Man, I can't believe we're already entering the 4th week of ECQ! Anyway, let's keep ourselves entertained or busy, shall we? With that, let me share with you my latest coffee hack: DIY cold brew using a French press.
Pre-ECQ I was still well-stocked with my own stash of specialty coffee beans. Come third week, my jar of beans was almost empty (a problem for a coffeeholic like me!). Then, an aha moment came and I realized that my dad still had ground coffee from our Baguio trip last January. He only uses it when he wants to brew coffee; otherwise, he's happy with instant coffee. Haha!
Because I want my coffee cold or iced, I thought of trying to make my own cold brew. If I'm not mistaken, my dad bought a Benguet blend in a dark roast, so it's perfect for it. Dark roast beans make a bold flavored cold brew, and we want to go for that! There are other ways to make cold brew, but the easiest (and most accessible) for me was to make it using a French press, which I'm pretty sure most of us have at home.
What I like about cold brew is the smooth, nutty, chocolatey taste you get because of the flavor notes extracted from the beans. Also, it's perfect for those who are acidic because it has less acidity than regular brewed coffee.
What You'll Need
Ground coffee or coffee beans (dark roast)
Wooden spoon or any spoon
Mason jar (for the concentrate)
Making the Cold Brew Concentrate
Get your ground coffee and put 1 cup in your French press. If you have coffee beans, grind them into a coarse grind. A coarse grind is ideal because you wouldn't want a cloudy or muddy concentrate.
Next, add 2 cups of water and stir with a spoon until the grounds are thoroughly soaked. I'm using a 1:2 ratio: 1 cup of grounds to 2 cups of water. This is simply because my French press can only hold 2 cups. Haha! You may adjust depending on the size of your French press.
After stirring, air it out for about 2 minutes then cover. Remember to keep the plunger up. Leave it at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Patience is a virtue, and it will be worth the coffee. Promise!
The next day, slowly press the plunger down to separate the coffee grounds. If you have the right grind size, you can skip straining and simply pour the concentrate into your mason jar. What I do though—to be sure—is to strain them using a funnel and good 'ol paper towel while transferring to my jar.
Tadah! You now have your cold brew concentrate! Chill it in the fridge for about 2 hours before making your iced coffee. If you want to use it right away, that's okay too. Store your concentrate in the fridge and it will last for up to 2 weeks. Now you can have iced coffee anytime!
Making Iced Coffee
Prepare an empty glass with ice cubes, then pour in 1/2 cup of the concentrate. I'm using the last bit from my previously made one that's why I didn't need a measuring cup. Remember, this is pretty strong stuff so you have to dilute it with either water or milk, depending on the drink that you're going for.
I don't like too milky coffee so what I do is dilute it with 1/4 cup water first, then add 1/2 cup milk (I switch between Oatly and almond milk, depending on what's available in the grocery). If you want more milk, you can go for 1 cup for your coffee. If you're going for an iced black, simply add 1 cup of water.
One quality of cold brew is its natural sweetness brought about by the long steeping time, so you can actually skip the sugar or sweetener. However, if you still want it a tad bit sweet, no worries! You can add a teaspoon of maple syrup, or just melt sugar with hot water and mix it in your drink.
There you have it! You can now satisfy your iced coffee cravings within the comfort of your own home. No need to rely on food deliveries! ;)
Hope you'll enjoy making your own cold brew. Stay safe and hang in there, Seekers!
Cheers to good coffee,