As an avid coffee lover, cold brew coffee has been saving my ass this summer.
When it feels like I'm living on the surface of the sun, a piping hot cup of coffee is the last thing I want.
And so cold brew has been my answer – offering all the benefits of coffee in a cool drink that combats the heat.
What is cold brew?
Well, it's not simply iced coffee (wherein traditionally brewed coffee is poured over ice).
Cold brew describes an actual brewing process rather than just a drink.
Below I'll show you how I use the Cold Bruer to make cold brew coffee at home.
Cold brew coffee maker options
There are a ton of methods out there for making your own cold brew, but they mostly fall into one of two primary categories.
1) Immersion style cold brew
For immersion style cold brew, you combine coffee grounds in cold water, let the mixture steep for 12 to 24 hours, then strain the mixture to claim your highly concentrated cold brew coffee.
To craft your cold brew, you can use a french press you already have on hand or even a mason jar. With almost no startup cost, this sounds like the way to go.
But…the immersion method requires you to pour the solution through various makeshift filtration systems to ensure a clean cup of coffee.
Since this method can get messy and tedious pretty quickly, it almost negates the low cost.
2) Drip style cold brew
Drip style coffee makers slowly drip water onto the grounds to extract the flavor. After the water makes its way through the grounds, it's allowed to freely drip as freshly brewed coffee into a reservoir.
Drip style cold brew coffee does have a higher up-front investment because you're buying a specialized coffee maker.
But the great part of this method is that no additional filtration is required. The coffee that drips from the pot is ready to drink or be stored for later.
After reading every article and review, watching countless videos, and taking all that information into consideration, I confidently put my money on a drip style coffee maker (specifically the Cold Bruer).
Cold Bruer Review
After making (and thoroughly enjoying!) quite a few pots of cold brew coffee with my new Cold Bruer, here's my experience.
The Cold Bruer pieces
Cold Bruer components – brewing tower, filter, valve, lid, carafe
How to use the Cold Bruer
This may sound like a lot of steps, but I really broke the process down for you here. Now that I've had a few practice runs, it only takes me a couple minutes to set up my brew.
Step 1 – Measure coffee
Grab the Red Supplements Coffee Bundle to experiment with Light, Medium, and Dark roasts side by side.
Measure 60 grams of coffee grounds (medium grind). If you don't have a food scale, you can use 2/3 cup or the line on the side of the brewing tower.
Just know that measuring by weight is more accurate than volume.
I consider a food scale to be an essential tool for tracking macros anyway, so you might as well use if for everything you can. This is the one I use.
Step 2 – Attach metal filter
Secure the metal filter to the underside of the tower, fine mesh side up.
The silicone ring is very pliable and will gladly go on crooked if you're not paying attention. So make sure to massage it into place for a perfect seal.
Step 3 – Add your grounds
Pour your coffee grounds into the tower, tap the side to level them off, and set the brewing tower onto the carafe.
Step 4 – Add a paper filter
Next, drop a paper filter ON TOP of the grounds. I know this sounds counter intuitive.
The purpose of the paper filter is to catch and evenly distribute the dripping water, rather than having it drip and essentially erode a hole straight through the middle of your grounds.
The metal mesh filter on the bottom of the brewing tower does the job of keeping the grounds out of your freshly brewed coffee.
Step 5 – Install the valve
Pre-wet the grounds with about two ounces of water and then gently push the valve mechanism into the brewing tower.
To ensure a tight fit, it helps to put a thin layer of water around the seal.
Step 6 – Add the ice and water
Measure out 24 ounces of ice and water, then add it to the tower.
You can use your scale, measuring cup, or the line on the side of the reservoir (barely visible in the photo above).
Step 7 – Adjust your drip rate
Turn the valve clockwise to slow or counter clockwise to speed up the drip rate until you get about one drip per second.
That's the standard setting, but you can always experiment with shorter or longer brew times on subsequent uses.
Now we wait
Depending on how fast or slow you set the drip rate, you could be waiting anywhere between 2 and 8 hours for your coffee.
My overall thoughts on the Cold Bruer
Ok, so it makes cold brew coffee. But how good is the coffee and what is the Cold Bruer like to live with?
The coffee that comes out of the Cold Bruer has quite a different flavor profile than hot brew coffee.
Cold brew coffee is less acidic, sweeter, and more concentrated. At the first sip, my thought was that it was very close to the coffee notes you detect in a good stout or porter style beer.
I realize that sounds strange – coffee that tastes like a beer that reminds me of coffee, haha. You'll just have to try it out for yourself.
Since cold brew is more concentrated than hot coffee, it stands up very well to milk, cream, and sweetener.
I like to have it in a double-walled glass mug with some Stevia and lots of ice.
I do my best not to chug it, and instead like to let it mellow in my cup, diluting slightly as I near the end.
A plus to starting with a concentrated coffee is that it doesn't get watered down when the ice melts, it simply becomes more mellow and reveals different flavors.
At first, the Cold Bruer looks a little intimidating.
There are multiple chambers, filters, valves, and the whole thing just looks like you need a science degree to operate it. But once you understand how it works, it's really quite simple.
You have a spot for your coffee grounds, a reservoir for the ice water, a valve to regulate the flow, and a carafe for the cold brew coffee to drip into.
Thanks to all of the silicone parts, everything fits together nicely, nothing leaks, and the valve is easy to operate. There isn't anything I can find to pick on in this department.
While I would never purchase a product that functioned poorly just because it looked great, aesthetics definitely play a huge part in my buying decisions.
And there's no denying it, the Cold Bruer is a thing of beauty! It's like a piece of modern art jumped the fence and made a baby with some laboratory equipment.
Generally, I like to keep my countertops clear. But this is one piece of kitchen equipment I have no qualms about leaving out for show.
With all of the pieces being either silicone, metal, or glass, cleaning the Cold Bruer is pretty simple. I just rinse everything in the sink, give it a once over with a soapy rag, and then a final rinse.
And best of all, because there's no heat involved in the brewing process, nothing gets that baked-in, old coffee smell.
Even though I can be a pretty cynical guy when it comes to consumer products, I really can't think of any way to improve the Cold Bruer.
While there are a ton of drip devices on the market, most share a common shortcoming. And that is they don't allow you to control the drip rate, and thus the strength and flavor of the coffee.
Being the tinkering type, I need that control and one of the main reasons I chose the Cold Bruer was for the adjustable valve.
If you're interested in experimenting with cold brew coffee at home, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a Cold Bruer.
You'll have a dedicated machine that takes all of the guesswork and mess out of the process so you can start cold brewing excellent coffee right from the start.
All the best,