about $30, you can get virtually the same result by making your own cold brewer using a glass Mason jar:
Measure 4.5 oz of ground coffee into your jar, and add 8 oz of good quality drinking water. Swirl the jar so that all of the grounds are wet.
Let the coffee steep for at least 12 hours before filtering.
To filter, you'll pour the coffee through progressively dense materials. Begin by pouring coffee through the filtered brew basket of your automatic drip coffee machine, or through a colander lined with a coffee filter. Next, re-filter the coffee by pouring it through a fine mesh strainer, and then through a cheesecloth. Repeat the filtering process as many times as necessary to remove all of the coffee grounds.
After filtering, your cold brew coffee concentrate is now ready to use in iced coffee, lattes, desserts, baked goods and confections, or other coffee flavored treats. You can store the coffee concentrate in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to one week.