Summer is in full swing again, and so is cold brew coffee season. Many of these days I opt for a smooth, refreshing glass of cold brew rather than a warm mug of coffee. The rich flavors and simplicity of its creation draws me in. If you’re looking for a refreshing alternative to your hot coffee and are open to exploring new realms of coffee flavor, read on.
I have long been an advocate for brewing cold brew coffee in a plain vessel such as a french press or mason jar. It’s very simple, but requires a fine filter to remove the grounds from the brew, which can be a time-consuming task. I recently received a new product that has changed how I do cold brew coffee from here forward: Madesco Cold Brew Filters.
Note: I received these filters from Madesco Labs for free in exchange for a review if I could genuinely recommend the product to you, the reader. I assure you that this guide is fair and honest.
A Quick Note on Coffee and Water Ratios
One of they keys to amazing cold brew coffee is getting the right ratio down. It may seem complicated, but the idea is actually very simple: most coffee drinkers enjoy coffee brewed around the coffee to water ratios of 1:14 and 1:18. This means that for every 1 gram of coffee, using 15 to 18 grams of water will bring out a balanced extraction at an enjoyable strength.
Cold brew coffee is brewed as a concentrate. Instead of using a 1:15 ratio right off the bat, most brewers choose to do something like 1:5, and then dilute the concentrate with 2 parts water, bringing the final ratio up to 1:15. With hot coffee, this ability to make concentrate doesn’t work well. It’s one of cold brew’s many strengths.
To learn a bit more about ratios, visit Brewing Ratios for Dummies.
For this article, I will be using a 1:5 ratio with 30 grams of coffee and 150 grams of water. Assuming the coffee beans soak up about 50 grams of water (that’s a rough estimate), I’ll be left with 100g of concentrate, which I will then dilute with 200g of water and chill with ice to give me a full glass of cold brew coffee.
Collect the Materials
It’s time to collect the materials:
- 30g High Quality Coffee (Coarse Grind)
- Madesco Filters
- 150g Water
- 10 – 14 Hours
The process is very simple: combine the ingredients. If somehow that confuses you, let me walk you through the process.
Making Cold Brew Coffee – The Easy Way
Use a gram scale to give you the exact brewing portions you need for a balanced brew: 30g coffee and 150g water. Grind the coffee beans just moments before the brewing begins at a coarse setting. By reducing the surface area of the coffee grounds, you slow down the extraction process and enable a 12 hour brew time to bring out rich, smooth flavors rather than overextracted, bitter ones.
Carefully pour the ground coffee into the Madesco Cold Brew Filter and tighten the string at the top to close to sock. Place the filter in your chosen vessel (mason jar, glass storage, wine glass). Pour the water over the filter and give it a little spin to submerge all the coffee grounds.
You cannot see it well, but the coffee grounds will slowly begin degassing and will form a thin crust at the water’s surface over the next few minutes. For a balanced brew, we want all of the grounds to extract evenly. So after about five minutes, return to the cold brew vessel and push the filter and the coffee grounds within down a few times to make sure it’s all well saturated.
Cover the top and let it all sit for 10 to 14 hours. I usually stick with 12.
When the time is up, lift up the cloth filter and let the brewed concentrate run out of it. If you are doing a rather large batch, it may take a whole minute. From here you can rinse the used grounds out of the filter and you let it air dry.
Cut that cold brew concentrate with 2 parts water (or more to taste), slide some ice in there, and enjoy.
Why I Love The Madesco Filters
I used to pour all of my cold brew through thick paper filters. It often took nearly an hour for the entire batch to filter and most of the oils responsible for rich aromatics and flavors were captured by the paper. I would often spend a few minutes scooping out the spent coffee grounds from the brewing vessel.
These cloth filters from Madesco Labs allow the oils to pass through, but are just as effective as paper filters at removing the coffee grounds. Now, instead of needing a brewing vessel, a cone and a filter, and a serving vessel, I now only need a brewing vessel and the Madesco filter.
The final brew is flavorful and balanced, but the pain of the process is cut dramatically.
If you want to brew your own cold brew coffee and want it to be super simple, I highly recommend checking out the Madesco Cold Brew Filters. Madesco labs makes a couple different sizes, and even has a solid brewing and program for commercial brewing.