Cold brew coffee is all the rage with the kids these days, from Starby’s to your local hipster coffee house to the mom-and-pop bagel shop down the street. I’ve been buying cold brew coffee for almost a year now, and spending what feels like a small fortune ($4-7) for a few servings, not to mention the additional $6-10 trips Marshall and I make to coffee shops on the way to work each day (and those coffee shop trips usually come with additional breakfast sandwiches, baked goods…unnecessary spending both monetary and caloric!)

But I’m really digging the cold brew. Aside from giving me something to order that makes me sound like a coffee aficionado (spoiler alert: I’m not), it’s less acidic, packs more punch and has much better flavor. Plus, I usually drink my coffee cold anyway (I live in Florida, so hot coffee is a form of torture), and making my own hot coffee, waiting for it to cool down, etc. is more effort than I’m willing to commit.

I’ve seen several articles out there on the Internet about making cold brew, but most of them start with $500 coffee beans harvested by unicorns and cold brew coffee prepared in a perfectly hipster mason jar and strained through the beard hairs of Mumford & Sons for optimal artsy-fartsy-ness. I ain’t about that. I wanted to know if I could make honest-to-goodness cold brew coffee that a) tasted delicious b) saved me money and c) took little to no effort to make.

SO HERE IT IS: my official guide to cold brew coffee for lazy people who don’t really care about using fancy unicorn beans. Fuel for your Monday, folks.


Cheap coffee!

Stuff I bought:

  • Ground coffee (I didn’t think too hard about this. I bought the cheapest, grocery store brand in Hazelnut flavor because holla)! $7.99/bag
  • Cheesecloth (that weird gauze-y stuff. This was pretty expensive, $4.49, but could go along way if you’re normal and don’t use a giant wide bowl to drain the cold brew–I did that and had a loooot of surface area to cover with the cloth)
  • Paper towels
  • Two pretty big vessels: one for soaking and storing your coffee, one to use for straining. I bought a plastic pitcher ($3.29) that works well and used a big glass measuring bowl for straining.

Stuff I did:

  • I put about 1 cup of dry coffee grounds into a big glass measuring bowl and added 8 cups of water (according to the Internet, you want a 1:8 ratio).
  • I transferred this mixture into a big plastic pitcher and let it sit on the counter, undisturbed, for 24 hours.

    Soaking coffee action.
  • After 24 hours, I strained the coffee once through the cheesecloth. All of the grounds were removed at this point, but there was still some fine brown stuff settling to the bottom, so I strained it one more time through paper towels.

    Straining the coffee. This process was perfectly boring.

At this point, it was a magical brown, smooth liquid that tasted like delicious hazelnut magic. Truly. I mixed it with just a little stevia and cashew milk–it really didn’t need much! The flavor was strong, but the coffee itself was mild and easy to drink. Marshall the coffee snob said it was the best coffee he’d ever had. That’s real (and no, this post is not secretly about lies that are okay to tell your partner).

Cold brew coffee magic. I amaze myself.

Overall, I used about 1/3 of the bag of coffee (around $3 bucks worth) and made 8 cups of cold brew–which goes a long way (about a week’s worth of coffee for Marshall and me), especially if you mix with some milk and ice or some hot water and milk to have hot coffee.

Proof that you don’t need to do anything crazy or be inherently cool to make your own delicious, easy-on-the-ol’-tummy, CHEAP cold brew. Show off to your friends. Next up for me is to get crazy with my flavored coffees so I can become a true cold brew artist. Let me know if you make your own!

Stay fueled this week! Even if only with some DIY-caffeine action 🙂