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4 Cold Brew Recipes to Try This Summer

Summer Cold Brew Recipes

It’s cold brew season at Elemental Coffee, and while we know some of you are sipping on this slow-brewed chocolatey and smooth fan favorite year-round, a lot more of you are enjoying your coffee cold during the summer, so we wanted to take this opportunity to talk a little more about this classic choice for an iced coffee treat. 

Like in life, with specialty coffee, patience is key. Whether you’re meticulously measuring your beans, waiting for the water to boil, or doing the hard work of getting dialed in, great coffee takes time. This is especially true for cold brew. Prepare your tools, measure and weigh, add water, and then wait. And wait. But when you get it right, it’s worth the effort. 

Let’s learn how it’s done with simple cold brew recipes that will have you caffeinated all summer long.

Coffee + Cold Brew Equipment

First things first, you’re going to need some coffee. We recommend our Vaquero, which you’ll be familiar with if you’ve had cold brew in our shop. If you’re grabbing your coffee somewhere else, we think the best coffee for cold brew is a medium roast with chocolatey and smooth some richer, bolder tasting notes, which hold up better than the fruity high notes for a cold brew process. As far as equipment goes, you don’t need anything fancy—a sealable container that fits in the fridge will do. A mason jar works great, but we also like the Toddy Cold Brew System.

Sanitize Your Equipment

Don’t skip sanitizing your brewing equipment. Bacteria thrive in sugar-rich environments like coffee, so clean your jars, brewers, and filters thoroughly before starting.

Water To Coffee Ratio

A consistent brew ratio is crucial for great cold brew. We recommend a 1:8 ratio—1 gram of coffee for every 8 grams of water, then dilute as needed. For a liter of cold brew, use about 125g of coffee. For a stronger brew, use a 1:4.5 ratio. Alternatively, a 1:11 ratio without dilution at the end works too.

Grinding Coffee For Cold Brew

Use a medium-coarse grind, slightly coarser than you’d use for a pour-over. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the coarsest), aim for a 7. This helps extract enough sugars to avoid sourness.

Brew Time

Add your ground coffee to the brewing vessel, ensuring all the coffee is wet. Stir with a spoon if needed. Brew for about 14 hours in the fridge to prevent bacteria growth.

Filtering Your Cold Brew

After brewing, it’s time to filter. For a mason jar, filter the grounds at the end. For clearer, fresher cold brew, use a paper filter.

Diluting The Cold Brew Concentrate

Your cold brew is now a concentrate. Most prefer a concentrate-to-water ratio between 2:1 and 1:1. We like 2:1. This will give you a final brew familiar to most coffee lovers.

Final Steps

Compost your grounds and clean your brewing equipment thoroughly for next time. Happy brewing, and let us know how it goes!

Now that you’ve got your basic cold brew recipe, let’s talk about some variations and summer cold brew recipes to up your game at home. While we can’t give you a recipe for replicating the community of our sweet little shops, we CAN give you some of our favorite recipes for kicking your day off right even if you can’t make it into the shop.

How to Make Delicious Cold Brew Drinks

Sparkling Cold Brew Recipe

If you’ve spent much time at our Midtown or Capitol Hill locations in Oklahoma City, you’ve probably heard someone order the sparkling cold brew. If you’ve spent much time there in the summer, you’ve probably heard it ordered six or seven times an hour.

We love this simple twist that turns your cold brew into a sparkling treat. The best news? It’s SIMPLE. Just use the same ratio for cold brew concentrate + water, but sub sparkling water (we like Topo or Rambler but any unflavored sparkling water will work) for the filtered still water and BAM you’re set. We recommend drinking this one outside, wearing your darkest sunnies for the ultimate summer vibe.

Cold Brew Tonic Recipe

Much like the sparkling cold brew, this variation is simple, delicious, and tastes just like summer. Simply mix 1 part cold brew coffee concentrate, 2 parts tonic water, pour over ice, and serve with an optional but highly recommended lime or orange slice to garnish.

Cold Brew Latte Recipe

You may have been unwittingly guzzling a cold brew lattes for a while now as a lot of shops are moving in that direction for a simple, easy to make take on an iced latte. At Elemental, we’re still hand crafting each iced latte with a double shot of espresso, but we get the appeal of a cold brew latte and it’s a perfect choice for home brewers who don’t have an espresso machine on their kitchen counter (so like…most of us).

For this variation, Fill a glass with ice, pour 1 part cold brew coffee concentrate over the ice, add 1 part milk or plant-based milk, and stir to combine. Want to make it sweet? Add a sweetener or syrup of your choice. We like orange clove, blueberry, or a classic vanilla or simple syrup best and recommend about 20 grams of sweeter for each 12 oz latte.

Cold Foam + Cold Brew Recipe

Now we’re making our way into endless options territory, but that’s really our sweet spot and we think that’s probably one of the reasons you like us so much. So let’s get into the good stuff. For a blend of sweet and smooth, top 8 ounces of unsweetened cold brew with a cold foam of your choice. We recommend the following cold foam recipe for home use:

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces heavy cream or plant-based alternative (in the shop we use coconut cream, but there are varieties using oat and almond readily available as well)
  • 4 grams of sweetener (approximately 1 teaspoon of simple syrup, vanilla syrup, or a flavored syrup of your choice)

Instructions:

  1. Chill your ingredients: Make sure your heavy cream and any additional ingredients are cold. This helps create a better foam.
  2. Combine ingredients: Pour the cold heavy cream and 4 grams of sweetener into a frothing pitcher or a tall, narrow container.
  3. Froth the cream: Use a handheld milk frother, an immersion blender with a whisk attachment, or hand whisk to froth the heavy cream. Froth until the cream has doubled in volume and has a smooth, creamy texture. This usually takes about 20-30 seconds if you’re using a machine, and much longer of course if you’re mixing by hand. Be careful not to over-whip, as heavy cream can quickly turn into whipped cream (though honestly that would be fine too).
  4. Top your cold brew: Spoon the cold foam over your 8-ounce cold brew coffee and enjoy.

If you want to enjoy your treat extra sweet, you can sweeten the cold brew as well. Some of our favorite combos include: unsweetened cold brew with vanilla cold foam, vanilla cold brew with orange vanilla cold foam for a retro, dreamsicle taste that will take you right back to childhood, cold brew sweetened with simple syrup and topped with blueberry cold foam, or or or or or. Like we said, endless possibilities.

What’s Your Favorite Way to Cold Brew?

We could go on forever, and we probably will go on in the future. But for now, let us know which of these specialty cold brew recipes is your favorite, and be sure to tag us on Facebook or Instagram if you try them at home. We love to celebrate the home brewers in our circle.

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