Cold brew coffee isn’t iced coffee, and can make a great summer drink.
Cold brew coffee changed the way I thought about coffee. To start with I have never been a coffee person. As a kid, coffee was adult only. Since I didn’t become an “adult” until I was already in the military, my introduction to coffee was brutal.
During a training exercise where food was very scarce, my instructor asked if I had my coffee packet. He said the caffeine would give me a needed boost of energy. When I told him I didn’t drink coffee, and didn’t like the flavor of even coffee ice cream. He said to mix my instant coffee pack with a sugar pack and choke it down. “It will be like coffee candy” he said.
Instant Coffee and Sugar is NOT Coffee Candy
That was not true. He laughed uncontrollably as what little water and the “coffee candy” came right back up rocket style. Imagine brown gook that tastes like vomit coming back up after not eating for several days. I did not again try anything with coffee in it for nearly 30 years.
One of our friends, sent me a cold brew coffee maker to try and get me to stop drinking Diet Coke®. Needless to say I was very skeptical, but my wife would occasionally drink iced coffee when I ordered iced tea at the airport coffee houses. Since she wasn’t really a hot beverage or coffee drinker, I humored our friend and tried out the cold brew maker.
Bargain Cold Drink
For under $5 I bought a pound of medium ground, medium roast coffee. I followed the directions and filled the center filter with coffee grounds. Then it sat in the refrigerator over night. Being a man, I didn’t finish reading the directions. In the morning, I poured some of this brown water over ice and took a sip. It was like biting into charcoal.
As it turns out, I had made the “concentrate” version. Watering down this batch about 50% and then it wasn’t too bad. The one pound bag lasted a month doing it this way. After I while, I learned to used 1/3 the amount and get a very light easy to drink cold beverage. I could almost replace Diet Coke®. The bubbles were missing and coffee didn’t have quite the “refreshing” flavor.
A Better Cold Brew Method
Being a right wing tree hugger, I generally avoid all plastics. The cold brew pitcher that Dr. Goldberg sent me to try was glass. It also had a stainless steel filter. The problem was it let just enough sediment out that I had to filter each batch. The only pitcher I could find that fit in the door of our refrigerator was of course plastic.
A few nights ago I broke the cold brew pitcher. One of the biggest complaints online is that the glass was not pyrex quality and broke easily. I was very careful for nearly a year before breaking it. While logging into a website to order one, my wife said she saw one at a local store. Finally shopping I can tolerate.
The glass version was out of stock, but the plastic Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker was in stock. There was a 1 quart and a 2 quart version. I gave it a try even though it was plastic. BPA-Free plastic, but still plastic.
Local HB Company
From Takeya – “The traditional hot coffee brewing process releases undesirable acids and oils, resulting in bitter flavor and acidity that is intolerable to many. With cold brewing, only the naturally delicious coffee flavors are extracted, leaving behind the bitter oils and fatty acids, creating a perfectly balanced, smooth extraction of concentrated coffee. Once brewed, concentrated coffee can be kept fresh in our airtight Cold Brew Coffee Maker for up to 2 weeks and used for both hot and iced coffees. Makes two quarts of concentrated coffee. Proudly made in the USA! “
The Takeya nylon filter is finer than the stainless filter so I did not need to filter the coffee after it was brewed to drink it. Bonus number one. The pitcher fit in the door of the refrigerator as well. Bonus number two. The lid sealed airtight so if it tips over, no spillage and the coffee lasts longer. Bonus number three. Made in USA and the company is located right down the street in Huntington Beach California. Bonus four.
This is our first 2020 “Best of the Beach” winner.
Quick Update about Cleaning The Tekaya Cold Brew Filter
1/6/2024 – One question we get is “how do I clean my Tekaya Cold Brew Filter”. After a dozen or so brews it does actually clog up. While it is easy to wash in the sink the brown clogging doesn’t go away easily with standard dish soap. What we found is that Simple Green for just a couple of minutes and rinse well and the filter is nice and clean for the next pitcher of cold brew coffee.