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The Ultimate Dilemma

It’s 10 PM and you’re looking to whip up some good ole fresh cold brew coffee. You search your cabinets 3 times, but your cold brewer is nowhere to be found! You start to panic, but alas, you forgot to check your dishwasher! So you open your dishwasher where your cold brewer sits comfortably on the top rack… amongst all of the other dirty dishes that have yet to be cleaned because yes- you guessed it- you have also run completely out of dish soap and dishwasher detergent!

Bummer, how will you ever get your cold brew fix now? Maybe you could slide through the Starbucks drive through 30 minutes earlier on your way to class, but wait- yep, you have exactly $3.83 in your bank account until you get paid on Friday and that certainly will not get you anything worth drinking at Starbucks. Something glass glints out of the corner of your eye. You look over at your trusty, yet dusty, French press coffee maker. An idea pops into your mind: could you possibly make your cold brew in this contraption in the meantime? The answer is yes you can; it is, indeed, very possible.

The perfect substitute

A French press is a pretty perfect occasional alternative for making cold brew coffee when something comes up that prevents you from utilizing your cold brewer. Most are big enough to make to about a liter of cold brew coffee and they also have a built-in filtration system. Using a French press, as many of you probably already know, is super simple- almost as easy as using an actual cold brewer. Like I said it’s possible, but it’s not as easy.

In order to make your cold brew in a French press, you’re going to use the exact same cold brew ratio which is anywhere between 1:4 and 1:8 (grounds to water) depending on your taste preferences. First you want to measure out your coffee grounds, about 6 ounces according to Cold Mountain Brew, and then you’ll pour those grounds into the empty decanter of your French press.

Next, you’ll fill the French press decanter about ¾ of the way full with room temperature water and lightly stir to make sure that all of the grounds are immersed and incorporated with the water. (Pro tip: filtered water helps with the extraction, but if there is any type of brew that you can get away with using tap water, it’s cold brew.) Lastly, top the decanter off with its plunger lid, making sure to keep the plunger pulled up to the top in order to keep it out of the way of the brewing concentrate. Then you must wait 12-24 hours as usual!

The final product

Finally, when the wait is over, you have to filter the concentrate! Here’s the tricky part: only push the plunger down about an inch or two in order to avoid agitating the concentrate; after steeping for so long, coffee grounds are extremely volatile and any extra agitation will release more of the undesired oils and bits that we aim to avoid when making cold brew. With the plunger screen in place, carefully pour the liquid contents into a spare jar or pitcher. To get cleaner cup of cold brew, try running the concentrate through a mesh filter or strainer a second time because some grounds can sneak through the French Press filter.

So, there you have it! A quick fix to get your cold brew even when you’ve been left without your cold brewer!

Happy Cold Brewing!

-Tawnie

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