Consumer Reports: Cold brew coffee without any fancy gadgets

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Published: May. 21, 2021 at 8:15 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Consumer Reports) - If hot coffee and hot weather don’t do it for you, but you still need a caffeine fix, maybe cold brew is for you.

As Consumer Reports explains, using a few simple tools you probably already own, you can make cold-brew coffee at home and save a lot of money.

The Consumer Reports home editor, who covers all things coffee at CR, says his kitchen is overflowing with coffee makers and caffeine-related gadgets. But he also says you don’t need any of them to make a fine batch of cold-brew coffee.

As the name suggests, Cold-brew coffee is brewed with cold water instead of hot water, and because of that, it has to brew for a much longer period of time. The only supplies you’ll need are two jars with lids that can hold more than three cups of water, a coffee filter, a funnel, and your favorite coffee beans coarsely ground.

You’ll want a quarter-pound of coffee—roughly one-and-a-half cups—for every three cups of cold water. Mix the coffee and water until all of the coffee is saturated. Then let it steep for at least 12 hours at room temperature or in your fridge. You end up with a much less bitter coffee through that long brew process, a little richer and smoother.

After steeping, grab that second jar and place the funnel, then the coffee filter, on top of the open lid, and slowly pour your brew through.

Think of cold brew as highly concentrated coffee, so you’ll want to dilute it using one-to-one or one-to-one-and-a-half ratio of cold-brew concentrate to water. When it’s time to enjoy, you can add ice or any milk and sweeteners you prefer.

If coffee gadgets still tempt you, consider the Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew DCB-10 Coffeemaker, which brews in 25 to 45 minutes and costs about $80.

CR says steeping your cold brew at room temperature helps extract a wider range of flavor. If you prefer to steep your cold brew in the fridge, you’ll need to leave it longer–about 18 hours. No matter where you steep it, your cold brew can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge. You can also heat your cold brew and drink it hot.

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