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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Oh Crap, it’s Friday isn’t it?

And I suppose that about tells you how my day has gone.

Have some photos.

Now that the baby is almost one, I’m trying to get back into the meatless Fridays. Naturally, I forgot to eat lunch. Then I found this Snickers, and it was like God spoke to me. And He told me to eat something and stop snarling at my children. So I did.

Then I made onigiri stuffed with salted salmon for dinner.

Julian is suspicious.

But it ultimately met with his approval. The shiozake did at least.

Earlier today I was sitting relatively peacefully, enforcing the ‘do your bloody schoolwork before I eat you alive’ rule, when I was struck by inspiration so violently that I jumped in my chair and knocked over a pile of crap. The inspiration was to use some small individual coat hooks horizontally as curtain tie backs. I even had just enough oil rubbed bronze spray paint left to give them a coat so they matched the rest of the curtain hardware.

And they’re PERFECT.

This is why I never throw anything away. Nothing is quite as demoralizing as realizing you now have the perfect use for something that you threw away in a misplaced frenzy to live an unachievably orderly life.

Okay, this is from earlier in the week, but I have acquired a hanging wall file and a pretty bulletin board in my quest to turn my corner into something that approaches a functional work space. The basket has potential. I might get one or two more.

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A Fauxdori Cover

Well, I just got laid flat for 3? 4? days by norovirus. And this was going so well too. I suppose it couldn’t be helped. Let us hope that no one else gets sick, because that was an absolutely vile experience.

Since I need something brainless to talk about today, I thought I’d share my new fauxdori travelers notebook-esque with y’all.

Traveler’s notebooks are kind of expensive, and they tend to use a weird notebook size, and I’m not super keen on the whole ‘lots of little notebooks held together with rubber bands’ business. But I love the covers themselves, and I desperately wanted a similar style cover for the soft cover Moleskine notebook where I back up my brain. When I found myself with some Amazon and Michaels gift cards after the Christmas dust had settled, I decided to make one.

Amazon provided me with a 12″ square of scrap upholstery leather in a rich brown. But it was impossibly floppy, nowhere near sturdy enough for a notebook cover. And I didn’t really want to go through the merry go round of ordering different kinds of leather to see what ended up being stiff enough to work.

Instead I elected to stiffen the leather I had by soaking it in molten beeswax.

Himself thought I was absolutely insane at first, but the results spoke for themselves.

I double threaded the book with teal elastic, so I had two strands to hold my much larger notebook securely in place. And instead of the lead wire crimp seal that a regular travelers notebook would use, I just knotted the elastic in the interior of the cover.

To replace the seal aesthetically, I cut up a cord bracelet of tiny Saint Benedict medals to get the beads. One medal got threaded into the elastic at the top of the spine and another was threaded onto my big notebook’s bookmark, both as a weight and because I just really like those tiny medal-beads.

Last, but most important, I added two more 2mm holes punched in the front cover about 1cm apart horizontally, then slit the leather between them. This lets me hook my beloved Lamy securely onto the notebook and mostly prevents me from losing it.

As a finished product, I really think it’s perfect. The beeswax has left the leather sturdy (and waterproof), but it also has a sense of not being too proud to get banged about. It’s not a notebook too proud to work. It keeps track of my pen. The colors make me happy. The medals remind me to pray. And it smells lovely.

And all of this very tangible pleasure in the physical object of the notebook turns out to be very important when it comes down to actually using it regularly, but I’ll talk about that another time.

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