Cold brew is my caffeinated beverage of choice. OK, that's putting it lightly — I'm in love with cold brew. I drink it year-round, love the smooth yet strong taste, and prefer it mixed with a little oat milk. Living in New York, there are phenomenal coffee shops everywhere, all with their own versions of cold brew. And while I definitely have my favourite spots, I don't love how expensive it is.
Cold brew at specialty coffee shops typically runs around $5 a pop, and that's without any added milk. I always opt for the biggest size — go big or go home, right? — which is a major hit to my wallet. If I got cold brew 20 times a month (which, as my credit card statement shows, I sometimes would), for a whole year that's $1,200 — a hefty price to pay for just coffee. And while I would previously make hot coffee and let it sit in the fridge overnight for iced coffee the next day, it just wasn't the same.
Enter the County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker ($27) from Amazon. Yep, it's only $27, comes with a two-quart jar (it actually yields less than that since the sieve takes up so much space in the jar), and could not be easier to use. The sieve inside the mason jar holds the grounds and you just fill it up with water until the jar is full. It takes a little patience to keep pouring the water since it takes a minute for it to seep through the grounds, but if you have about 10 minutes to spare, and the patience to let it steep for 12-14 hours, you can make some delicious, authentic cold brew.
The other key to good cold brew is quality beans. I buy beans whole from my local supermarket (they have a great selection), and grind them in my KitchenAid Coffee Grinder ($21), also on Amazon. Make sure to grind them on the coarser side, like you would for a French press, to get the best batch possible. The beans I buy are usually around $7 a pound, and one batch of cold brew typically uses about one-third of a pound of beans. Yes, it takes a lot of beans to yield about seven cups of cold brew, but it ends up saving me major bucks in the long run.
Another perk? It's better for the environment. I drink my cold brew at home in a mason jar with a paper or aluminium straw or on my way to work in a reusable tumbler with a plastic straw. No more wasting disposable plastic cups, lids, and straws every day from the coffee shop.
If you're as into cold brew as I am, or just want to save a little money by not hitting up your favourite coffee shop a few times a week, you have to check out the County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Maker. There's also a smaller one-quart version for just $20. It's easy to use, fits perfectly in the fridge, and makes one hell of a batch of cold brew. Now all you need is to buy some Califia Farms Unsweetened Oatmilk ($20 for a six-pack) for the authentic coffee shop experience.