How to Make Cold Brew Coffee Fast: A Beginner’s Guide

how to make cold brew coffee fast

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More people are learning how to make cold brew coffee fast because the idea of waiting for up to 24 hours for the perfect batch might be too overwhelming.

Or perhaps you’re craving cold brew, but you would prefer to have it within a couple of hours, rather than waiting until the next day.

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the top-recommended recipes that you can use to help reduce the amount of time it takes to make cold brew in small and large batches so that you can enjoy a full-bodied cup with low acidity as you would from your favorite barista.

How Do You Make Cold Brew Coffee?

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on an expensive piece of equipment to make a fantastic batch of cold brew coffee since you likely already have everything needed in your kitchen, especially if you’re an avid coffee drinker.

It’s a phenomenal refreshing drink to have on-hand during the summer, and by refining your technique, you might even be able to avoid going to the coffee shop entirely.

Sure, there are plenty of store-bought options when it comes to cold brew, but they are typically far more expensive than making your own, and they lack the personal touch that you might desire in your drinks.

To make cold brew, all you’ll need is ground coffee, filtered water, a mason jar or any other glass storage container, a fine-mesh sieve, and cheesecloth or nut-milk bags.

The Benefits of Cold Brew

The entire premise behind this type of coffee is to give the consumer a full-bodied flavor that genuinely captures the notes of the ground beans far better than if they were combined with boiling water.

Throughout the entire process, there is not a single ounce of heat applied to the water nor the coffee beans.

That helps reduce the acidity of the coffee beans, so it will automatically taste sweeter without having to add any artificial ingredients.

By far, the most notable advantage of cold brew is that it’s more than something that you can enjoy one day out of the week before you have to make a fresh batch.

When stored correctly and kept in your refrigerator, you can brew a full week’s worth of coffee in one to two days and pour the concentrate in with your favorite milk or milk substitute and be on your way.

Many find that the longer the concentrate sits, the more flavorful the coffee will become, which means that you’ll have quite a surprise waiting for you towards the end of the week.

How Long Does It Take to Make Cold Brew Coffee?

If you were to follow the traditional instructions for making cold brew, you would need to allocate at least 15 to 24 hours for the perfect batch, which is why most people decide to make a fresh batch once a week rather than every day.

It also depends on the amount of flavor you want to have in your coffee, as you might find that certain beans taste better when they are steeped for less than 15 hours while others don’t reach their maximum flavor profile until 24 hours.

All-in-all, you can expect to wait a long time before you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor unless you can take advantage of a fast brewing method, as we explore below.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee Fast

By following these steps, you can reduce the amount of time it would typically take to make a batch of cold brew.

Step #1: Prepare the Beans

To do this process quickly, we recommend that you opt to use light roast coffee beans inside a grinder.

Since you will want to make the cold brew faster than usual, you have to speed up the extraction process, and one way to do this is to opt for a fine grind, such as espresso.

With that said, ensure that you don’t choose a setting that is too fine; otherwise, you will have some grounds leftover in your cup.

how to make cold brew coffee fast

Step #2: Mix With Water

Take three to four scoops of your ground coffee, and then mix it with cold water using a spoon. Pay close attention to the color of the emulsion.

If you plan to add ice or milk at the end of the brewing process, or if the water’s color doesn’t appear to be dark enough, you can add another scoop or two to the mixture.

Step #3: Blend the Ingredients

Once you’ve mixed everything with a spoon and the coffee has sunk to the bottom of your container, you can then transfer the ingredients to a second container, which you will use for blending.

We recommend using a handheld blender since it gives you the most control.

Blend the coffee grounds and water for a couple of minutes, remembering the longer you blend the two, the better the extraction will be for a more flavorful result.

Step #4: Transfer to French Press

This step is where your French press will come into play since you will pour the blended mixture into the container and gently press the plunger down until it reaches the bottom.

For people who prefer to avoid silty coffee, you might want to leave 10% of the water available at the bottom, rather than pushing the plunger down.

Step #5: Serve

Now that you’ve finished making your cold brew, you can now serve the concentrate over ice and with milk or your favorite milk substitute.

As an added tip, consider using some of the mixtures to pour into ice cube trays to freeze for the next day, as it’s a far better way to cool down ice coffee or cold brew without watering it down.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee for Cold Brew?

Absolutely! You can use any coffee that you enjoy the best, whether it’s a specialty blend from unique retailers or an everyday breakfast blend that you consume every day.

The most important thing to remember is you’ll want the coffee grounds to have a large grind, something similar to raw sugar, as it helps to prevent the coffee from getting too bitter.

Some households might benefit significantly from investing in a standalone coffee grinder, whether manual or automatic, to achieve the perfect ground coffee.

2. Is Cold Brew the Same as Iced Coffee?

In some sense, you could draw connections between cold brew and coffee in a way that they are both served cold and over ice, but the flavor profiles of the two are strikingly different.

With iced coffee, most people will brew the coffee using hot water, which boosts the flavors’ acidity and bitterness compared to cold brew, which you brew without heat.

By keeping the coffee grounds cold, it limits the amount of acidity and brings out sweeter notes in the beans, rather than bitter.

Also, it’s important to note that most cold brew will take substantially longer to make than iced coffee, which is why more people might opt to make iced coffee in the morning if they don’t have a batch of cold brew prepared.

3. Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?

It depends on who you ask, as some people believe that cold brew is a far more caffeinated option than iced coffee, for example.

However, you’ll find that cold brew can have more caffeine at its core since it will have lower caffeine to water ratio than iced coffee, but once you add your ice and milk, it will have the same proportion as any other coffee-based drink.

What makes people believe that it has more caffeine is how it is far more flavorful than most other caffeinated beverages you can get from your local coffee shop.

With that said, just because coffee might taste stronger doesn’t necessarily mean that it has a higher concentration of caffeine, especially if the brewing methods are substantially different.

4. Can Cold Brew Be Decaf?

You can undoubtedly brew cold brew as decaf, especially since most people drink it for its flavor rather than caffeine content.

Once it’s watered down with other ingredients, it has the same amount of caffeine as a classic coffee brewed in the best single-serve coffee maker.

Some may even enjoy the notion of having decaf cold brew at their disposal because it allows you to enjoy the rich and bold flavors of different types of coffee without engorging on caffeine throughout the day.

5. Can You Cold Brew Tea?

Another exciting thing to try is cold brew tea since it can be a fantastic alternative to coffee, whether you opt for a caffeine-free type of tea or a black tea with plenty of caffeine.

It’s also a far healthier alternative during the summer, as it will taste like a fruity splash of flavor to water compared to a heavy drink filled with sweeteners, syrups, and milk.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to make cold brew coffee fast can help you satiate your craving without having to wait up to 24 hours for your batch to be ready.

Even though it’s far better to let the ingredients steep over time as it will bring out a more vibrant flavor profile, the steps in this guide can be quite useful for last-minute scenarios.

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