Few things taste more like summer than an ice cold maple cold press coffee. (Okay, except maybe garden tomatoes, but we’re talking beverages here.)
If you’re new to cold press coffee, allow me to let you in on summer’s best kept secret.
Also know as cold brew, this concentrated coffee is easy to make at home. Ground beans are infused in water for 12 to 24 hours, then strained and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. At the ready to be diluted with milk, cream, or hot or cold water water for your daily coffee craving, it’s our favorite coffee for summertime.
Cold press has zero bitterness and so much flavor. Think espresso’s laid back, friendly cousin. But I don’t recommend drinking it straight. It’s legit strong, and intended to be served diluted.
If you need more convincing, let’s talk price. If you make it into a fancy coffee shop-style drink instead of hitting the cafe, your wallet will thank you. Assuming you’re buying very best quality, fair trade/organic beans, organic cow milk, and grade B maple syrup, a pint jar full still comes in under $1.25.
And unlike the ices lattes at the mainstream coffee joints, there are no questionable or excessive sweeteners hiding in here–just a splash of pure, sweet maple syrup. Made with decaf, it’s one of my kids’ favorite summertime treats.
Ready to make your own? Never mind. That was a rhetorical question. Of course you do! Today, tomorrow… all summer long. Here’s how. (Afflinks follow.)
Tools and Equipment:
You don’t need any special equipment to make cold press coffee. Zero. That said, we were gifted a Toddy Cold Brew System years ago and we love it, so that is what we use, but honestly – you can make it just as easily in your ordinary french press or a large mason jar.
Using a mason jar? Bigger = better. Go for 1/2 gallon. (Since the concentrate keeps for 2 weeks or more, making a lot at once just makes sense.) If you don’t have a cold press insert for your mason jar, just strain your finished cold press through a very fine mesh strainer or a collander lined with a flour sack towel reserved for this purpose.
Now that you’ve gathered your gear, let’s get brewing! (Do plan ahead, as cold brew coffee takes 12 to 24 hours to make.)
Make your cold brew
Make cold brew coffee in any amount. The quantity you make will be determined by the size of your jar. You can easily fit the amount below in either a Toddy or a 1/2 gallon jar. To make in an average-sized french press, reduce the amount by half.
The batch below will yield approximately 6 cups of coffee concentrate, or enough for 12 pints (6 recipes) of the iced latte below.
- 12 oz coffee, coarsely ground (we’re partial to our friends and neighbors at local-to-us Kickapoo Coffee who just happen to also be the friends who hooked us on iced cold press in the first place, the devils)
- 7 cups cold or room temperature water (filtered or well water preferred)
- Place freshly ground coffee in the brewing vessel of your choice.
- Slowly pour water over coffee.
- Stir gently to combine.
- Cover and fridge if desired, or allow to steep on the counter. (The latter is our normal method).
- 12 to 24 hours later (longer = stronger, in both caffeine amount and flavor), strain your coffee. We normally go 24 hours. To strain, either remove the the plug from your Toddy and drain through the felt filter; remove the filter basket from your filtered mason jar, allowing concentrate to drain from grounds into jar before discarding; or pouring slowly through the mesh sieve or cloth-lined colander if you’re using an ordinary mason jar.
- Store in a covered mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Make your iced latte
Ingredients for two pint-sized lattes
- 1 cup cold press coffee concentrate
- 2 1/2 cups *full-fat milk of your choice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, or to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a quart jar or pitcher.
- Stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust if desired by adding more milk, coffee, or maple syrup.
- Serve immediately over ice.
* Regarding milk: fat is good for us. It tastes wonderful, our bodies and brains need it, and did I mention it tastes wonderful? That said, cow milk is not required here! Use whatever full-fat milk you love. The lattes pictured above are made with whole, raw cow milk, but I’ve had many a fine cold press made with whole pasteurized milk, raw goat milk (really!), and even some with a full-fat dairy-free milk with great results. If you’re going dairy-free though, here’s a tip: add part dairy-free milk and part dairy free creamer for a tastier drink. It’s worth it. I promise.
Oh, and one more thing…
About these snazzy mason jars…
I made them. I love them. I sell them.
Each jar costs the same as ~3 of those corn syrup-sweetened coffee shop iced lattes that don’t taste half as good as this one, so if you refill it just four times this summer with our homemade version, you’re winning by miles. You even get to choose your closure (steel straw cup lid or Cuppow coffee lid)!
Need more incentive?
Order one or more magical mason jars, and add a note to your mason jar order of “HAPPY HEALTHY” and we’ll throw in a sample-sized (1.5 oz) bar of soap for every jar you buy, just because.
Now get busy and make that cold press! Because summer is waiting.