After I saw my friend’s Hario bottle of cold immersion coffee, I started looking for parts that I could get to make my own cold brew coffee. I wanted a glass bottle or jar that was larger so I could have more coffee to drink, and glass that was thicker so it would not break easily. In the end, I settled for a stainless steel filter, a large Ball mason jar and a flip cap that did not fall and interrupt the flow of coffee during pouring.
I used my usual organic coffee powder which is a light to medium roast, with a ratio of 1.5 cups of coffee powder to 8 cups of cold water. I actually had trouble filling 8 cups of water into the jar so it is less than 8 cups of water but the cold water is filled up to the neck of the bottle. The cold water has to be added slowly. Give the water time to seep through the filter into the jar. Slowly fill the water up to the neck of the bottle if you are using the ratio above. If the coffee is too strong, it can be diluted. But if the coffee is too weak, there is nothing that can be done about it. I brewed it for 18 hours.
- The filter could not filter out residue coffee powder that had seeped through the filter into the coffee itself. As a result, the coffee that was near the base of the bottle was stronger and more bitter than the coffee that was above. The coffee could be filtered but it was a slow process and the residue was very fine.The coffee residue was very fine and when accumulated at the bottom of the paper filter, it slowed down the flow of coffee considerably.
- I read on the internet that some people use a ‘sock’ (not those that you wear on your foot) and even paper towels to filter the coffee. I did not do that with mine.
- Coffee oils are also not filtered out, unlike when a paper filter is used. This may or may not bother you. It does not bother me.
- Because the bottle is much larger, there is more coffee to drink, as I am not willing to ruin another water bottle to make a larger amount of cold drip coffee. I could just add more water to my 500ml water bottle but I usually do not.
- I prefer the consistency of cold drip coffee to cold brew coffee. I did not like the residue remains of the coffee getting into my drink and the bottom bit tasting more bitter than the rest of the coffee so care has to be taken when pouring the coffee.
- The longest I would cold brew the coffee is up to 18 hours. The suggested time is between 12 to 18 hours. I think if the coffee is not steeped long enough, the strength will not be there and if it is steeped past 18 hours, it can get too bitter.
So when does one do one and not the other? I think when a packet of coffee is just opened, I would cold drip it as the coffee is freshest then. If the packet has been opened for a while, I might cold brew it. However, if I am having several people over and I need more cold coffee, I’d cold brew it. There is no hard and fast rule — as one wishes, really.
Update: I found myself cold dripping my coffee when there is not enough coffee powder left in the packet to make a full bottle of cold brew.
So there you have it — cold brew versus cold drip coffee!