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Perpetual cold brew. Sustainable Fancy Coffee.

When I was working, every Wednesday, I would stop and get an iced decaf coffee at a locally owned drive thru coffee stand. It was my weekly treat, and I looked forward to it with anticipation. With bringing my own reusable cup ($.25 discount), and getting double stamps because it was Wednesday, it was a low-cost mid-week pick me up.

Now, I rarely pass by that coffee stand, and have developed a taste for making my own iced lattes. I tried making coffee in our french press and then chilling it, but the drink tasted bitter and went to waste because I didn’t like it. I had been seeing a lot about cold brew lately, so I looked up a popular recipe, and then I proceeded to laugh and laugh. And laugh some more. Almost a pound of coffee for only eight cups of output? In what world is that a financially sustainable practice? I figured there needed to be a cheaper way, and one I enjoy almost as much as Wednesdays. And thus, my “Perpetual Cold Brew” was born.

Please, please, please don’t read this and then comment “that isn’t real cold brew”. I get it; the over-priced coffee house you frequent does it much differently, and charges you about a gabillion more per oz than this will take to make. I’m the worst Seattle native ever, because I know little about coffee, rarely drink it, and hate Starbucks. Except when they give me their used grounds for the garden. Then we’re tight af. But this satisfies my craving for a daily treat, and only costs pennies a glass. So, while it won’t win any awards, it is something delicious to sip on at 5 am.

Perpetual Cold Brew
2 quart mason jars
2/3 to 1 cup of coffee grounds, depending on how strong you like it. Use the largest/chunkiest grind you can find
Ice cubes
Milk or your alternative milk of choice. I love Silk Chocolate Cashew Milk, because it owns my heart

  1. Add your coffee to the mason jar, and cover with cold water. Give a good shake. Once the lid is on. Seriously, did I need to say that? Store it at room temperature.
  2. 12 hours later, strain your coffee in to the second empty mason jar. I use a wide mouth funnel and fine mini strainer for this. Refrigerate.
  3. Transfer the funnel and strainer back to the original mason jar. Turn the strainer upside down (so it’s dome-shaped), and run cold water through the strainer, dislodging all the grounds, and filling up the jar. Put the lid on the jar, and set aside on the counter for 24 hours.
  4. Repeat process explained in step two. I then fill the jar with water, swirl around, and dump the contents at the base of one of my 22 blueberry bushes.

Now, you can even go for a third batch with the same grounds, but at that point, it’s barely coffee-flavored water. You could also freeze a third batch in an ice cube tray to prevent watering down future drinks. Serve with ice cubes, and a splash of your favorite milk.

Here is the “first press” version. As with anything that you can get multiple batches out of, the first batch is the best. Deepest coffee flavor and color, etc.


And here is batch two. Not too shabby if you ask me!


Ok, so what about the caffeine you ask? Generally, when brewing coffee or tea, the caffeine is one of the first things to steep out. But, I drink decaf anyway, so of course I haven’t noticed a difference with this. My thought is, try it for yourself, and if you aren’t bouncing off the walls like normal, go back to drinking whatever it is you were drinking. Experimenting is fun!

Fun fact, I used to consume Mountain Dew like it was about to be made illegal. I stopped drinking it for a few years, and then when we were living in Los Angeles, I got a big cup of it from Taco Bell (oh how I miss those $.79 bean burritos, but the idea of powdered bean base is just no longer appealing to me), and freaked the freak out. Troy was at work – some VH1 reality show likely – and I called him telling him I was having a heart attack and something horrible was happening. I said my heart was racing, I was sweating, and I felt like my knees would explode if I let them be within two inches of each other. As I proceeded to explain all my symptoms and scare the shit out of my (already) nervous husband, my eyes fell on the Mountain Dew cup, I said “oh, nevermind, I’m fine. Off to deep clean the apartment”, and promptly hung up on him.

So yeah. Decaf for me, thanks.

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4 comments on “Perpetual cold brew. Sustainable Fancy Coffee.”

  1. I have another method of making iced coffee. Every once in a while the local MacD’s offer free coffees or accidently gives one to hubby when he orders a drive thru tea. These come home to me and I chill them in the fridge then add a mixture of 2% milk and International Delight flavoured coffee creamer. I pretend this is iced coffee and it suits me just fine.

  2. I rarely comment, but oh em gee, that’s about the meanest thing you can do to an EMT! 😉

    • Comment more! 🙂

      He wasn’t an EMT at that point. He did electrical and lighting on TV and movie sets. But he was still jumpy and nervous about health, even back then!

  3. I have to try this! (Our coffee pot just broke!) Thanks for posting & you are very funny by the way 🙂