For a significant number of people, coffee is the beverage that gets them up in the morning. It is a motivator, encourager, mid-day friend and midnight companion. For this reason, coffee should always taste it’s best.
A bad cup of coffee has the potential to ruin any of the aforementioned times of day and stop someone in their tracks with disappointment. Because of this, it is important to make sure that coffee is made properly and carefully. This includes making sure that the right coffee grounds are used in the making of cold brew coffee.
Neglecting to pay attention to the grounds used can result in less than satisfactory coffee situation and a need to make a new batch, which is a long process.
Are Regular Coffee Grounds OK For Making Cold Brew Coffee?
There are many different attributes to coffee which can make it unique and able to be made in countless ways, which include things such as the way it was processed, roasted, stored, where the coffee was grown, the bean variety, and so on.
Cold brew requires more coffee grounds, double the amount of traditional coffee.
Whichever sort of grounds that are chosen are completely based on personal choice and preference. Since light roast is sometimes more expensive, individuals often go with dark roast coffee grounds.
What Is the Ratio of Coffee to Water for Cold Brew?
With the ever-increasing popularity of cold brew coffee, more and more people are trying their hands at making their own cold brew concentrate at home.
And why not?
It is an incredibly simple process, after all (although it does require a long wait before you can enjoy a cup!).
But as simple as it is, you might still be wondering: what is the ratio of coffee to water for cold brew? Of course, as is the case with any question related to coffee, you’ll get a variety of answers.
Let’s go over your options for dialing in the perfect coffee to water ratio for your taste.
Coffee to Water: Start with a Basic Ratio Before You Experiment
We highly encourage experimenting with different ratios and processes for any brewing method, and cold brewing is no exception. But before you start dialing in different ratios, it’s a smart idea to brew your first batch of concentrate with a fairly standard ratio. Once you’ve tried it, you can then determine if you want to crank up the coffee level for a stronger cup or reduce it for something lighter.
Here’s our suggestion for the perfect starting ratio to begin your cold brew adventure:
- ¾ cup very coarsely-ground coffee beans
- 4 cups cold, filtered water
While you can obviously multiply these measurements by the same factor to yield a larger batch of cold brew, we recommend starting out with this smaller volume of concentrate, just in case you aren’t thrilled with the results. Once you’ve experimented with the amounts and have found the ideal ratio for your taste, you can up the volume and make a much larger batch.
Start Trying Out Different Ratios
Now that you have an idea of what this fairly standard coffee to water ratio tastes like, you can start experimenting with different ratios and brewing larger batches.
In fact, one of the great benefits of cold brew concentrate is that you can brew large batches that will keep for as long as two whole weeks in your fridge. Just be sure to keep it covered tightly!
Now, let’s look at the grind size a little more.
The Best Grind for Cold Brew Coffee
Even if one finds the absolute perfect coffee grounds, the consistency of the grind cannot be off or it will impact the cold brew in a negative way.
The most ideal type of grind to use with cold brew will be one that feels like sand from the beach when you touch it. There cannot be any water where the coffee will be stored or else it may compromise the coffee, so take care to ensure there is no moisture in the air.
Avoiding the idea of using any type of instant coffee, it leaves a person with two options; pre-ground coffee, or ground by hand. There are pros and cons to both.
Pre-ground Coffee vs. Fresh Ground
One of the pros of buying coffee for cold brew that has already been ground is that it is easy and convenient. Unless in a coffee shop, it is incredibly simple to grab some and make the cold brew whenever one feels the urge.
Unfortunately, pre-ground coffee does not offer the freshness that freshly ground coffee can provide. The flavor will be more intense with fresh ground, but for many it will not be significant enough to matter.
If grinding by hand, a mill or burr grinder works the best, but the con to that is having to purchase a grinder if not already owned.
So, once you get all those inputs right it’s time to drink… or is it?
Should You Dilute Cold Brew Coffee Before Drinking It?
So you’ve made your first batch of cold brew concentrate, and now it’s time to try it out. But you might be left wondering: should I dilute my cold brew coffee or just drink it straight up?
Honestly, there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, as it’s simply a matter of your individual preferences and maybe a little bit of economics.
Let’s go over the reasons why you might want to dilute your cold brew concentrate as well as why some people might prefer to drink it straight.
Why Would Someone Dilute Their Cold Brew?
The main reason people dilute their cold brew concentrate before drinking is that they prefer the taste and experience of the beverage that way.
Because you choose how much or how little water you add to the concentrate, you can experiment with different ratios to determine what level of dilution best fits your palate.
Another reason to dilute your cold brew rather than simply drinking it as is, is that it can save you some time and a bit of money. Obviously, if you dilute your concentrate, that batch of cold brew is going to go a lot further before you have to brew another one. This might even save you a tiny bit of money in the long run.
Why Might You Drink Your Concentrate Straight Up?
If you prefer a much stronger cup of coffee, the obvious thing to do is to dilute your concentrate less or simply not at all.
This concentrate is, of course, going to be much bolder, richer, and even thicker on the palate, so those who really love espresso or moka pot coffee might be more inclined to drink their cold brew without diluting.
The great thing about cold brew is that it is so versatile. You can drink it cold or you can drink it hot. You can dilute it with a little water, a lot of water, or none at all.
The world is your oyster, so don’t let anyone else tell you how to live your life, and especially don’t let them tell you how you should drink your coffee!
What’s in Your Coffee Cup?
Whichever type of coffee grind is ultimately chosen, and whether it is made by a seasoned barista or by an individual at home, cold brew coffee may take a little time to experiment with to find the best type that works.
Thankfully, coffee made well is usually good no matter what and always worth the extra time and effort to prepare it!