It's easy to see why cold brew coffee is all the rage. Its smooth, low-acid taste makes it infinitely drinkable. Although there are several styles of cold brew coffee makers on the market, you don't need any fancy equipment to make it at home. One of the easiest ways to make it is in a french press, but you can also use a mason jar, large measuring cup, or pitcher, as long as you're willing to strain out the spent coffee grounds or tea leaves afterward.
Classic Cold Brew Coffee
The basic ratio for making cold brew coffee concentrate is 1:2, meaning one part coarse ground coffee to two parts fresh, filtered, room temperature water. So, if you're using a one-quart mason jar, for example, aim for 1.5 cups of coffee grounds and three cups of water. All you need to do is add the grounds and water to the jar or pitcher, shake or stir, and let sit overnight (at least 12 hours). At the end of the steeping time, filter the mixture, save the liquid, and toss the grounds. (Do you see how a French press would make this part easier?) What you have now is cold brew concentrate, ready to be mixed with water or milk and served over ice.
Frozen Cafe Mocha
Have you ever made frozen hot chocolate? It's basically a smoothie made with milk and hot chocolate mix. If you have some hot chocolate mix on hand, toss it in a blender with milk and cold brew coffee concentrate for the ultimate chocolatey treat. If you don't have a blender, you can also mix it up with a whisk and serve over ice. A dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup make this the perfect cold dessert on a hot summer night.
Cold Brew Mojito Iced Tea
Cold brewing is the perfect process for iced tea because the result is so smooth, without the bitterness of heat-extracted black tea. The extra time it takes is well worth it, especially for this refreshing mocktail. For each cup of cold water, use one bag (or one teaspoon, if looseleaf) of black tea, a pinch of lime zest, and one or two mint leaves. Steep for 8-12 hours, strain, and add sugar if desired. If you don't have fresh limes to make zest, add a squirt of lime juice (to taste) just before serving.
Dirty Iced Chai
If you like chai, but also coffee, you will probably enjoy a dirty chai. It may not sound delicious, but it is. It's also super simple to make. All you do is add a shot of espresso or a serving of cold brew concentrate to a serving of iced chai. If you don't have any chai concentrate on hand, you can make that with the cold brew method, too. Measure out of two tablespoons of looseleaf chai (or use an equal amount of chai teabags) and combine it with one quart of water. Brew overnight, strain, and then mix 2:1 with your preferred milk. To make it dirty, add a serving of undiluted cold brew coffee concentrate.