Our coffee is getting cold. Cold brew, that is. This year, we're giving DIY cold brew a try.
Though you could use your French press, Chemex or even a plain old mason jar to make cold brew, we're bigger fans of the new Cold Brew Coffee Maker ($50) from OXO. The success of a cold brew is all in the slow filtering of your coffee concentrate, and that's where this gadget steps in.
Each batch of concentrate makes 12 to 14 servings of coffee, which, for us, is good for about a week of daily iced coffee consumption. And we're glad it made it to Friday, because you grind a lot of coffee to make one batch in this cold brewer. A full carafe requires 10 ounces (approximately three and a half cups) of coffee beans. To make things easier on yourself, you may want to buy them ground or use an electric grinder—our hand-cranked Burr grinder got quite a workout.
Once the grounds are...ground, making the cold brew is really just about patience. Add the coffee to the brewing cannister and pour just a bit of water through the rainmaker (the plastic top that looks sort of like a colander). The genius of the rainmaker is that it ensures the water is evenly distributed over the grounds. Wait a few minutes for the coffee to bloom (especially if it's freshly ground), then add the rest of the water.
Then the real waiting begins. Leave your coffee to brew for at least 12 and up to 24 hours—meaning that if you want a Monday-morning caffeine fix, start your coffee by Sunday afternoon at the latest. Once it's finished brewing, flip the switch on the base of the brewer and let the coffee filter into the carafe. Don't rush! Give it a full 20 minutes to make sure you've gotten every last drop of the stuff. (The good news is that you can pause the filtering if you just can't wait for your coffee.)
The carafe comes with a measuring lid that not only seals off your coffee concentrate from absorbing other flavors in your fridge, but also enables you to measure out the perfect serving each time. Because this stuff is strong (it did just brew for almost a full day), you'll want to dilute it one-to-two with water or milk. Then fix it up with any of your favorite sweeteners or flavors. We're partial to maple, mint or even a little Irish cream.