If you want to stand out as a coffee connoisseur, brewing coffee using the cold drip method is your go-to badge of excellence. This brewing method is different from other ways of making a good brew.
Sure, the immersion technique and to an extent, the Japanese brew method is more popular. But that is merely because they are a lot easier.
Cold drip coffee method in all cases is delicate, one that requires you to be fully involved to get the best result
Though the cold drip coffee method is more hands-on, it has a few upsides to it. For instance, it takes a shorter time to complete the process, and the brew is excellent for people who love their coffee light, with less acidity.
This style of making a brew involves slowing dripping cold water onto coarsely ground coffee. The water is allowed to seep through the coffee to a waiting carafe below via a filter.
The whole process from grinding the coffee to collecting enough brew for a cup of coffee takes about 4 hours. However, the time varies depending on fast the iced water is allowed to drip out.
Benefits of Cold drip coffee
- If you love experimenting and trying out new things, cold drip coffee brewing ticks many of the right boxes. You get to test and discover new ways of extracting a wide range of flavors from your coffee grounds.
By regulating the drip of the water, you’d control the exact kind of flavor you desire. With time, you might even create a flavor that is uniquely yours.
- Unlike other methods of brewing, slow drip keeps the flavor pristine. It is all about the consistency of the slow dripping water capturing the flavor just the way you want it.
This makes it the ideal brew for making full-flavored coffee that is light and bright.
- Because slow drip brew machines or equipment are made of clear glass, it is easy to observe the brewing process which can be a satisfying way to kill time. Besides, the whole setup would make you look fantastic to your friends.
Making cold drip cold brew at home
Finding the perfect balance between the rate of drip of the ice water and coffee grind size is the trick to extracting the right brew using this method
Usually, medium-coarse grinds are the preferred choice for most cold drip coffee experts. And it is ideal to keep the drip at one drop per second. You don’t want to spoil the process by flooding the coffee grounds with too much water. While a slower drip rate would take too long to complete.
Here is the thing though, you’d have to check on the process to make sure the drip rate is constant. Because with time, it would slow down due to the reduced amount of water in the reservoir. So you need to periodically make adjustments to keep it at the preferred one drop per second.
Another very popular method for a cold brew recipe is the Immersion Methods for Making Cold Brew Coffee at Home, we have a piece on that written, too, check it out, if you are interested!
What you need
You need to gather the necessary things:
1. You will need an AeroPress. It is a simple to use tool for brewing coffee, not only for the cold drip recipes. If you need a hands-on guide to help you choose your Aeropress coffee maker, we have one for you. Our top recommendation for one is the AEROBIE Aeropress
There are other expensive and somewhat complicated machines, too, explicitly made for cold drip brewing. But you don’t really need them unless you want to have a shiny new coffee thingy on your desk, then you should buy one!
2. Coffee grinder. One of the essentials that you just can’t go without. Good thing is – such a device will come in handy for you at many other times, too, so it is money spent wisely. If you need a piece of advice on these, you can take a look at the coffee grinders buying guide we put together.
My TOP suggestion is the Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder Pro.
3. Kitchen scale to weigh the grounds. Always choose digital weights, as they are more precise. The one I would go for is the Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale as it is a multifunction scale, and its removable bowl makes it easy to work with this scale.
4. Ice and cold water.
5. Pour Over Coffee Dripper. I use the Coffee Gator Pour Over Brewer because it does not require paper filters.
6. Filters: a steel and paper filter combination are the best. But two paper filters would do the magic, too. However, if possible, rather use a steal one, it’s not only reusable but also lets more oil pass through, creating a richer flavor and detains residues from your coffee. That makes the taste even greater.
Our favorite is the Yitelle Stainless Steel Pour Over Coffee Cone Dripper.
Cold drip coffee brewing
Weigh the amount of fresh coffee you need and grind it. There are quite a lot of coffee types to choose from for this brewing method, you can read about the best ones (in our opinion) in this article: Best coffee beans for cold brew. It would be better if your burr grinder has a setting for medium grinds. Use that setting to get the desired texture.
For about 30g of fresh coffee beans, you need about 210g of ice.
Now, insert your filter (steel hopefully) in the filter cap of the AeroPress and attach it to the brewing chamber. Cut out a slightly smaller paper filter and place it inside the brewing chamber on top of the coffee bed.
With the steel filter at the bottom, place your medium coarse coffee grounds in the AeroPress. For better water distribution, slide the second, slightly smaller filter over the coffee.
Next, over a carafe or your preferred container, place the AeroPress which should be on top of the AeroPress funnel at this point. Then fill the Pour Over Coffee dripper with the ice after placing it at the top of the AeroPress.
To hasten the melting of the ice, pour about 30 ml of water on it. Then wait.
Drops of water would start falling on the coffee after every few seconds. As more of the ice melts, the drip speed would increase. Unfortunately, since the AeroPress is just a primary cold drip brewing machine, there is no way to regulate the drop rate.
After about 4 hours, you should have enough filtered brew in the carafe below. So go ahead and enjoy your coffee. Remember to add an equal amount of water and ice though.
And one last thing, we all now that Starbucks Coffee can make great coffee, of course, it all comes down to a skillful barista, so here’s a video guide from them, if you like: