Now we have the opportunity to make cold-brew coffee at home, easily, and without making a massive mess (tested!). OXO Good Grips have produced a DIY cold-brew coffee maker that is easily assembled, used, broken down, cleaned, and stored.
A friend of mine describes me as having ‘a cached version of the internet’; i.e. I ‘discover’ things about a day after everyone else… it’s like I’m on-trend, but would never quite qualify as the advanced guard!
And thus I discovered Cold-brew coffee this year. Many people will have no idea what I’m talking about, but I’m equally sure there will also be a hard-core group of coffee connoisseurs who are so over it, and onto the next coffee-trend.
Cold-brew coffee is not the same as iced-coffee, or cold-coffee, although both of those could be made with either hot-brewed, or cold-brewed coffee.
Cold-brew is the method by which ground coffee is steeped in cold water for around 12-24 hours, allowing the coffee flavours to develop, but without scorching the coffee, and without it developing a bitter taste. I prefer to take my coffee black, and so you can really notice the difference in taste when it’s not masked with a gallon of milk and sugar or syrup.
Starbucks have begun to sell it in a number of selected stores in the UK, and whatever your opinion of standard Starbucks coffee, I’d recommend trying the Starbucks cold-brew as it really is a much smoother and more enjoyable iced coffee.
OXO have made it their business to take kitchen products and gadgets, some of which have been around for decades, and to make them better! I don’t have an ancient cold-brew maker to compare against OXO’s version, but I do know that those who shun plastic shiny kitchen gadgets, are quite happy to make their cold-brew using a mason jar, some filter papers, coffee, and water. I, however, am happier with a purpose-designed product and an instruction book!
The OXO cold-brew coffee maker is composed of 4 main parts; the coffee grain silo, the frame to support it above the ‘jug’, the collection beaker (jug) and lid, and the bit of plastic which distributes the water evenly over the coffee grains… which someone at OXO must have felt very proud of themselves when they named and trademarked it as ‘the rainmaker’ (you can imagine the meetings!).
Following the instructions (pictures), assembly was simple and straightforward. I did have to read the instructions a few times in order to get the ratio of coffee to water correctly – and I’m sure that I will need to experiment a few times in order to get the strength to my own personal taste – cold brew coffee is a lot stronger than normal-brewed coffee, so experimentation is key!
Pouring the coffee into the silo is as straightforward as it sounds. Check the switch below is set to ‘off’ or you’ll get water all over your worktop in about 2 minutes time.
Next affix the (drum roll please) rainmaker over the coffee, and using the measuring beaker (jug), pour in some water and allow the coffee to bloom for a few minutes before pouring over the remainder of the water.
Now leave it. Yep, overnight, or for at least 12 hours. Remember this is not brewing coffee, you are steeping it and it needs time for the flavours to develop and for the coffee to reach a strength that enables you to use this as coffee concentrate (add water).
The following morning, simply make sure that the beaker is below the stand, flick the switch and let the coffee drain through for about 20 minutes.
Remove the jug, and using the handy measure in the jug-lid, measure out a shot (2 oz) of coffee concentrate into a mug and then dilute with water (either hot water or ice and milk, to taste) at about 4:1 ratio.
Rinse the jug-lid, seal the jug, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks!
My only disappointment was that aside from the glass jug, the OXO Good grips Cold Brew Coffee maker is hand wash only – so no quick dumping of it into the dishwasher. But it’s a small price to pay if you only need to make up a brew every one to two weeks.
I found the coffee to be a lot nicer, smoother but much stronger than my normal brew – using the same coffee – so I would recommend trying different levels of dilution, different coffees, until you find your perfect brew. But in summary, this is by far the simplest way to ensure you always have incredible fresh coffee at hand.