When summer sets in, it can be too hot to think of taking hot coffee. For coffee lovers, you do not have to do without your coffee or put your beloved French press in the store. That precious container that you use for brewing your warm coffee in the morning can still be used to brew cold coffee. This means when the weather is hot, you still enjoy a cup of your favorite drink, cold.
Do you put the French press in the fridge? The simple answer is yes. You can put a French press in the fridge in the process of brewing a cold brew iced coffee. You are going to brew your coffee the normal way, as you would make the hot one in a French press, then put the French press in the fridge for at least 18 to 24 hours. Thus, you will not need to buy a cold brew system, as you will keep using your French press and still make the best cold brew that there is.
Cold brewed coffee has a better flavor compared to the regular hot coffee because it is up to 67% less acidic, meaning you will have a taste of all the flavors present. Now, if you are determined to make your cold coffee at home by putting the French press in the fridge, this article is for you. Read on and find out how to make a French press cold coffee and warm coffee, as well as other methods of coffee brewing. Get an informative insight into your favorite drink, a warm or cold cup of coffee.
How Do You Brew Cold Coffee with a French Press?
First, let us be clear about one thing. You do not make cold/iced coffee by plunging a few ice cubes into a hot cup of coffee. No. the ice will dilute that coffee, and you will never achieve that chilly nirvana. To make the best-iced coffee, simply change the coffee brewing process. As opposed to using hot coffee fresh from the French press, make a cold-brewed coffee chilled overnight in a French press. When you take it from the refrigerator, it will be super-cold and strong and ready to be consumed. You can dilute it by adding a little ice and milk.
When Do You Begin Preparing Your Cold Coffee?
A French press cold brew uses cold water at room temperature. As you may imagine, this will take more time since the coffee grounds will take time to steep. Lit would be best if you let it stay overnight. Thus, it is ideal to start your process the night before. The extra time and cold brew process yield a more delicate flavor with a less bitter finish. This is how most coffee shops make extra- smooth and extra-strong cold-steeped that beats even the normal hot coffee.
Systematic Guide to Make Iced Coffee in a French Press
Here is how to make your cold coffee to serve one person.
- 1 ½ cups of cold water
- 1/3 cup of whole coffee beans
- Sweeteners such as caramel, flavored syrups or even melted chocolates
- French press
- Coffee grinder (see my favorite one)
- Thoroughly grind the coffee beans until they attain a texture that can be filtered by your French press, but fine enough to permeate well. The texture should be something in between coarse and fine.
- Put the ground coffee and your 1 ½ cups water in the French press.
- Stir the water with the coffee gently until it incorporates and blends well.
- Secure the French press with a lid and ensure the plunger is in the up position.
- Put your French press with its contents in the fridge overnight. The plunger in the up position will ensure that the coffee grounds infuse with the water properly.
- The next day, remove your French press from the fridge and plunge it to separate the grounds from the coffee.
- Now you are ready to have your iced coffee. Add some ice cubes in a glass, fill partway with milk, and add your iced coffee. Stir to combine it, and Voila! Enjoy your cold coffee. You can also serve your cold-brewed coffee hot. Simply add one part coffee and one part water in a coffee mug. Put it in the microwave for 1 or two minutes and serve it.
Note: if you have a larger French press, you could make a larger batch of cold coffee. Just use the same ratio of water to ground coffee. Plunge and put the unused coffee in a separate container. You can then store it in the fridge for up to one week. Now for those with a sweet tooth, you can consider stirring in some chocolate fudge or cajeta caramel. Cinnamon or sea salt can also do.
Mistakes to Avoid When Making Homemade Cold Iced Coffee
You want to make the perfect cold brew coffee. Avoid the following mistakes.
- Do not grind the coffee too fine. A fine grind will yield a bitter brew. Grind it to the texture of coarse sugar would be fine.
- Since cold brew takes a longer time to make, it could be a waste of time making a brew for just two cups. Really after a whole night? Depend on the size of your French press, you can make as much to last you a few days or even a week. Cold-brew can last in the fridge for up to two weeks. Thus, if you are going to wait for the over 12 hours prep, you can as well make as much as not to have to prepare more for days to come.
- Always soak your grinds for long enough to extract the tasty goodness. 12 hours in the fridge is not enough as it will produce a weak and astringent cold brew. 18-24 hours would be fine.
- Do not strain too quickly. I know you have waited overnight and you want quickly squeeze the brew through the strainer. You will end up with something bitter. For a big batch, strain in two batches and let the entire process take up to 30 minutes. Let it come out naturally and you will have a sweet and smooth cold coffee.
- Much as you can just take your cold brew neat straight from the fridge, you would only be revved up on high-octane coffee, missing the delight that comes with a sweetened ice-cold brew. For a balanced cup, you could add a little ice and water. Use a one to one ratio your cold brew to filtered water and add ice over it.
How Do You Brew A French Press Hot Coffee?
Above, we have seen that you can put your French press in the fridge when preparing cold-brew iced coffee. However, ideally, the reason for purchasing that the French press is so that you can make hot coffee at home. Here, you are going to learn how to make perfect French press coffee. Of course, the French press process is going to be among the easiest and least expensive ways of making great coffee. The instructions below make 32 ounces, which is the common size for French press. It will make about four servings. However, if you would like to make less or more servings you could use the following proportionality:
- 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons coffee beans= 8 ounces fluid for one serving
- 2 cups water, ¼ cup coffee beans= 16 fluid ounces for two servings
- 4 cups water, ½ cup coffee beans=32 fluid ounces for four servings
- 8 cups water, 1 cup coffee beans-64 fluid ounces for eight servings.
Note that you should measure the coffee beans before grinding.
- A ½ cup of freshly roasted coffee beans
- 4 cups of cold water
- French press
- Instant-read thermometer (see Amazon)
- Burr grinder
- Electric kettle like this or stovetop kettle
- Long spoon
- Measure the coffee beans to the proportion you are making, in our case ½ a cup.
- Grind the beans using the coarsest setting in your burr grinder. In the absence of a burr grinder, you could just grind them briefly with a blade grinder. The grounds should rough and course, but ensure the size is evenly distributed. Pour your grounds in the French press.
- In an electric kettle or stovetop, boil the water and then let it rest for one minute. The water should be heated up to 195 degrees F, which is slightly below the normal boiling point of 212 degrees F. you can use a thermometer to double-check, though some kettles have custom temperature settings labeled as ‘coffee’.
- Transfer your hot water into the French press and stir vigorously in an up and down motion.
- To produce a robust brew, let it steep for 4 minutes.
- Immediately the timer goes off, press the plunger to the bottom and serve your coffee. If you are not going to take the coffee immediately, do not leave it in the French press because it gets bitter as it sits on the grounds. Put it in a thermal carafe to keep it warm.
For simplicity, we skipped the process of warming the French press. If you have time, heat the water to the boiling point and rinse your French press with it in a bid to warm it.
Tips for Brewing the Best French Coffee
Apart from taking time and letting your coffee steep properly, here are a few other things you can do to to get a consistent and delicious French press coffee.
- Always warm your French press with by rinsing it with warm water before brewing your coffee.
- After the brewing process is complete, do not let the coffee stay in the French press for longer to avoid getting it bitter.
- Use coarse grinds to get the optimum flavor and avoid grit in the cup.
- Remember balance is important for French press coffee. Use one cup of water for one tablespoon of coffee grounds for one serving.
- Ensure to keep your French grit clean to avoid having ground residue next time you want to brew your coffee.
- It is recommendable to start with fresh whole been as opposed to buying pre-ground coffee at the store.
- Grind your coffee just right before brewing to maximize your brew’s boldness. 30 minutes prior is fine.
- The best water to use is filtered water. Hard water leaves deposits in your coffee maker. Distilled water, on the hand, over-extracts your coffee.
What kind of coffee should be used for making cold brew coffee?
Ideally, you can use any kind of ground coffee. However, it is best to buy whole beans and grind them yourself to a coarse texture just before you start brewing.
Can you make a cup of coffee with refrigerated coffee concentrate?
Definitely, you can. When you make a cold brew iced coffee, you may not use all of it at once. You will put the remainder in the fridge and it will last up to one or two weeks. With it, you will be making a cup of coffee by diluting it with water, milk, or non-dairy milk whenever you want.
Will the cold brew go bad if it is not refrigerated?
Coffee may not produce mold quickly like other beverages, but eventually, it will. Thus, it is better to keep it refrigerated. It will last longer and taste better.
Do you need a special device to make a cold brew coffee?
No, you do not need any special device for this. It is likely that you may already have a French press or a plain old mason jar stashed away in the cabinets. You can use it to make your cold brew by leaving it with its contents in the fridge for at least 18 to 24 hours.
What would be the reasons why coffee tastes bad?
If you ever feel like your coffee is not up to bar or it just does not taste good, there are certain things you need to consider. First, the coffee beans used could have been stale or improperly roasted. Second, your equipment might be dirty, or the water quality might not be good. Lastly, you probably let your machine sit on the warming plate for far too long.