Cold brew is great as it has all the caffeinating and cooling properties of an iced coffee, however, unlike traditional iced coffee, it is brewed without heat. Because there is no heat in the brewing process, it will take at least 8 hours to brew the coffee grounds in order to extract the rich coffee taste with no bitterness and acidity. But now you can make cold brew with less hours by French press. So How To Make Cold Brew in a French Press? Keep reading to find out!
Cold brew’s advantages over traditional hot brew coffee
Switching from traditional hot coffee to cold brew coffee is what you should do. Why? The answer is because cold brew coffee has more advantages compared to traditional hot brew coffee. Let’s take a biased comparison.
- Cold brew is less acidic than hot brew, however, it takes more time to brew coffee than hot brew.
- Cold brew coffee can be served chilled or heated up, whereas hot brew coffee can be served hot or ice.
- Cold brew coffee can be stored in the fridge up to 2 weeks, while hot brew coffee cannot store as long as cold brew does.
- Cold brew coffee has a deep range of subtle flavours (citrus, chocolate, floral, earthy)
- Hot brew coffee requires a kettle for hot water.
- Cold brew coffee has more caffeine compared to hot brew because it is brewed with a longer steeping process.
In addition, cold brew has more health benefits than traditional coffee using hot water to brew, as follow:
- It does not upset your stomach because cold brew coffee has less than 67% in acidity than hot brew coffee
- Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients: coffee beans are antioxidants and nutrient-dense that is a need for the body to function well as well as fight against free radicals.
- Helps prevent disease: both cold brew and hot brew coffee help reduce your risk of developing many chronic disease such as Parkinson, type 2 diabete, heart disease and other conditions that affect nervous system
- Reduce calories intake: because it is less acidic, so there is no need for extras such as sugar or cream added to your coffee.
- Cholesterol level improvement: unfiltered coffee which is how cold brew coffee is made can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol that is produced.
- Aids in weight loss: as mentioned, there is no need to use sugar or cream so you can reduce your calories intake while you still enjoy a great cup of coffee.
Recommending method for making cold brew in a French press
If you know how to make cold brew in a French press style, you will gain all the benefits of hot coffee such as caffeine, antioxidants and more without using hot water. Now, there is no need for you to go to the coffee shops or buy a strange-looking machine to make it at home. All you need now is a French press which is very simple and easy to use.
However, you need to understand all the basic anatomy and know how it works in the case that you have never ever used a French press before. You will use some of the same techniques as hot coffee, like preparing the coffee grounds and plunging, and the heat is replaced by time.
For a French press anatomy, it has:
- Fully Assembled French press
- Fine Mesh Screen
- Plunger Plate
- Cross Assembly Plate
- Lid and Plunger Stick
- Carafe and Handle
The most confusing part might be the various screens. So it exists to keep coffee grounds from mixing in with your finished cold brew coffee. When you understand how easy it is to piece together and assemble everything, you will look for more ways to make use of your French press.
Necessary tools and materials for making French press cold brew
Once you know how the French press works, let’s list all the supplies and ingredients used for making cold brew coffee in a French press.
Of course, the first thing you need is a French press in order to make cold brew coffee. There are a great number of options and styles on the market, and they are relatively inexpensive.
It is easy for use to find them for just $20 or even less. However, if you are looking for a high quality one, you might have to pay a bit higher. There are many reasons for you to buy a more expensive French press for your kitchen, for example, a higher-end French press brings higher quality of the mesh filtration.
And if you want to use fewer coffee grounds in your cup, you also need a higher quality press. Ground coffee, when too fine, will wreak havoc on any coffee recipe, so keep in mind that the grind is more crucial than the filtration.
Definitely, you can’t make coffee without coffee beans. So, coarsely ground coffee is also a need for your materials list. Now, you can use any types of coffee beans that you love and may want to stick with your favourite one. Nevertheless, most cold brew lovers claim that dark- or medium-roast varieties are the best as they taste sweeter and rounder than a light roast when compared to a light roast for this immersion cold brew method.
You need to understand that the cold brew process is quite different from hot brew, so you need something that has body to it because some of the flavours are going to be lost.
Grinder and food scale
Grinder is the next piece of equipment. It is best to grind coffee by yourself versus buying ready-to-use ground coffee. The problem with ready-to-use ground coffee is that the coffee ground tends to oxidize when it is exposed to air which results in a loss of flavour and potency.
Using low quality ground coffee or letting the ground coffee sit for several days before using it is the common mistake by many people. So, using freshly ground coffee will bring you a better cold brew.
However, if you’re truly in a pinch, you can grab some already ground coffee from the store as long as you make sure that it is a coarse grind. You need a coarser grind so that the grounds get pressed down and out of the way of liquid.
And if you think it is not necessary for cold brew coffee at home, you may invest in a small food scale to make sure that there is the best accuracy.
Filtered cold water
For a French press which holds up to 34 ounces of water, you need 887 ml or around 3 ¾ cups room-temperature water, or filtered cold water. The taste of your home-made cold brew will depend on the water you used, different water produces different cold brew’s taste. It is a recommendation to use filtered water and stay away from cheap packaged water bottles.
It is also necessary to have an airtight, seal-able container which is the same size as your French Press or a little larger so that you can pour your cold brew into it for storage. For some people, they use a fine mesh filter or sifter to catch any of the smaller ground, but there is no need to do that.
And if you have cheesecloth lying around or paper coffee-pot filters, they can work well to filter more of the sediment out from the French press.
How to make cold brew in a French press- step by step
Once you make sure that you gather enough tools and materials needed, let’s start to make your yummy cold brew coffee in a French press.
As can be said that the way a French press works is very straightforward if you understand how it is put together. There are 6 steps, as follow:
Step 1: assembly the French press
Attach the lid and plunger stick to the fine mesh screen to the plunger plate to the cross assembly plate and twist the screw counter clockwise to tighten. Place the now assembled plunger assembly into the carafe to ensure that the mesh screen slides evenly along the carafe wall.
Step 2: remove the plunger assembly
Now that you’ve verified the mesh screen fits snug within the carafe, remove the assembly.
Step 3: add coffee grounds
It’s time to get the coffee beans ready.
For this recipe, 90 grams of coarsely ground coffee is used, which is a little under a cup. You need a good burr grinder to ensure that you have the coarsest grind possible for the cold-brew version. It must be slightly bigger than your French press holes.
Once the coffee beans are ground up appropriately, you can add it to your French Press. After adding in the coffee grounds to your French Press add water. You need a coffee-to-water ratio of about 1:5 or 1:4 for the cold-brewing process, depending on the strength of the coffee.
Step 4: fill the water
Fill your French press (34-ounce size) with 3 3/4 cups or 887ml of filtered water. You should pour it in slowly and in a slightly circular motion, but don’t stir it together. Instead, you should use a metal spoon to press down the grounds that might float to the top, making sure that all your grounds are submerged
Step 5: replace plunger assembly and steep your cold brew
While the waiting process is the easiest step, it’s also frustrating because you do absolutely nothing for up to two days while the water and coffee do their work. You just let the brew sit on the counter at room temperature for about 8 to 12 hours.
Some people prefer to let their cold brew coffee steep for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Of course, this is primarily where cold brew differs from hot-brew coffee because, with a hot brew method, you get coffee almost immediately. The cold brew replaces the heat with time to ensure proper extraction.
If you let the grounds soak for 12 hours, it releases all the oils and flavors trapped inside the beans. You’re going to want to rush this process, but you should refrain because you’ll have a container full of coffee flavored water instead of the rich, robustness that you get with cold brew coffee.
Step 6: press the plunger and serve
After the 12 hours (or longer if you want it stronger), it’s time to decant. If you didn’t do so before, put the top of the French press on and push the plunger down a few inches. Do this step slowly and continually to prevent agitation of the grounds.
Just push the plunger down a little at a time for more pour stability. Make sure the screen is in place and pour the brew into the container.
Do note though that French presses aren’t the best at keeping out the sediment. Nonetheless, you can use cheesecloth draped over the container when you pour your brewed coffee if it is a problem for you.
Here are some tips
- For making cold brew coffee in using a French press, you can choose Mexican organic coffee because the chocolate’s notes and brown sugar are really bought out during the cold brew process
- Making sure that you use coarsely ground coffee. Otherwise it will not be tasty because you will get coffee grounds and sediment in your cold brew
- Using French press might get a strong brew, so if it is too strong for your taste, you can add more ice, water, milk to dilute
Now, I guess you know How To Make Cold Brew in a French Press and it is very easy to use. With a French press, you could make a glass of cold brew coffee tasting the same with store-bought cold brew while you can save a lot of money.