I have enjoyed the flavor of coffee for years. But, I used to avoid it because the caffeine really affected me. I couldn’t have even a single cup of coffee without it really messing with my sleep and making me jittery.
A few months ago I decided to give coffee another try. I figured if I started to get into coffee, it might, in some sense, provide me with a similar enjoyment that I get from beer, especially my favorite style, imperial stouts. Now, that makes me sound like I have a drinking problem. I only had one or two beers a week at most, and nowadays I only have a beer once every few weeks. Seriously! I still enjoy a nice beer every once in a while (last night I shared my last bottle of Genealogy of Morals from Hill Farmstead with family and friends), but the calories from a pint of great craft beer can be upwards of around twenty percent of what I aim to consume in a day, and the alcohol also affects me much more easily now, so it is now a rare treat.
Since I never drank coffee regularly, and my wife doesn’t care for coffee, we don’t own a coffee maker. I had heard of cold brew coffee, so I decided to look into how to make it. Turns out, it is incredibly simple to make, no fancy or expensive equipment required!
What you need
- A 1 quart mason jar (I used a regular mason jar initially, but now I’ve upgraded to a Simple Life Cycle Cold Brew Mason Jar and Filter that my parents gave me for Christmas)
- A fine reusable filter/strainer
- 1 cup of roasted coffee beans (I recently have found a fantastic local nonprofit place, Coffee Connection, which supports women in recovery from addiction)
- 1 quart of water
What to do
- Coarsely grind coffee beans.
- Place coffee beans in mason jar.
- Fill jar with cold water and cover.
- Brew on counter for around 24 hours.
- Filter resulting concentrate.
- Store in fridge.
To drink, dilute concentrate as desired. I usually do around 1 part concentrate to 1 part water, but it depends how strong the concentrate is. The longer you let it brew, the stronger it will be.
If you want to drink it hot, just pop it in the microwave.
Experiment with different brew lengths and different beans. You can also add other ingredients to the mason jar when brewing… I’ve tried a variety of combinations of things such as coarsely ground cocoa nibs, vanilla beans/extract, dried chilis, and star anise.
A cup of cold brew coffee is now a key part of my daily routine. I love sitting down to drink it at my desk after I’ve exercised!
And, the caffeine no longer bothers me. I’m not sure if it is because my body is used to it now that I regularly consume it, or if changes in my body over the past year made a difference. But, in any case, I can have a cup or two of coffee a day without worry!