The sad truth about decaffeinated coffee brewed cold 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. You can also check out these cold brew coffee makers if that’s your kinda thing!
Of course, the most important thing is the coffee bean. Decaf coffee beans from specialty coffee roasters tend to make more delicious decaf coffee. You’ll also want to pick the right method to brew because it does make a difference.
In our case, that’s the mellow, smooth decaf cold-brew coffee concentrate that regular decaf coffee drinkers covet. Haven’t tried it yet? Before we carry on with our cold brew recipes, let’s take a closer look at this cold coffee.
Why Drink Cold Brew?
This is a question many discerning coffee drinkers ask. Does cold brewing coffee make that much of a difference? Does it change the taste of your cup of decaf coffee? Is it better for you?
The answer to all three questions is yes!
Brewing coffee cold brings out the natural coffee flavors with a slight sweetness. This means you may not need to add any sugar cane or syrups. That saves a lot of calories.
It also comes with a host of health benefits. Did you know that brewing with cold water eliminates 67% of the acid? That means your stomach will feel so much better.
It also has far more caffeine content than regular coffee, so good thing we’re going decaf, or you’d be full of coffee jitters.
Best of all, it’s easy to brew, it stays fresh in your fridge for up to two weeks, and it’s easy to adjust if you find the cold brew concentrate too strong.
What’s the Difference Between Cold Brew and Ice Coffee?
You might think these two drinks are identical. After all, they’re both cold coffee served over ice. But that’s where the similarities end.
A cold brew batch is made using a cold water temperature and letting the coffee steep overnight, from 12-18 hours. The longer it steeps, the stronger the concentrated coffee mixture. When it’s all done, it’s strained through a coffee filter and poured over ice.
On the other hand, iced coffee uses the temperature water reaches when brewing regular coffee with your coffeemaker. That’s about 195 to 205°F.
Once the brew cycle is done, the coffee is chilled, and ice is added. Sometimes, this can result in diluted coffee, but it does avoid the 12-18 excruciatingly long hours.
So let’s dive into our cold brew decaf coffee recipe.
What You’re Going to Need
- Whole bean decaf coffee
- Cold water
- A mason jar
- A pitcher
- Cheesecloth or a mesh strainer
Start with grinding your decaffeinated coffee beans.
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 out my bean coffee.
Place the coarse ground coffee right into your mason jar.
Did you know? Bean coffee always tastes best when freshly ground, so I don’t recommend using pre-ground decaf coffee.
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 the coffee grounds are evenly distributed. Then put it in the fridge overnight. 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 decaf roast coffee grounds over the filter.
Quick Tip: Use a funnel, so you don’t have to hold on to the coffee filter.
Pour over ice and enjoy!
And if you have any leftovers, you can keep your supply of decaf coffee in the fridge for up to two weeks, so you won’t have to go hours without coffee.
You may want to add a splash of milk or sweetener. But 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?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is why? But I won’t judge!
Instant coffee dissolves best in hot water. With enough time, it will dissolve into cold water, too.
Quick tip to speed up the process? Heat your spoon to stir it.
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 will be.
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.
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 pitcher.
- Fill a mason jar with filtered water.
- Place the lid on your jar and give it a few good shakes to ensure the coffee grounds are evenly distributed. 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 and enjoy!