I wanted to buy a cold brew coffee maker because I heard only good things about it. It’s not as harsh on the stomach, for people with problems, the flavor is a little different than hot coffee and you can actually store it in the fridge because it doesn’t go stale as fast as drip coffee. All this seemed very interesting, and I wanted to try it. There was only one problem, a cold brew coffee maker is not that cheap, and you know me, if can save money, I will.
Armed with my proverbial motivation to save money, I started to look for alternatives. The research quickly came back with an interesting article comparing various cold brew coffee makers. One of the ideas in the article was to use a French press to make your cold brew. Since I own a French press, the search was over for me.
Cheap Cold Brew Method with a French Press
For a 34 oz. press pot, measure one cup of coffee grounds and 3 cups of water.
- Grind coffee coarsely, as you would grind for a French press
- Remove the plunger, and dump the coffee in
- Pour one cup cold water and stir vigorously until all the coffee is wet, (saturated)
- Pour one more cup and stir again a few times
- Pour the third cup and place the plunger in the beaker
- Press the plunger down just enough to touch the water
- Place the pot in the fridge and leave it overnight, (10 hours or more)
- Take it out of the fridge and press down the plunger
- Dilute with cold water to taste, and pour in cups
Further Advice and Tips
Because coffee is prepared with cold water, it’s less efficient than a real French press recipe. I recommend you to grind slightly finer than French press. This helps the extraction and you don’t need to use as much coffee beans.
The longer you leave it to steep, the stronger the coffee becomes, and the more you can dilute it with water. This means less money spent on beans, again.
Warning: This is a recipe for a concentrate, so you have to dilute it. Because brewed coffee has a delicate taste and flavor, you can easily think that is not too strong, and drink too much of the stuff. You can easily get jittery on this, if you don’t dilute it.
Another Cheap Method
After trying this and being all happy about it, I had a friend who wanted to do the same but didn’t own a French press. I recommended her another inexpensive method, which I found on Kicking Horse Coffee’s website. The method uses a straining bag that you can easily saw at home, using any undyed fabric. Use the same coffee to water ratios, and you can even grind finer, for stronger brews.