Cold Brew Coffee, An Easy System

My dad is very fond of telling us about one of his professors who kept a cold coffee extract apparatus in a hood in his lab. It was some sort of glassware circulation system hooked up to a pump and every x period of time he would load up a pound of coffee and circulate a fairly large quantity of water through it for 24 hours. And at his 8am classes he had coffee for his students. 10ml of cold coffee extract concentrate to 90ml of hot water.

This would never, ever fly these days, but my dad remembers and rhapsodizes over this coffee almost fifty years later.

I iced coffee, but it’s never been a convenient thing to make myself. Hot brew goes stale quickly. Cold brew could be stored longer but was messy and inconvenient to make.

Until now. Now I have a system.

Cold Brew Coffee

  • Servings: ~750-1000mL
  • Difficulty: dead simple
  • Print

You need some equipment to do this. Because my kitchen is small and has limited storage, I go for multi-use items. Links are Amazon Associate links.

  • 1.5L canning jars and lids. I like Quattro Stagioni jars because they have 1 piece lids and are $4 at the Container Store. I already have a couple of these for other purposes.
  • 1L bottles. Also Quattro Stagioni, also $4 at the Container Store. You should have two of these dedicated to cold brew so you can make a fresh batch before the prior one runs out.
  • A basic kitchen scale.
  • 100g of a favorite coffee, ground for drip. I’m partial to Peet’s Big Bang.
  • Filtered water for coffee.
  • A carafe pour over drip cone system.
  • Coffee Sock or paper cone filter.

Put your 1.5L jar on the scale and tare it out. Measure 100g of ground coffee straight into the jar. Fill the jar to the rim with filtered water and cap it. Don’t stir or mess with it. After a couple hours, check on it and add more water if it needs it.

Leave the jar alone in a shady part of the kitchen for 24 hours.

Set up your bottle with the carafe filter and coffee sock. Pour the contents of the brewing jar into the sock and let it filter into the bottle. You can rinse the majority of the grounds out into the filter with some more filtered water. Don’t squeeze or stir or fuss. Just let gravity do it’s work.

Cap the jar and stick it in the fridge. Wash your dishes.


This extract is pretty strong. I dilute it 50/50 with water and then add sweetener/cream/ice.

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6 Responses to Cold Brew Coffee, An Easy System

  1. Foxfier says:

    I made only one batch and gave myself caffeine poisoning for the first time in decades!

    Used the *cough* highly scientific method of the same amount of scoops I use for making a pot in the morning, one of the big pickle jars, and filtered it with the cold coffee pot.

  2. Foxfier says:

    Reblogged this on Head Noises and commented:
    This stuff is good, but be careful with it!

    I practically lived off of coffee for several years, I still drink “too much” of it, and when I made cold-brew I gave myself the shakes from the caffeine. Twice, the second time being when I was taking pains to remember it is strong…..

  3. I may need to try this, but I really like my Aeropress. You can make it as iced coffee by throwing ice cubes in the mug before you put the ‘press on top of the mug.

    • GeekLady says:

      Cold extract is actually quite different from just iced coffee. It’s much smoother and less acidic and has a different flavor profile. You can drink it hot or cold, but it’s very convenient for drinking cold because you can make a bunch and it doesn’t go stale

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