I’m one of those types of people that can — and does — drink hot coffee even when it’s 90 degrees outside. For me, there’s nothing like the whole, wonderful aromatic ritual of doing a pour-over in the morning! First comes the fragrance from the dry coffee grounds. Then the enticing aroma that wafts out when you add hot water. And finally, you have a finished brew that — when done right — can be motivation enough to get moving in the morning.
But on a scorching hot summer day, I know there are plenty of you that can’t imagine adding fuel to the fire. You want your iced coffee … cold brew in particular.
I get it! Even though I’ll always be a hot brew kinda gal, there is social proof that iced coffee is on point with the high number of cold brew sales we see at Espresso Elevado. Matter of fact, the ice machine at our shop can barely keep up on those hellaciously hot days, and sometimes it doesn’t. We often have to run out and buy additional ice!
So if you’re a cold brew lover I wanted to write up something special just for you. I am even including some delicious recipe ideas for creative cold brew drinks you can make yourself at home at a very reasonable cost.
The really great thing about cold brew is there are so many things you can do with it! 🙌 🎉
Make your cold brew concentrate
First thing, of course, you have to make yourself some cold brew!
It might seem overwhelming at first, but there are plenty of contraptions to use and guidance online to help you do this. So, in order to get to the fun, creative stuff, I’m not going to focus much on the actual brewing process in this article. Although… if you’re curious what I recommend for brewing, I would say to check out a Filtron or Toddy home unit. They’re affordable, durable, easily repeatable, and they yield about 32 ounces of cold brew concentrate with one brewing. If you add water for a second brewing — which is perfectly fine — you can get about 50 ounces.
✨Pro tip: Be sure to use good quality water always!✨
So, assuming you have your cold brewing device, now go get yourself some fresh coffee from a local roaster like Espresso Elevado (shameless plug 🙂 Buy a pound of whatever you like best, and don’t feel bad about splurging!
Treat yo’self, honey! Because even if you spend $25 on a pound of beans, when we do the math and divide that out over 12 drinks at a minimum, you’ll only end up spending $2-3 per drink when it’s all finished. That’s about half of what you’d spend at the coffee shop!
Prepare your beverage base
In preparing your beverage, you’ll use about 3 ounces concentrate in a 12oz drink and about 4 ounces in a 16 ounce drink. That means you should have enough for about 12-15 drinks! You may even want to use less cold brew concentrate per drink, depending on your taste preference, because it really packs a punch of caffeine due to the long brewing time.
👉🏼Now on to the creative cold brew mixology part!
What will you do with that beverage base?
Well, well, well… now, this is where you can really get crazy! Think of cold brew like a blank canvas that is ready for you to paint. It’s the basic component when preparing your iced drink, just like espresso is the basic building block of a latte.
Of course, you could just add good quality water and ice for a simple and rich iced coffee. Or you could add milk for something like an iced latte. Nothing wrong with straight-up! When you’re investing in good quality, fresh-roasted coffee, you may not need anything more!
But for a real special treat with some added sweetness, here are just a few ideas for some ultra decadent creative cold brew drinkys:
Cold brew drink recipe ideas
Vanilla Oat Milk Cold Brew
Make a small batch of vanilla simple syrup by boiling a cup of water, a scant cup of cane sugar, some vanilla powder, and about 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Let that cool and you’ll be able to save it in your refrigerator for about a month. To make your 16oz drink, add 3-4oz cold brew concentrate, an ounce of your homemade syrup, and 8oz oat milk. Top with ice then go sit on your porch and watch the world go by.
Chocolate Berry Cold Brew
This is a huge summertime favorite at E2, but it takes a little bit of effort. Buy yourself a bag of frozen berries — we use raspberries, but you could try it with blueberries or strawberries too. Let them defrost and then stick ‘em in a blender with a cup of spring water and a half cup of sugar. To get rid of the seeds you’ll have to push the mixture through a strainer or chinois, but it’s SO worth it! To make your 16oz drink, add about 3oz cold brew concentrate and an ounce or so of the berry puree. Add 8oz chocolate milk, top with ice and you’re off to the races!
Cinnamon Horchata Cold Brew
We used to always drink fresh horchata in Spain. Sooo good! You can easily make your own at home. Here is a nice, straight-forward recipe. If you want to skip the extra work, just find yourself some Rice Dream Horchata on Amazon and use that instead. For a 16oz drink, add 3-4oz cold brew concentrate, then about 8oz of your horchata, topped with ice. Dust the top of your drink with cinnamon to enhance the aromatics. Play with different varieties of cinnamon. Try Ceylon for a more subtle, almost floral spice or Vietnamese cinnamon for a more sweet, pungent pop.
Let me know how you do with these! Enjoy Summer and stay cool.