Two Word Taste Test: Cold Brew Coffee

Here’s a fun thing to do: Make coffee twelve ways* for a taste test then see how much of your house you can get cleaned because COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE

I’ve tried dozens of coffee brands, bought a burr grinder to grind whole beans, and I still can’t find a blend that’s not overroasted. So the gentle and sweet magic that cold press promises is super appealing to me. To keep things as scientific as possible and also because THIS IS SPARTA TYPE-A I brewed the coffee each time in my French press with the same amount of coffee and water, and the same batch of freshly ground coffee.

Cold Press Coffee Test 1

Did I drink a gallon of coffee? YES TALK FASTER

You prepare cold brew the night before by adding coffee grounds to your French press, fill with lukewarm water, and let sit in the fridge till morning, then plunge and proceed.


For coffee served hot, I like cold brew reheated. The cold brewing removed all the rough edges and left me with a mellow cup of sleep-in, vs. that KAPOW LET’S MOVE IT MOVE IT cup Monday needs. The downside is that if I want more than one pot of coffee I’ll need to think about all of this in advance and own more than one French press.

Cold Press Coffee Test 1

So. Now we have to buy more French presses.


Are you with me? Cold food needs to be seasoned more to counteract the cold, so all the gentle nuances of cold brew get lost. I wouldn’t kick cold brew served cold out of bed for eating cookies but it doesn’t hold a candle to hot brew served cold.

Good grief that’s a lot of metaphors.

Okay, bottom line: Cold coffee needs the sharp notes and bitter flavor that cold brew removes.

If you’ve got a lazy Sunday morning ahead of you, mix up a carafe and put it in the fridge overnight, then microwave in the morning (don’t boil it). For your iced afternoon pick-me-up, however, use the leftovers from your morning hot brew because for iced, stronger will definitely be better. Go forth and be caffeinated!

*No seriously, I tested this 12 ways:

Cold brew served cold, black

Cold brew served cold with cream, sugar and vanilla

Cold brew served cold with powdered creamer and sugar

Cold brew served hot, black

Cold brew served hot with cream and sugar

Cold brew served hot with powdered creamer and sugar

Hot brew served cold, black

Hot brew served cold with cream, sugar and vanilla

Hot brew served cold with powdered creamer and sugar

Hot brew served hot, black

Hot brew served hot with cream and sugar

Hot brew served hot with powdered creamer and sugar


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