The Cheapest, Best Ever DIY Cold Brew Rocket Fuel Coffee
Taste is subjective, but cold brew coffee is rightly lauded as amazing.
Before there was a cold brew DIY on every food site, I used to order mine pre-made from New Orleans. It was incredibly good, and still cheaper than a Starbucks habit.
At the apex of the cold brew hype, I bought one of the popular and affordable Hario cold brew pitchers. And it worked well, but I liked to steep and then strain it, so it was kind of in-itself a workaround. Then my dad had this problem with his heart and I stopped making it. And then my Hario pitcher broke.
For a while, I made do with Cafe Bustelo k-cups, but it was overall not-nearly-as-good. So last weekend, I went to look for another cold brew device — this time, knowing that straining the coffee was top priority. The Hario pitchers are still a great bargain at $15-20, but I was drawn by a mason jar cold brew with strainer set. And it was less expensive.
However, it still didn’t work perfectly for the way I make cold brew coffee and it still would need another receptacle. Also, perhaps a funnel. As an aside, I newly have an Instant Pot, I make ricotta (not in the IP yet), and I know early iterations recommended cheesecloth for cold brewing:
What I came across next were the awkwardly named nut milk bags. According to reviews, people are using them for yogurt. And cheese. And cold brew coffee. They come two to a pack for $5.99, making my total expenditure thus far $5.99. I have several big RTIC tumblers that are perfect for coffee-making, and I buy them in multi-packs. (I also purchased a $10, 1.5L Bodum french press for $10, but that’s not necessary for this method.)
So for just under $6, I got kitchenware I can use to make coffee and cheese (without transfering flavors!) The way I make cold brew, this cheaper way is just far superior — and super inexpensive.
My super-strong, rocket fuel cold brew coffee method
Making it is super easy, and you need two containers and about sixteen hours for brewing. Items needed in total:
- Two cups, jars, or containers with a large capacity;
- Nut milk bags, cheesecloth, or a suitable fine strainer;
- Coffee, ground. Ideally coarse grind, ideally strong.
In receptacle one (preferably a cup or jar-like thing), mix coffee with water. The water should ideally be room temperature, but it’s not a deal breaker. And ratios are really subjective, depending on how concentrated you want the resulting blend to be — my ratio is three parts water (roughly) to one part coffee (roughly). I like it strong.
Stir coffee grounds and water, I use a butter knife because #YOLO. After about 16 hours, put the nut milk bag over the opening of your second container, and fold the ends over the edge. Hold the bag in place, and strain the coffee. I mean, straining is pretty basic, I don’t feel like I have to get into the ways this can go wrong. Making ricotta, it was usually a poorly secured straining cloth — so don’t do that.
Cover your cold brew concentrate, or drink some. It can be heated and diluted (ew), or mixed with milk, milk substitutes, ice cream in milkshakes, etc. It makes coffee super easy. It lasts roughly two weeks, and can be made in bigger containers.
So if you have containers and drop $5.99 on straining bags, you can have an optimal cold brew coffee setup for that and the cost of coffee. And shopping for devices, every other pitcher or method was not as easy or direct. Finally, the quality of the straining bags was way better than cheesecloth, and should last forever. Since they come two to a pack, it’s good to separate dairy ones from coffee ones so your cojita doesn’t taste like a cappuccino.