How to brew cold brew at home
Cold brew is so delicious and actually very simple to make--it just takes a little bit of patience. The good news is, most of that time is just waiting, the active time is fairly minimal. Then, when it's done, it's so rich and smooth that it's well worth the wait!
Before you even get started, if you want to save yourself some heartache, order one of our DIY Cold Brew Kits. Otherwise, keep reading!
Choosing a coffee
First things first, you shouldn't just use any coffee for your cold brew. We think the best coffee to use for cold brew is something that is sweet, bold, and mildly acidic. We think the best cold brew is rich and chocolaty rather than acidic.
We recommend the Rafiki, Robust Roy, or the Kona Blend.
Because cold brewing makes coffee extra smooth, we would not recommend one of our blends that is already very smooth, such as the Albert or the Sydney. You'll end up with a cold brew that has almost a watery flavor.
Method 1: French Press
What you need:
- 34oz French Press (usually advertised as 8-cup)
- 4oz Coarsely Ground Coffee (try the French Press grind of Rafiki)
- 16 hours to wait
Pour 4oz of coarsely ground coffee into the bottom of your French Press. If you don't have a food scale, you can use approximately 1 1/2 cups of ground coffee.
Fill the rest of your french press with room temperature drinking water, ensuring that the entire bed of coffee gets wet.
Set the mixture aside for 12-24 hours, optimum time range being 16 hours.
After 16 hours have passed, use your French Press press filter to push grounds down to the bottom, leaving you with delicious cold brew coffee.
Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Method 2: Cheesecloth & Strainer
What you need:
- 2x Pitchers that hold 1 gallon of water
- Large Kitchen Strainer
- 8oz Coarsely Ground Coffee (try the French Press grind of Rafiki)
Pour 8oz ground coffee into the bottom of one pitcher. If you don't have a food scale, you can use approximately 3 cups of ground coffee.
Fill pitcher the rest of the way with 1 gallon of room temperature water.
Leave the pitcher out on the counter at room temperature for 12-24 hours, optimum being 16 hours.
Line your kitchen strainer with cheesecloth. Pour coffee mixture over the cheesecloth and strainer, using them as a filter for your second 1 gallon pitcher.
Store cold brew for up to one week in the refrigerator.
So what if you don't have a 34 oz French Press ? Or what if you're just super interested and want to learn more about Cold Brew? Here, we'll take you through some of the mechanics of cold brewing, and some of the rationale behind the process so you can create a process that works with the tools you have on hand.
Step 1: Fill a vessel with a desired amount of water (the amount of water equals the amount of cold brew you'll end up with, minus a little that gets caught up in the grounds)
Step 2: Input ground coffee to steep
Step 3: Steep coffee, covered on the counter at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Optimum is 16 hours.
Step 4: Remove coffee grounds from mixture
Step 5: Pour over ice and store remainder in the fridge for up to 1 week
Coffee Ratio and Grind
Now that you understand generally what we're doing, here are some specifics.
The optimum grind for cold brew is a coarse grind. Usually a French Press or Percolator grind works well. If you use a very fine coffee you can end up with some bitter notes in your cold brew, which is not what you're going for!
We've found that the optimum ratio is 8oz of coffee per gallon of water. If you're not into head math (don't worry, that's me too), that's 0.5oz of ground coffee per 8oz of water. So, if you have a container that holds 32oz of water, you should use 2oz of coffee.
Don't have a food scale? You should get one! But for now, here are a few rough conversions (we used the Rafiki to make these conversions, keep in mind that not all coffees measure the same way).
1 Gallon water = 8oz of coffee = ~3 cups of coffee
1/2 Gallon (64oz) water = 4oz of coffee = ~1 1/2 cups of coffee
32 oz water = 2oz of coffee = ~3/4 cup of coffee
If you have specific questions on how to make your cold brew, feel free to reach out!
Cats & Shelters
How does your feeding cats program work?
We partner with shelters all over the country and make donations to their general fund. Each bag makes a donation in the amount that it takes to feed a cat work a week. The amount has been calculated on the current average cost of dry cat food. We do not earmark donations specifically for food, because our goal is to be beneficial to the shelter, and we want them to have the funds necessary for whatever their most pressing need is. We do know that food is a big expense for many shelters, so we know that ultimately, the funds we donate go to help feed, protect, and heal homeless kitties in need.
Can I select a shelter my specific order supports?
In order to make a meaningful impact, we choose a shelter each month for every order from our online sales to support. Check out the front page of our website to see which shelter we're supporting this month!
Can I submit my cat to you to have a coffee named after them?
We're always happy to take submissions :) We get LOTS of submissions on a regular basis, so we hope you understand that we may not be able to use your specific cat, but we have definitely used customer submissions in the past, so if you have a compelling kitty feel free to email us!
Coffee & Ingredients
When was my coffee roasted?
We roast our coffee 3-5 days a week, so we promise that your coffee is always super fresh.
We don't put a roast date on the bag because we know that there's a lot of misinformation and confusion out there relating to coffee freshness, and we don't want to add to the confusion. If you do want to know, feel free to email us with your order number and we're happy to look up when your specific bag was roasted.
Our goal is to make fresh and delicious coffee that can be made in almost any standard at home equipment, so that's how we roast. Our coffee is best enjoyed within 2 weeks of opening the package.
Which grind should I select?
Whole bean coffee should only be selected if you have a grinder at home.
This is what most people should select, as it works with the broadest range of brewing equipment, and was designed for an at home drip coffee pot.
Select this grind if you would like to make your coffee in a french press, or in cold brew. Since our coffee is more delicate than store brands, you may find that our french press grind is a bit finer than some brands. We do this on purpose, and believe that it produces the best results in a french press.
Select this grind if you would like to use a manual pour over brewing method, such as a V60 or Chemex.
This is a very fine grind intended for an espresso maker. While we do offer this grind for convenience, we always recommend purchasing whole bean and grinding your beans fresh when making espresso at home.
What are the ingredients in your coffee?
In our unflavored coffees (most of our coffees), the only ingredient is coffee.
In our flavored coffees, the ingredients are:
Coffee, Natural Cane Alcohol, & Natural Flavorings
We work with a natural flavorings supplier that creates extracts that we apply to our coffee. The base for the natural flavoring is a natural cane alcohol that is designed to evaporate off of the coffee within 24 hours of application (so it's done before it gets to you!).
All of our coffee is:
Allergen Free (per the FDA's top 8 most common allergens)
Why are you not fair trade or organic certified?
We believe in sourcing high quality coffee in an ethical way that's good for farmers and the earth.
Most of the farms we get our coffee from are small, family run farms and run on tight margins. In order to sell organic certified coffee, every stage of processing must be certified organic. That is, both the farmer and us, as the roaster. Unfortunately, these certifications are extremely costly for the farmers, so it's not something many of them opt to do.
We source only high quality specialty coffee. In order to produce this high end product, the farmers can not use things like chemical pesticides, one of the primary concerns in organic farming. So although our coffee is not certified, we still feel confident that our coffee is chemical free and good for the earth.
Like organic, fair trade is a practice that is regulated and requires expensive certifications. We believe that the best way to give farmers a fair price for their coffee is to utilize a direct trade sourcing method that puts the money straight in the pocket of farmers, and not in co-ops. In our research, we've found that sourcing our coffee directly from farmers for a fair price does the most good for coffee farming commmunities--we believe it even goes further than Fair Trade.
Shipping & Order Information
How long does it take to receive my coffee?
For 99% of our orders, if you order before 12pm EST, your order will ship same day. There are a few things that may in rare cases cause order delays:
Special grinds (anything besides regular ground or whole bean) or decaf flavored coffees that we do not currently have in stock, unexpected order volume (especially for orders meant to ship on a Monday), inaccurate or incomplete shipping information provided at checkout.
These may cause a delay in shipping your order by 1-2 days.
At checkout you'll be privided with a delivery estimate, and most often the estimate is pretty accurate. It takes into account our typical processing time, so the date shown should be a good estimate for when the package will arrive at your home. Please note, the delivery estimate is NOT guaranteed. We are unable to guarantee any delivery date, including for express shipping. If you are concerned about whether you'll be able to get your package in time for a specific event, please contact us ahead of time BEFORE placing your order.
Why is my order over $40 not qualifying for free express shipping?
We are able to offer our free express shipping program through FedEx's express saver program. For this program, we are required to use FedEx provided packaging, and as such, some of our products are too big or too fragile to ship with this method.
Another reason your order may not qualify for free express shipping is if you are ordering items from our partner, SPOD. Some of our merch items such as t-shirts are printed on demand by SPOD and shipped out by them. Since the items are printed on demand, this will add the processing time.
What should I do if my order arrives damaged?
We're so sorry this happened! Make sure you let us know as soon as possible--it must be within 10 days of receipt.
In order to assist you, make sure you provide us with your order number, a photo of the product that's damaged, AND a photo of the outer shipping packaging that is damaged, especially if there is any evidence of specific damage such as a tire or shoe mark on the box. We will need all of these pieces to file a claim with the shipping company, so that we can send you a replacement.
What should I do if my package does not arrive?
If you tracking number says that you should have received your package, but you can not find it, the first thing to do is to wait 1 more day. Unfortunately many shipping carriers are running very tight schedules, and from time to time drivers mark packages as delivered even though they are not. In this case, they will most likely deliver it early the next morning.
The next step is to contact your neighbors and try to look around in any odd places. We've heard reports of packages being found on the drivers seat of a car, inside of a green house in a gated backyard, and of course, left with the neighbor accidentally or on purpose to try to keep it safe. Another common place for smaller packages to be found is in your mail box.
From there, most carriers have a missing package process that can be initiated on the tracking page. If you are having trouble going through this process, you are welcome to contact us for assistance!