Friday, July 18, 2008

Save Energy -- Make Cold Brewed Coffee

Cold-Brewed Coffee Extract
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

1 pound good quality coffee, ground for drip
2 1/2 quarts cool tap water

In a minimum 3-quart pitcher or jar, combine the coffee and water. Let stand for 12 hours. Strain the coffee through a regular kitchen strainer into a 2-quart jar or pitcher. After the bulk of the coffee Place the strainer over a bowl for a few hours to get every last drop.

I find that tastes vary about the strength of coffee. For instance, a guest the other night who was familiar with coffee extract requested her iced coffee be made with nothing but the extract, ice, milk and sugar. I needed a shot of water in mine. For morning coffee, however, I found that three parts water to one part extract, as the manufacturer of Suzanne’s gadget suggests, was too weak for me. I preferred two parts.

For Iced Coffee
Stir together equal parts of the coffee extract and cold tap water (or bottled water). Pour over ice. Add sugar and milk to taste.

For Hot Coffee
Use one part coffee extract to 2 to 3 parts just-boiled water.

Cold Brewed Coffee Using a French Press


  • French press (my Bodum one holds about 3 cups, I think)
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 2 cups water


  1. Pour the coffee in the press and then add the water. On my unit the water and coffee comes right up to where the plunger would start. Depending on how strong your coffee is you may want a little more or less water.
  2. Stir the coffee with a wooden spoon of chopstick. You want to make sure all of the coffee grounds are wet. Wait, about two minutes and stir again. Some of the grounds should now settle to the bottom instead of all floating at the top.
  3. Wait 12 hours. I have seen other recipes that say it should be good after 4 hours. I have also other recommendations that after 15 hours or so, you start to extract some of the bitter flavors from the coffee. I usually aim for over night.
  4. Press down slowly on the plunger. Pour out the concentrate into an airtight container. You might want to avoid pouring the very last part, it might be a little murky.
  5. To make coffee either add cold water, milk or hot water. The ratio used depends on how strong you want your cup to be. I usually do about 1/4 or 1/6 concentrate and the rest milk. Experiment and see what tastes best.
  6. _________________

New Orleans Cold Drip Coffee
Scaled down from a Blue Bottle Coffee Company recipe, as appeared in the New York Times Magazine

Makes 1 1/2 cups coffee concentrate

1/5 pound dark roast coffee and chicory, medium ground (about 1 cup)
2 cups cold water

1. Put coffee in a nonreactive container, like a stainless-steel bowl. Add 1/4 cup water, stirring gently to wet the grounds, then add remaining water, agitating the grounds as little as possible. Cover and let steep at room temperature for 12 hours.

2. Strain coffee concentrate through a medium sieve, then again through a fine-mesh sieve.

3. To make iced coffee, fill a glass with ice, add ¼ cup coffee concentrate and 3/4 to 1 cup milk, then stir. To make cafĂ© au lait, warm 3/4 to 1 cup milk in a saucepan or microwave, then pour into a mug and add ¼ cup coffee concentrate. (Concentrate will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.)

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