Cold brew has gained popularity recently for its smooth flavor, lower acidity, and slight sweetness. Cold brew can also have more caffeine than regular coffee, depending on how much the cold brew concentrate has been diluted.
However, if more caffeine isn’t what you’re looking for, you may be hoping to order a cup of decaf cold brew.
Unfortunately, the sad truth about decaffeinated cold brew coffee is that you can’t get it at your local coffee shop. Not even Starbucks makes a version of their specialty decaf coffee cold that you can drink on the go.
But don’t despair! If you’re looking to avoid those caffeine jitters, you can make coffee shop-quality decaf cold brew concentrate from your home. All you need are two simple ingredients and a little time.
Quality Whole Beans
If you want a delicious brew, you have to start with a quality decaffeinated coffee bean. Decaf coffee beans from specialty coffee roasters tend to make more flavorful decaf coffee.
Look for whole coffee beans that have been roasted within the last couple of weeks- these will retain the most flavor.
Coffee always tastes best when freshly ground, so I don’t recommend using pre-ground decaf coffee.
Tools For Better Cold Brew
For the best results, you’ll also need a grinder. Grinding your coffee beans right before use will allow for the best flavor. We also recommend using a coffee scale to measure the perfect ratio of coffee to water.
You can use any container with a lid to brew your cold brew. We’re using a mason jar, but feel free to sub in any container that you have on hand!
Homemade Decaf Cold Brew Recipe
What You’ll Need
- Whole bean decaf coffee
- Cold water
- A mason jar (or another container with a lid)
- A pitcher
- Cheesecloth or a mesh strainer
Start with grinding your favorite decaf coffee beans. Choose a very coarse grind setting- coarse coffee grounds will allow for slow extraction, which in turn imparts a sweeter and less bitter flavor.
Cold brew is often made in large batches, but as long as you follow your preferred coffee-to-water ratio, you can’t go wrong, no matter how many cups of coffee you make.
I like my cold brew decaf coffee strong, so I use an 8:1 water-to-coffee grounds ratio. I always use a scale to measure my coffee.
Once you have ground and weighed out your coffee, place the coarse-ground coffee right into your mason jar.
Fill your mason jar with filtered water based on your water-to-coffee ratio.
Place the lid on your jar and give it a few good shakes to ensure evenly distributed coffee grounds. Afterward, put it in the fridge to let your coffee steep for 12-24 hours. It really is that easy!
The next morning, you’re ready to strain coffee grounds from your jar.
Place the cheesecloth or mesh strainer over the pitcher and slowly pour the cold brew coffee concentrate over the filter.
Quick Tip: Use a funnel so that you don’t have to hold on to the coffee filter.
Pour over ice or dilute with water and enjoy! You can even opt to heat your cold brew in the microwave before drinking it.
If you have any leftovers, you can keep your supply of decaf cold brew coffee in the fridge for up to two weeks, so you won’t have to go hours without coffee.
If you’re not a fan of plain coffee, add a splash of milk or some sweetener. However, your batch of decaf cold brew will have a natural creamy body and semi-sweet chocolate notes, so you may not need it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use instant coffee granules?
Instant coffee requires no extraction time, so you won’t get the same smooth, slightly sweet notes of flavor that you can achieve from the slow extraction process of making a cold brew.
Instant coffee is also designed to dissolve best in hot water. In short, we don’t recommend using instant coffee to make a batch of cold brew.
What kind of grind should I use for cold brew?
You’ll want to choose a medium-coarse grind. I use the Baratza Encore coffee grinder and set it at 30 whenever I make decaf roast coffee. The coarser the grind, the less bitter the brew!
What if my decaf cold brew coffee is too strong?
The great news about cold brew is you can adjust the strength even after steeping. Simply add more water if it’s too strong.
However, if you don’t want to water down your concentrate at all, try using frozen coffee cubes in place of ice!
Can I steep for longer than 12-18 hours?
Of course, you can! Steep for as long as you like. The longer you steep the brew, the stronger your specialty decaf coffee will become.
Whether you’re taking a break from caffeinated coffee or have a lifelong commitment to coffee that lacks caffeine, this cold brew recipe will produce smooth, balanced coffee every time.
- Whole bean decaf coffee
- Cold water
- Grind your coffee beans and place them into a mason jar.
- Fill the jar with filtered water.
- Place the lid on your jar and give it a few good shakes to ensure evenly distributed coffee grounds, then put it in the fridge overnight.
- Place a cheesecloth or mesh strainer over a pitcher and slowly pour the decaf roast coffee grounds over the filter.
- Pour over ice or dilute with water and enjoy!