Coffee Facts

How to Filter Cold Brew Coffee

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Did you know that cold brew coffee can be as tasty as your espresso if you filter it the right way?

If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you’ve probably tried to make cold brew coffee from your favorite coffee bean during the summer. But, ultimately, the heat during these months makes it hard for coffee lovers to have a taste of their favorite cup of coffee, especially in the morning and afternoon. 

While iced coffee can be a great alternative during warm temperatures, you can’t make it with your regular pour-over coffee maker. For this reason, many coffee lovers want to understand the procedures for filtering cold brew coffee ‒ so they can enjoy their cup of coffee cold all year round. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on filtering cold brew coffee and the commonly asked questions about cold brew filtration. If you are also looking for a cold brew coffee maker, we’ve got a guide for that too!

How to Filter Cold Brew Coffee

What You Need to Filter Cold Brew Coffee

  • Coarse ground coffee
  • Water (either cold or at room temperature)
  • A cold brew coffee bag filter
  • A mason jar or tall glass coffee pitcher

The following are the steps you might consider following when preparing cold brew coffee:

Step 1: Fill the Cold Brew Filter Bag

Use your coarse grind pre-ground coffee to fill the cold brew filter bag to the top. Finer ground coffee may over-extract and create bitter flavors. You can use a weighing scale or a drawstring bag to guide you on the number of ground coffee beans to pour into the bag. Dark roast coffee works the best.

If you use a drawstring bag with paper filters, rinse the filters to wash away some of the paper flavors, then fill the bag until the coffee is below the line. Then, gently pull the drawstring until the bag is sealed. Ensure you seal the bag tightly to prevent coffee grounds from settling at the bottom of the jar.

However, you shouldn’t use a lot of energy to pack the coffee bag tightly. Here is the reason:

While failing to pull the drawstring tightly may lead to coffee sediments in your Maison, having a tightly packed bag may prevent cold water from penetrating to the center of your ground coffee.

Pull the drawstring and make it as tight as possible while ensuring the contents of the coffee bag are loose enough for proper saturation. 

Step 2: Add Water

Place your tightly sealed coffee filter bag in a container. Next, pour fresh water into the container until the ground coffee is fully submerged.

To prevent oxidation, cover the container tightly. Coffee oxidation usually leads to a stale flavor profile in your cold brew coffee.

In addition to covering the container, don’t expose it to direct sunlight. That’s because higher temperatures from direct sunlight increase the oxidation and brewing process, leading to stale and/or bitter-tasting coffee.

Step 3: Give It Time 

Let your coarse coffee grounds sit and slowly steep for 12-24 hours. The longer it brews, the higher your cold brew coffee concentration.

Cold brewing coffee takes a long time because hot water generally extracts coffee oils much faster than cold water. However, it’s worth noting that if the coffee grounds steep for too long, the yield will have a bitter taste.

When steeping has completed, remove the coffee bag, along with the coffee grounds, and dispose of or compost it. Don’t heat or keep leftover coffee for too long.

Step 4: Taste

It’s now time to taste your cold brew coffee. Quite simple, isn’t it? You can now add other coffee additives or drink the coffee as it is.

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If you feel the brew is highly concentrated, feel free to add water. Some common additions that may not affect the taste of your coffee include milk and ice.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Filtrations Process

Take a look at these cold brew coffee filtration FAQs:

Can I Stir My Cold Brew to Speed Up the Steeping Process?

No, you should not stir your cold brew coffee while it steeps. Stirring makes the coffee beans sink and form sediments at the bottom, leading to bitter-tasting coffee. Moreover, stirring leads to an uneven extraction process since the coffee grounds don’t steep proportionally throughout the entire container.

I learned this the hard way.

I wanted to introduce my friend to the unique taste and smooth flavor of cold brew coffee. I filtered and added water to the coffee grounds.

I stirred the coffee to increase the steeping process since my friend had arrived a bit early. I was embarrassed because the coffee didn’t taste as good as we had all expected ‒ it tasted watery.

How Long Should It Take to Steep My Cold Brew Coffee?

The ideal cold coffee steeping time is between 12 and 18 hours. For most cold brew coffee lovers, the tastiest full-bodied coffee takes approximately 15 hours to create. More hours of steeping translate to very strong coffee, while less than 12 hours may lead to watery coffee.

However, people who love super strong coffee can let it steep for up to 18 hours. As such, you need to decide on the kind of coffee you need – the more hours, the stronger the taste. 

Where Should I Keep My Cold Brew Coffee?

Keep your cold brew coffee in your fridge. Cold temperatures ensure your coffee lasts for a long time. And you can make a cup of cold brew very quickly ‒ you only need to remove it from your refrigerator. 

How Long Does the Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate Last?

1-2 weeks. Once brewing is complete, you can store the coffee for seven to 14 days. After two weeks, the coffee will start to develop a bad flavor. 

Regardless of the amount of coffee left, discard it if you haven’t consumed all of it in 14 days. 

What Should Be the Water to Coffee Ratio?

The ratio should be 15:1. Given that you want to brew more concentrated coffee, feel free to use up to three times as much regular ground coffee as you would use to make hot coffee.

You can then use a ratio of 1:1 if you wish to add milk or water to the coffee. Therefore, whenever you use 10 grams of coffee, ensure your water is about 150 grams. 

Where Can I Keep My Cold Brew During Steeping?

Use your kitchen counter for steeping. After filling your cold brew container with water, leave it on your kitchen counter for the required time. However, you can also keep it in the refrigerator while it steeps.

Happy Caffeinating!

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