Cold brew coffee concentrate is the starting point of iced coffee! Flavorful, slow-brewed, simple, and super strong – the flawless brew to keep at your fingertips in a refrigerator is refreshing on a hot day! In this post, you will learn how to make cold brew coffee concentrate in easy steps.
It begins with your preferred coffee beans, ground roughly, and then mixed with water. What you need to do is, soak overnight, filter, and dilute before serving! That’s it; you have created the perfect cold brew coffee concentrate you will love in your iced coffee drinks.
The quantity of coffee grounds relative to that of water, or the ratio of the cold brew concentrate is what matters in this process. Coffee concentrate is made very strong, stronger, than a flawless cold brew. That’s why the ratio of Cold Brew coffee to water is a bit unprecedented for concentrate, and why coffee concentrate is best served diluted with water.
Would you love to make an ideal cold brew or just DIY cold brew concentrate? In order to decide, let me state the ratio for both. No matter your choice, homemade cold brew is extremely easy to make with your preferred coffee beans and will always be more cost-effective than store-purchased or heading to Starbucks.
Coffee Concentrate (and Coffee Extract)
You can blend Coffee concentrate to make one cup of coffee that tastes like freshly-made coffee. With less space, you can store more concentrated coffee. You can make both cold and hot concentrated mixture; this makes it easy to serve whatever you want to have.
You can use coffee extract to produce a myriad of items:
- Iced Drinks
- Iced Cream
- Baked Goods (cakes, cookies, etc)
There are several reiterations of coffee concentrates; this goes from cold brew concentrates, through hot coffee concentrate, to coffee extracts. While extracts use alcohol, most times to remove compounds from the coffee and generate health benefits, concentrates use water in the form of a solvent for extracting solids. You can use the resulting liquid in small proportions to make just anything flavorful.
What is Coffee Concentrate?
Coffee concentrates are an excellent way of brewing a massive amount of black coffee within a short period of time. In contradiction to alcohol explored as extracts, you can extract solids from ground, roasted coffee with water used as a solvent to make a brewed coffee.
A concentrate recipe might require 50 grams of coffee to 400 grams of cold water, while a classic brew recipe might require 25 grams of ground coffee to 400 grams of water. Just to make it clear, it’s the subtraction of water (or addition of coffee) that makes a concentrate different from a common cup of joe.
- 4.5oz (1.5 cups) roughly ground coffee
- 24oz (three cups) water
The beauty of homemade is that you can customize the amounts of ingredients. Using your favorite coffee (grounds or beans), you can make cold brew coffee concentrate.
To get the best results with whole beans, I strongly recommend a coarse grind. If you can get a coarse grind with store-bought coffee grounds, awesome! But if not, no worries – any coffee grounds will suffice.
The specific quantity of coffee relative to that of water is based on what you’ve chosen to make.
Coffee Concentrate vs. Cold Brew
Literally, cold brew concentrate and cold brew are pretty identical, but one is a more compelling brew than another! Both are run through the cold brewing process – soaking coffee grounds in water for a long period of time, and filtering to have the resulting brew.
The process isn’t as fast as hot brewing, but you get a stronger, more satisfying iced coffee. Hot brewing brings out some of the caffeine and flavor from your coffee, and cold brew is made with a higher ratio of coffee to water to achieve the same results.
However, your best bet is cold brew coffee concentrate, for the strongest possible brew. Cold brew is richer in caffeine content and has more flavor than a traditional cold brew, meaning it’s more concentrated. This is why it’s best served mixed with water.
Achieving a higher concentration, more potent brew with a similar cold brewing process is the key difference – the difference is the ratio of a greater quantity of coffee to that of water – the cold brew concentration ratio!
Ratio of Cold Brew Coffee to Water
Using Starbucks cold brew as my criterion, a conventional ratio of cold brew to water is 8oz water to 1oz coffee grounds. A normal ratio of hot brewing coffee is 8oz water to 0.5oz coffee grounds.
Cold Brew Concentrate Ratio
To make cold brew coffee concentrate, you need to keep the cold brew ratio in mind and increase the quantity of coffee relative to that of water. Choose whichever ratio you want, based on how much you love your self-made iced coffee drinks! The ratios stated below will lead to a powerful brew best served mixed with water in the ratio 1:1.
In cups, combine 1 cup water with 1.5 cup coffee grounds. For a mid-level, strong brew, mix 1.5oz coffee grounds with 8oz water. If you are a novice in the coffee concentrate game, start first with this ratio!
If you already know you need the most potent possible brew, try this cold brew coffee concentrate ratio: one cup water to two-thirds cup ground coffee, or 8oz water to 2oz ground coffee.
Making Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
With your perfect ratio in mind, making cold brew concentrate becomes so easy! To get started, add the right amount of coffee grounds to a large carafe, combine with water, and stir rigorously. You should use rough grind from your preferred beans, or you can use store-purchased grounds.
Keep the covered bowl in the refrigerator overnight, for up to 24 hours. Similar to cold brew coffee concentrate ratio, you determine the soaking time. The longer it soaks the more bitter and more potent it’ll be! This is all based on individual taste.
After soaking, sieve your combination through a lined netting filter. Pour in batches. To help the liquid filter, stir gently.
Once you are done separating the liquid from the grounds, you’ll be ready to store or enjoy your homemade cold brew coffee. You can pour your DIY cold brew coffee into mason jars, keep in your refrigerator, and use for a week when you need it.
Using Cold Brew Concentrate to Make Iced Coffee
If you haven’t made just a classic cold brew coffee, but an actual cold brew coffee concentrate, it’s good practice to dilute it first with equal water parts before serving, meaning before heating any cold coffee drinks or making it into an ice cold drink, dilute 1.5 cup concentrate with 1.5 cup water. If you will choose to drink your ultra-strong cold brew coffee concentrate as is, try it, then you can dilute it by adding more water if it’s too strong to the point its perfect tasting for you.
Cold brew concentrate is most popularly used for making DIY iced coffee drinks. It won’t get too diluted served over ice; it is super-flavorful, cold, and ultra-strong. There are plenty options from a classic iced coffee when it comes to craving flavored lattes. They taste great, especially on a hot day.
Do not be confused by the name, “Cold”; it implies the not-hot, slow brewing process. If you would like it, heat up your cold brew in the microwave, after diluting with water. It will result in a flexible, simple brew, with the caffeine and flavor content of an ideal coffee lover’s dream.
Ingredients for DIY Cold Brew Concentrate
- Three cups (24oz) water
- 1.5 cups (4.5oz) roughly ground coffee
Modify the amounts of recipe according to a ratio of:
- One cup water to half cup ground coffee
- 8oz water to 1½oz ground coffee
For a potent brew; the ratio is:
- Three cups water to two cups coffee grounds
- 8oz water to 2oz ground coffee
- One cup water to two-thirds cup ground coffee
- Pour water in a large carafe. Add coffee grounds and stir.
- Cover and soak in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- After soaking, strain through a clean lined mesh filter, (or a two-layer coffee strainer). Pour in batches, stir gently, and filter the liquid.
- Once filtered, move your homemade cold brew into a closed container or mason jar and keep refrigerated till use.
- Serve diluted with water at a ratio of 1:1, based on how potent you want it. (Dilute half cup water with half cup concentrate)
Note on soaking time:
The longer the cold brew soaks, the more bitter the flavor will be. Note; because cold brew is more powerful than common brewed coffee, you should dilute it with water before serving! Also, note; Starbucks soaks their cold brew for more than 20 hours.
Option for DIY iced coffee recipes:
If you cannot make your own cold brew concentrate, you can use common brewed coffee to make DIY iced coffee! Before you keep the coffee in the refrigerator, brew it and give it some minutes to cool. You can also keep any leftover coffee in the fridge for a later use.
If you like iced coffee, the steps above provide you with simple to make solutions, and through experimentation of coffee to water ratios, you’ll be able to make the best iced coffee for you since everyone likes different coffee strength, and taste. There’s nothing better than a cold iced coffee to relax on a warm day.