Sip Better: How to Pick Gear for Making Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew is easy. Waiting is the only hard part.

Cold brewing—in which cold or room-temperature water, along with a long steeping time, does the work—creates a wonderfully smooth cup of iced brew. It avoids watering down hot coffee with ice, or drastically going from super hot to super cold which can make coffee taste sour. Here’s how to make it, and the simple tools you’ll need.

Pitcher Style

A slim, filtering pitcher that fits nicely in your fridge door. Takeya

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Coffee is brewed by combining water with coffee grounds, then separating the grounds from the liquid. You can do that very quickly with super hot water; that’s how hot coffee is made. But you can also do it with cold water, as long as you have time. It’ll take about 12 hours for cold or room-temperature water to steep for cold brew, so you’ll have to start it the night before you want to drink it.

Simple Setup

This five-piece set is simple, affordable and the container can be used for other stuff, too. County Line Kitchen

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There’s nothing magical about cold brew—well, at least the process of making it, anyway. (The flavor, on the other hand, is pretty magical.) Really, all you have to do to make cold brew is combine water and coffee, let it sit overnight, and then filter out the coffee grounds. Brewing can be as easy as simply screwing a filter setup onto a large glass jar—quick and easy.

Classic Tool

A classic pitcher with a plunger makes for a great cold brewer. Bodum

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Cold brew is a gentle method of brewing coffee, which makes it great for lesser-quality coffees: the cold brewing process brings out certain flavors in the drink and leaves others still in there. With no hot water interacting with your grounds, that means cheaper, more abrasive coffees turn into smooth, delicious iced treats.