Making Cold Brew at home with a plunger

With summer approaching our bodies often ask for something refreshing rather than hot to counterbalance the heat outside.

If you love coffee one of the solutions to that, which is so easy to make is - Cold Brew.

If you are familiar with filtered coffee, cold brew is nothing more than making filtered coffee with cold water, however there are some little tricks to make it a great and enjoyable drink for hot summer days.

But beware, you might find yourself drinking too much of it.

A couple of points worth highlighting before we start:

  • Coffee extraction with cold water will take about 12 hours, so I normally leave it brewing overnight.

  • The result will be a concentrate, which will taste better if diluted by adding water before drinking.

What you'll need:

  • A 1L plunger or French press (you can also use smaller plungers - just scale the coffee proportionally)

  • 125g of ground coffee - in this case I used a Natural Guji, roasted on the darker side so I ground it a tiny bit coarser than I would do normally, but as a rule of thumb, grind it for something in between filter and plunger.

  • A filter system such as Hario V60, AeroPress, Chemex. You don't need to do this step if you are happy with coffee sediments in your drink. I prefer a second pass of filter in addition to the plunger filter.

  • Cold water - normal tap water temperature is OK.

  • A spoon to stir.

How to make it:

  • Pour coffee grounds into the plunger (in this case 125g of coffee) - You'll see that the grounds take quite a bit of room in the plunger so effectively in this case there was room for 800ml of water only.

  • Pour the water (800ml approx)

  • Carefully stir so that all the grounds mix well with the water. Be careful when using a metal spoon like I did - metal and glass aren't besties.

  • Put the lead on, don't plunge.

  • Leave it standing there to brew for 12h. Room temperature is OK. You can also put in the fridge, but it will take longer to get the same result.

After 12h:

  • Plunge the coffee.

  • Filtering - this step is optional.

  • If you want it a bit more filtered, use a V60 as if you were making filtered coffee. Don't forget to rinse the filter.

  • Filtering with V60 will take a loooong time - something like 1 or 2 hours (yep, I'm serious).

  • I am a reasonably patient person, but this wait does my head in, so what I do is I use an Aeropress to speed things up a bit. When using an Aeropress to do this, it will get harder to press the plunger as the coffee blocks the pores of the paper. To avoid that, every now and then I pull the plunger a bit and then push again. This works well - remember you are bot using the Aeropress to brew, but to filter so it's ok to pull the plunger even if it creates water channels.

  • You should have now about 600ml of coffee concentrate (the remaining 200ml of water has been absorbed by the grounds) at about 1:6.

  • To drink it you would normally dilute it, so pour it in the glass and add the same amount of water on top along with some ice. Mix it and enjoy.

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