Photo of cold brew coffee brewing

Studio Food – Cold Brew Coffee

One of my number one essential habits of working in the studio is how I enter the studio and get into the mindset of working. This process typically involves a cup of coffee and some music to listen to. It could be deep listening where I’m not doing anything (no phone) or it could be tidying up and getting things ready for whatever I’m going to be working on.

I have two big Mason Jar coffee systems I got as a gift from my wife and they have been my fave way of making coffee. There’s also science behind cold brew over a hot process that you can read about in Ars Technica. This was the same explanation my friend told me 4 years ago when he taught me about this method of brewing.

How to cold brew

You need to use a dark roast blend for best results. My brother in law’s husband once got us a French Roast from McNulty’s in NYC and it was the best cup I’ve ever made. You can order online from them.

Grind the beans and add them to the filter almost to the top. I use filtered water as in water from a Brita but if you have good water from the tap then by all means use it. I fill the Mason Jar up about halfway then put the filter in and then pour water through the filter until the water gets to the top. This helps saturate the grind in the filter and get the process going.

How long to cold brew

I let it brew on the counter for a full 24 hours. This has been, in my experience, the most ideal time. You can brew it longer, I’ve done 2 days for weaker coffee on hand, but any shorter and you run into the chance of it being weak in taste.

Clean up

  1. Don’t put grounds down your sink. It’s terrible for your pipes and if you are in your own home that will eventually lead to a fun (read: gross) DIY weekend project of taking your sink apart or an expensive visit from a plumber.
  2. Use the grounds in your garden. I’ve read it detracts bugs (lol, I dunno about this based on experience), but it is excellent for plants and is such a simple clean up. You could also compost it, I’m doing this currently while learning about composting.

How to enjoy

If it’s hot out and you want cold brew, I recommend also making coffee ice cubes. If you want hot coffee (which is what I almost always prefer even when it’s hot out), simply pour some cold brew into a mug and microwave it. You can scoff at microwaving the coffee to heat it, but it’s the smoothest hot cup you can make at home. (If you do better please email me your methods!)

For iced/cold, make sure you have simple syrup on hand. You can do cool stuff with simple syrup too like add some lavender you’re growing and let it steep for a few days in the syrup.

For hot, any of the normal accompaniments apply though heavy cream is especially good, if you’re vegan then there are lots of options like a coconut cream, yum. Speaking of, sweetened condensed milk in either hot or iced is amazing and then you don’t typically need the simple syrup or sugar.

The only thing left to do now is pick out an album.