Cold Brew Coffee and the Preparation Thereof

Coffee at work is a challenge. I really don’t like the cheap stuff most offices supply but it’s a nuisance to make your own proper coffee at work because it’s such a complicated mess. A year or two ago, I discovered Nestlé Classico instant coffee, which is not terribly expensive and tastes really good compared to most other instant coffee. However, I recently became aware of Nestlé’s terrible corporate behavior over the years, and resolved to stop buying their products. This left me in a pickle in regard to office coffee.

After some flailing, I learned about cold brewing, which produces a flavorful coffee concentrate. You can buy cold brew coffee pre-made from Trader Joe’s and other places, but it’s far cheaper to make it yourself. For the past few weeks I’ve enjoyed drinking my own homemade cold brew at work and so I thought I’d share my process for making the stuff. Here we go!

First, measure out two cups of medium grind coffee. I use Starbucks French Roast, which I buy in 40oz/1.13kg bags from Costco for $20 or less. This is much more cost-effective than buying it at the regular grocery.

Two cups of medium-grind coffee

Transfer coffee to a vessel that can hold at least 6 cups. I use an 8 cup measure.

Coffee transferred to larger vessel

Add water to make 6 cups of coffee sludge (to use the technical terminology). First I add two cups of water and stir.

Two cups of water added to ground coffee

Then add two more cups of water.

Four cups of water added to ground coffee

Cover the container with aluminum foil to keep it from getting grubby like a bathtub full of donuts.

Covered with foil so dust and such will not fall into it

Refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

Into the refrigerator to wait

The next day, you’re ready to filter the sludge to make concentrated coffee.

24 hours later

Filter, sludge, and carafe at the ready.

Ready to begin the filtering process

Filtration process underway. Yes, this is a bit messy.

Filtering the sludge

The resultant concentrate.

The finished product

A week’s worth of concentrate, ready to go to work!

Ready for work

You can drink small amounts of cold brew straight, served either cold or hot. It’s very smooth and not bitter. It’s like a mellow version of espresso. The way I like to drink it is to mix one part concentrate with one part water, then heat it in the microwave until it’s at a good drinking temperature.

Having decent coffee is a small luxury that makes the work day that much more pleasant. What kinds of small treats do you get or make for yourself to make work bearable? Do you have a better coffee process than I do? Do you have questions? Leave a comment!