Cold Brew Coffee

Posted July 02 2015

Cold Brew CoffeeI love a good cold brew coffee. Ever had one?  You should.  These heavenly drinks can be smooth, rich and delightful.  Add a bit of half & half, some sweetened condensed milk and simple syrup, and they are downright devilish - and much better than iced coffee!  There's a difference?  Well, yes, but a lot of people aren't aware of this ...and can you blame them?  After all, we live in a world where there seem to be hundreds of ways to describe drinks that amount to coffee and milk.

For the uninitiated, iced coffee is typically made by brewing hot coffee at double strength, allowing it to cool (or not) and serving it over ice. The result is a mild, sometimes watered down beverage that tastes more like cream and sugar than it does coffee.  Conversely, cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in water for up to 24 hours.  Recipes vary, but the one I like uses a full pound of coffee to make 64 ounces of cold brew coffee concentrate (the equivalent of one glass pot that you might use in the office).  That's about 8 times more coffee by weight than might be used to make the same amount of hot coffee.  Wow!

As you may have already guessed, there's a little more caffeine in cold brew coffee than you might find in regular iced coffee.  Well, actually, a whole lot more!  That's what you get using 8 times more coffee and up to 360 times more extraction time, albeit at a lower temperature.  There's also a whole lot less acidity in cold brew coffee, since no hot water is used during the brewing process.  Smooth, Rich & Highly Caffeinated. Yum!

I like to indulge with a few choice condiments in my cold brew coffee, and you will likely want to do the same (or at least try!)  To construct the drink, I start with ice and add simple syrup and a splash of french vanilla syrup.  (I don't like french vanilla flavoring, but using a small amount brings out the chocolate notes in a good dark roast coffee while not leaving a vanilla taste - industry trade secret!!)  Next add in the cold brew concentrate, leaving a little room for cream.  Finally, add the half & half and a little sweetened condensed milk.  Step back and admire your work ...stir, and enjoy!

Here is a recipe for making cold brew coffee.  We also sell cold brew coffee kits and accessories in our online store (click here) for both residential and commercial use that help make the process a whole lot easier:

1. Fill a 2 quart pitcher about half way with fresh, cold water

2. Add 8oz of McCullagh French Roast coffee

2. Stir the ingredients and let it steep for 16 hours (or more!)

3. Use a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter to slowly strain the concentrate coffee into a serving carafe and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

I hope you enjoyed this little article and have some fun exploring cold brew coffee formulas.  After all, there's no 'right' formula but for the one you love most!  I hope you have a safe, cool and caffeinated summer =)

Best regards,


Chief Barista (aka Pres)