Cold brewed coffee is one of the fastest growing trends in specialty coffee. Many people are serving it on tap, prepared in beautiful glass towers, or filled in growlers to take on the run. Those are all super cool, and I invite you to try them if you have the chance. However, what I want to focus on is simplicity. Brewing cold coffee need not be complex, or require an expensive dedicated brewer; in fact, you can brew cold coffee in a variety of very affordable and easy to obtain methods. A great place to start is with a coffee press.
Most people who are looking to brew a good cup of coffee are familiar with the coffee press (also called the French press). They are the default introductory manual brewer for most people seeking a better cup of coffee. It was the first device I purchased to replace my auto-drip brewer, and I still have it after over 15 years.
To use a press for cold brew, first measure the volume of water that it will hold. For the example, we have an 8oz brewer, which will only make a single serving. (Check the volume by filling to a line below the spout. I suggest using less than the total volume.)
Next measure the coffee, 1oz of coffee to each 2.5-3oz of water. (For this example, I used 1.5oz of coffee to 7oz of water.)
Grind the coffee on the coarsest setting for your grinder.
Measure the water to be used; this will be cold water. (Use the best tasting water you can; often this will be filtered spring water—not distilled.)
Add the coffee to the press.
Slowly add up to half of the water. Make sure the grounds are saturated fully.
Set a timer for 5 minutes; this will allow the dry coffee to soak up some of the water.
After 5 minutes, add the remaining water.
Place the press on the carafe and slowly push it down until there is liquid over the screen; do not press it all the way to the bottom.
Leave the coffee on the counter overnight and wait 12-24 hours.
Pour out the liquid and cut with water or cream if desired.