HOWTO cold-brew coffee, in six seconds

Well, the brewing takes a lot longer, but that's some admirably compact instructional video right there. They skip the filtering step, which can be messy. You can do it one cup at a time in an Aeropress, run it through a paper filter in a pour-over or a sieve, or try cheesecloth.

#howto do #coldbrew


  1. For those of us less informed an important piece of information is missing here. Why would I want to cold brew coffee? Does it taste different from other methods of brewing coffee?

    1. Cold brewing coffee is a vietnamese thing, this is from the website of one of the big viet coffee companies…

      Cold brewing takes time. However, it dissolves through the grounds only certain elements of the coffee. Surprisingly enough, about 90% of the flavor elements and the normal caffeine content come through this way, while only about 15% of the oils and acids will. It WILL change the taste of your coffee, but not the way you might think. It will strongly concentrate those most volatile flavor elements that most people like, making “super-flavor” coffee. The flavor elements you like about a given coffee will probably be up to 200% as strong, yet the overall brew will have far less bite and acidity.
      Is this a good thing? For people who like the acid and bite, which is part of the attraction of strong coffee, they may not like cold brewing. Other people take one sip and say “Oh my God, that is fantastic.” Our recommendation is simple: Try it once or twice and see if you like it. Also, different varieties will respond to cold brewing differently, so it’s hard to predict.Also, you get alot more caffeine, as caffeine released is based on time and not temperature.  

    2. It does taste different. As Farkface said/quoted, you get more ‘good’ flavor, more caffeine, and less acid/bitterness. I like it, and also like the flexibility it gives you. I’ve found that what I end up with is about 3-4x as strong (flavor wise) as regular coffee per oz. So, in the morning I’ll mix 1 part of this, 1 part milk, and 2 parts hot water, and have a tasty cup of coffee. In the afternoon, I’ll pour 1 part of this and 1 part milk or halfnhalf over ice for an iced coffee.

      Also, cold brewed coffee is apparently what’s used in a lot of coffee flavored beers, if that’s your sort of thing.

      1.  Greg, you method intrigues me. I’ll pull out the ol’ French press tonight and give this a try. Thanks for sharing it.

    3. It makes coffee concentrate — if you mix it 50/50 with milk, you end up with the Best Iced Latte Ever; it also tastes good even if you use low-quality beans.

    4. The cheapest coffee tastes great by this method. Use a normal amount of grounds and one fourth a normal amount of water. Soak at room temp for 24 hours. I use a big strainer and two paper towels to filter a half gallon at a time. Refrigerate the syrup. Mix one part syrup with three parts water and nuke.

  2. I haven’t had much luck in the cold brewing so far as taste is concerned.  I do need to thank you for turning me on to the Aeropress though.  I keep mine in my flight bag and when I am hanging out at a FBO waiting for a package or rider the Aeropress has become my crack pipe.  I have had my best luck buying inexpensive Turkish roast(Turkish mud bottom coffee) with a fresh-ish date. I add a double scoop of grounds and boiled water into an inverted Aeropress for 20-40 sec and then fast press.  I throw in a UHT milk box or two for airports without easy access to milk though the brew really doesn’t need it.  

  3. Misleading title.  Makes it sound like instructions on how to make cold-brew coffee in 6 seconds.  Not a six-second jumpy barely informative video on how to cold-brew coffee that you have to watch at least twice to get an idea what they’re going for.

    I f’ing hate Vine.

    1. Man.  You had to spend 12 seconds watching a video twice?  That’s terrible.

      Anyhow.  There’s this thing in the english language called a “comma”.  Sounds crazy, I know.  But what it does is indicate a pause in a sentence.  So, what you’re supposed to do is read the title like this.  “Howto cold-brew coffee” pause “in six seconds”

      What the headline writer is trying to get across is that he’s going to show you how to cold-brew coffee, and it’s going to take him six seconds to do it.  Sorry.  I had to throw a comma into my own sentence.

      1. Even with the comma there’s nothing else in the headline to apply the
        phrase “in six seconds” to that makes the phrase unambiguous…  like if it said “explained in six seconds”.  I
        didn’t say you CAN’T interpret that headline in the manner you

        I wasn’t complaining about the 12 seconds, I was complaining about using a medium with stupid arbitrary restrictions and trying to pack so much information into those 6 seconds that it has to be watched twice to get the information out of it…  (Incidentally, I hate Twitter for the same reason.)  Why not use a 12 second youtube video and slow down a bit and actually explain yourself? 

        …get off my lawn…

  4. Twelve hours is the longest six seconds I’ll ever spend.
    Oh, and if that wasn’t a cockroach, perhaps it was a Mexican jumping bean.

  5. Do I have to crudely mash the beans with a jar of what looks like Caramel sauce? Or can I use any sort of jar in place of a real tool? 

  6. Any reason a grinder won’t work? Or is the jar thing just an alternative for people who don’t have one?

    1. Grinding is okay. They should be coarse, not as fine as you’d put in a drip coffee maker.

      1. My grinder lets me grind as coarsely as I like (I like mine medium ground for a Moka pot) – however my guess is that the above instructions are ideal if you’re on the go, or don’t have access to equipment. Else you’d be making proper coffee ;)

        Seriously though I should try cold-brewing, I think I might like it based on the description of the flavour.

    1. Ugh. Glass? You might as well be punching a baby in the face. The proper way is to use tuned repulsor fields to keep it hovering in a ball while not touching anything.

      1. A lot of plastic isn’t suitable for re-use as it will leak contaminants into whatever you store in it.

        The above advise is actually good advise, even if it personally offends you.

        1.  By “a lot of plastic”, are we talking about a significant percentage of the plastic that is produced in general, or a large percentage of the plastic that is produced in a form designed for the storage and decanting of potable liquids?

          It would seem odd if it was the latter, considering that the vast majority of beverages sold in stores are packaged in plastic bottles, and that practically every person in America owns and uses some piece of Rubbermaid-esque container for the storage of leftover foods and/or beverages.

          I imagine that most of the concern is specific to BPA, and that’s a valid concern.  If you’re still buying your plastic containers from 2006, that is.

          1. Sure, specially made stuff is probably fine – I was referring to the more disposable stuff. I just felt it was important to not flat out reject it. Also I haven’t seen any long term studies on that stuff, not to suggest it’ll be the next lead or CFC. Glass is classier too, which makes the coffee taste better.

    2. Your link refers specifically to BPA.  Unless you’re buying your plastic containers from a Chinese seller on ebay, you’re probably safe; most plastic containers that are specifically sold for food storage these days are BPA-free.

      For example, Rubbermaid — one of the most well-known producers of food storage plasticware — has a page that details which of their products do and do not contain BPA:

      Note that the “contains BPA” section is populated entirely with items that are no longer manufactured by the company.

  7. I do 3/4 cup of coarse (as coarse as they’ll grind it) beans to 3 cups water. But that’s me. Use that as a starting point, and experiment to your heart’s content.

  8. I’m sure this taste great.  Looking it up,  it seems the ratio is 1 cup coffee to the standard French press size.
    That’s quite alot for me trying to stay with a very tight budget and not waste things.

    I’m am correct in assuming the ratio of bean(or ground) to water with cold brew is way over heat infusing? 

    1. I use 1 cup of beans for about 4.5-5 cups, or 36-40 oz, of water when I cold brew. 

      I’m not sure about other brewing methods, but with a drip maker the recommend ratio is 2 Tbsp to a 6 oz cup. I’ve seen people do as little as 1 Tbsp, but I don’t think it yields good results. That’s 48-96 oz of water per cup of ground beans.

      Now, cold brewing yields a concentrate, which I cut with water in a 1:1 ratio. That means with a cup of beans I get 72-80 oz compared to the 48-96 oz from a drip machine. It’s also worth noting that you use a much coarser grind with cold brew which means more air and less coffee in the measuring cup.

      Because I’m a 2 Tbsp per cup of coffee guy, cold brew is cheaper. It’s also faster because I can keep a week’s worth of coffee in the fridge instead of making it every day. I also prefer the taste.

      It is possible that I did some bad late night math and I apologize if that’s the case.

  9. There’s a commercial product available, called “The Toddy,” which can aid in this task. (I’m pretty sure it has been featured on BoingBoing previously, perhaps in a Cool Tools advertorial.) It holds up to a pound of coffee, plus water, and produces enough coldpress to last for several days. More, really, if you aren’t a chronic user like  I am. I believe there is a minor reduction of caffeine potency with this product, but it still packs a punch. Comes with a nifty carafe, too.

    Where they get you is with the proprietary filters, which run somewhere around $4 — 5 full retail for a pack of two. (You can use these several more times than the recommended 10 times apiece, though.) Failing access to “proper” filters, a combination of heavy-duty paper towels (internal filter) and a reusable cloth coffee filter (external filter, for stray grounds) can be constructed, without much damage to the taste.

    I’m sure an enterprising Boinger-esque maker-type could easily construct their own (even HIGHER CAPACITY!) unit; I think all you’d need was a large plastic bucket, some way to attach a reusable filter/screen, and a stopper.

  10. Loves my coldbrew me. I’ve got a ceramic 4 mug stovetop percolator (employed only because it has a handle and a pouring spout). I
    took the guts out and just use that as my brewing receptacle, using 8
    humungous tablespoons of ground beans of choice (I like an espresso
    blend) and 4 cups of cold water. Overnight in the fridge, then I pour
    the brown stuff through a sieve lined with a piece of kitchen paper.
    That works fine. I then put another mug of cold over the remaining
    grounds and refrigerate again, adding this final brew to my batch. I
    store it in a plastic jar that came with my sliced peaches. I figure if
    its food grade its OK for coffee. It stores in the fridge and is used up
    over 2-3 days. Straight into a mug and nuked for 2 minutes. Heaven in a
    cup and piss easy to make. Personally I use the bullet proof method,
    which substitutes a dab of butter and a dollop of coconut cream for
    milk. Couple of sugars and you’re good to go. Only need a couple of
    these as I get a good, flavorsome and satisfying coffee hit that keeps me energized. Give it a try.

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