Paula Roy: Whole Foods in Half the Time


Cold Brew This Maple Coffee to Keep Cool & Caffeinated

Why I'll never drink ordinary iced coffee again

by: Paula Roy
Cold-brewed coffee is delicious and easy to make

I have a love-hate relationship with coffee. While I find its aroma absolutely intoxicating, I really don’t like to drink it too often because 1) I always seem to need more sugar than I'd prefer to use to cut the bitter taste and 2) it often leaves me jittery and sweaty. In fact, my piano teacher has expressly forbidden me to drink any coffee on Wednesday mornings before my lesson because of reason 2. In the summer, my tastes turn towards cold beverages to keep me hydrated and moderately caffeinated; I’ve long been making cold-steeped teas to sip on throughout the hot days. I’ve tried iced coffee, which is hot-brewed coffee that’s chilled (and diluted) by pouring over ice, but found it bitter and, again, in need of a lot of sugar to make it palatable.

All this got me thinking that maybe cold-brewed coffee, served over ice, would be a great summertime beverage….and I was right! Here are the top four reasons why I will always have a jar of cold-brewed coffee in my fridge from now until it’s time to wear socks again:

  1. Cold-brewing produces a gentler, more nuanced flavour that is smoother, deeper and (I think) more delicious than coffee made with hot water because heat brings out the bitter flavours in the beans as well as a lot more acidity.
  2. Because it’s lower in acidity, cold-brewed coffee is more gentle on both our stomachs and our delicate tooth enamel; you may also find you to add little to no sweetener to it.
  3. Cold-brewed coffee is simple to prepare and requires no special equipment – all you need is a mason jar and a clean cloth for filtering.
  4. You can store cold-brewed coffee in the fridge (in a tightly-covered jar) for up to two weeks.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial to make your own fantastically easy and delicious cold-brewed coffee:


1 part coffee beans to 8 parts cold water (I used 1/2 cup whole coffee beans and 4 cups water)
Ice cubes, splash of maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener, optional) and cream or milk, for serving



 Coarsely grind coffee beans. I recommend using a burr grinder (I used my grandmother’s old meat grinder!) to ensure you have larger pieces rather than a finer grind.

cold brew maple coffee |

 You can even put the beans in a sturdy zippered sandwich bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

cold brew maple coffee |

 See? Nice and coarsely ground.

cold brew maple coffee |

 Put the ground beans in the bottom of a large mason jar or other vessel that can hold the appropriate amount of water to accommodate the 1:8 ratio and pour cold water over the ground beans.

cold brew maple coffee |

    Fill the jar right to the top.

cold brew maple coffee |

  Cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and an elastic band and let brew on the counter for 12 hours or in the fridge for 24 hours then strain the cold-brewed coffee through 4 layers of cheesecloth (or any clean cloth) into a clean jar and discard the coffee grounds. If you notice a fair bit of sediment in the bottom of the second jar after the coffee has settled, filter it a second time (this just means your coffee beans were a bit too finely-ground).

cold brew maple coffee |

 Serve the cold-brewed coffee over ice, adding cream (or milk) plus maple syrup (or agave, or honey – any kind of liquid sweetener will dissolve better than granular ones in the cold beverage) to taste.

cold brew maple coffee |

Makes 4 cups (32 ounces) of delicious coffee.

cold brew maple coffee |

 RELATED: How to Avoid Watered-Down Iced Coffee