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How to Make AeroPress Cold Brew Coffee

It’s hot and sunny outside. You have gotten sick of drinking watered down iced coffee. You need something smooth and refreshing to carry you through these long summer days. You need some cold brew. It’s the perfect drink to get you through the summer, and can be made easily with almost anything available in your house.

But can you make it in your AeroPress? The answer, of course, is yes. Here's how.

What you will need

  • An AeroPress coffee maker
  • 1 AeroPress paper filter
  • A coffee grinder (to grind your beans)
  • 30g of coffee beans suitable for cold brewing*
  • 132g water (room temperature)

* What beans should you choose? Here's a list we put together. When choosing, keep in mind that coffees lower in acidity tend to make a more smooth, balanced cup of cold brew

This recipe is enough for one cup of cold brew. You can easily double it if you like. We are going to make a cold brew coffee concentrate and add water later to make a drinkable cup. If you need more, visit this page and choose another brewing method.

This method is very similar to brewing normal coffee with an inverted AeroPress. The only differences are the ratio of coffee to water, the temperature of the water and the steep time. 


How to Make AeroPress Cold Brew

This is by far the easiest way to make cold brew coffee. The only downside is that an AeroPress isn’t able to make a large batch of cold brew. You can only make 1-2 cups each time. But for 2 minutes of work, I’d say it’s worth it. 

1 -  Measure out 30 grams of whole coffee beans

Pouring ground coffee in a coffee maker

Once you've chosen your beans, weigh out 30 grams in preparation for grinding. This may seem pedantic, but it's a necessary step to get the right level of potency.

You should always measure your coffee by weight, not volume. Beans that seem the same size will likely actually vary in weight (due to density). (1)

"Weighing your coffee is the best way to ensure equal brew potency among different coffees" - Patrick Smith, Utopian Coffee

2 - Grind your beans on a Coarse Setting

grind coarse coffee

When planning to steep cold brew for 24 hours, it’s important to grind as coarse as you can (even coarser than you would for a French press).

Grinding too fine will cause the coffee to over extract, pulling out unwanted acidity and bitterness. If you want a shorter steep time, such as 4, 8, or even 12 hours, you could play around with a finer grind size, but this is not recommended. Be patient and your cold brew will taste better.

3 - Invert your aeroPress and add coffee.

If you had your AeroPress for any length of time, you’ve likely experimented with brewing inverted - that is, placing the plunger into the top of the brewer and then flipping it over.

Inverting the AeroPress is important because you need the coffee and water to steep for 24 hours.  So go ahead and invert the AeroPress. Set it on your scale and add the ground coffee.

4 - Add room temperature water. Stir gently.

If you want to be exact - add 132 grams of room temperature water. Even though this is cold brew, it doesn’t need to actually be cold just yet. Using room temperature water and letting it steep at room temperature will produce solid results. You don’t need to put it in the fridge to steep - this will just slow down the process further.

After adding the water, give it a gentle stir with a paddle or spoon, ensuring all the grounds are in contact with the water. Cover the top of the AeroPress with a filter or cup, to keep anything from falling into the coffee.

Pro Tip: Use the best water you can (​2​​​). Avoid distilled water (not enough minerals) and pure mineral water (too many minerals). Tap water can be a good choice depending on where you live.

5 - Let sit for 24 hours at room temperature.

Aeropress resting for 24 hours

The waiting has begun. Try to forget about the coffee. Go to work. Take a nap. Visit your grandmother. Anything to pass the time until your delicious cold brew is ready.

Pro Tip: Avoid placing the coffee in direct sunlight. Place it in a spot where light or heat won’t affect your concoction.

6 - Place A Paper Filter In The Basket And Rinse.

Congratulations, you made it through the day. After 24 hours, your coffee has been properly extracted. Now it’s time to rinse your paper filter.

This may sound like a minor detail, but rinsing the filter before using will wash away any paper taste that might affect the coffee. The AeroPress filters are so thin that any taste coming through is unlikely, but it’s generally a good practice in coffee brewing.

7 - Add Filter To Basket, Screw Onto AeroPress. Flip Onto A Glass.

Once your filter has been rinsed, screw onto the opening of the inverted AeroPress. To avoid coffee dripping everywhere as you flip, place your cup, upside down, on top of the brewer. Hold the cup over the opening as you flip the AeroPress over.

You can either plunge it down to finish it quickly or remove the plunger and let it drip on its own for a minute or two.

Pro Tip: Before adding coffee concentrate to your glass, set your glass on the scale and tare it. Then, when the coffee concentrate has been added, put it back on the scale to know exactly how many grams of concentrate you have.

8 - Clean Your AeroPress.

Once your coffee has been extracted, empty the grounds into the trash or compost and rinse off your AeroPress. You’ve got to love how easy it is to clean these things.

9 - Finish your cold brew by adding water or milk.

Cold brew concentrate

Again, our current result is a coffee concentrate. It’s very strong. This is where we add water (or milk) to make a tasty, drinkable cup. I recommend starting with equal parts water to coffee, and adjusting it further if needed.

So, if you have 100 grams of coffee concentrate, I would add 100 grams of water (the same type of water you used earlier). Depending on your personal preference, you might want to add more or less water. Top it off with a couple of ice cubes and enjoy! 

Pro Tip: Experiment with different amounts of water. Split your concentrate equally into 4 different cups. If there is 20 grams of coffee concentrate in each cup, add 10 grams water to one, 15 grams water to another, 20 grams water to the third and 25 grams water to the last. Each one will taste a little bit different. If you find out what ratio you prefer, you will be able to repeat your results a lot easier the next time around.

Final Thoughts

Was that easy or what? It looks like a lot of steps, but it really takes just a couple of minutes to make awesome AeroPress cold brew. Plus, you can store it in the fridge for about 2 weeks (but why would you wait that long to drink coffee this good?). Don't forget to see our standard aeropress recipe and try to master the hot version of this brewing method.

What’s the result of such an easy process? A refreshing, smooth cup with lots of sweet cocoa notes and a full body.  The best thing about making cold brew with an AeroPress is that you only use a little bit of coffee (30-60 grams). You don’t have to use an entire bag, like traditional cold brewers might require. 

FAQs

What are the best beans for cold brew?

The best beans for cold brew are those which highlight cold brew’s inherent ability to bring out subtle flavors with low acidity and very little bitterness. For our recommendations, check out this guide on the best beans for cold brew.

Can I make cold brew coffee but drink it hot?

You can make cold brew coffee and drink it hot. To do this, just add near-boiling water (195 - 205 F) to your cold-brew concentrate. You’ll get all the usual cold-brew benefits - low acidity, smooth flavor - but in a hot beverage. You might adjust the amount of hot water to control the temperature of your brew.

What’s the best way to sweeten cold coffee?

The best way to sweeten cold coffee is with simple syrup. To make simple syrup, heat equal parts of sugar and water until the sugar crystals dissolve. When cool, store in the refrigerator. Add to iced coffee, iced tea, or use in summer cocktails. You can use other kinds of sugar - demerara or brown, for example - to add a different flavor to your drinks.

Infographic: Cold Brew in an Aeropress

References

  1. Q&A: Coffee by Volume. (2014, April 03). Retrieved July 5, 2019, from https://utopiancoffee.com/qa-coffee-by-volume/

  2. Coffee and Water – How to Use High Quality Water to Brew the Best Coffee. (n.d.). Retrieved July 5, 2019, from https://www.baristainstitute.com/inspiration/coffee-and-water-how-use-high-quality-water-brew-best-coffee


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Scott
 

Hi, I'm Scott, and I've traveled extensively through North America and Europe, exploring food and drink pairings around the world. My Love of coffee began during my teen years when a friend's family introduced me to the glories of the classic Italian Moka pot. That technology got me through too many early-morning final exams in college and eventually led to a manual espresso machine after graduation.

Bob - May 8, 2018

I dump the coffee and water into a jam jar and leave it for a day then chuck it through the Aeropress a day later. Doesn’t tie up your aeropress all day then…
Also, I’m finding that if I leave my plunger in the cylinder, that it’s starting to leak when I plunge (I have a metal filter, and sometimes I am lazy and don’t clean the press out until the next time I use it.)

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