Home Cold Brew Hacks!

While stay-at-home orders and April snow showers might make Summer seem a far off dream, cold brew season is right around the corner, believe it or not. Sure, you can have your choice of canned and bottled cold brew from nearly any grocery store these days, and hopefully you’ll soon be able to snag one from your favorite coffee shop (may we suggest our cafe & newsstand?). The gratification, however, from whipping a batch up at home, with ANY coffee your heart desires is for some unsurpassable. We don’t mean to speak in too great of hyperbole, but it really is a joy to mod out your recipe to your own preferences of brew ratio,
brewing time, grind size, and coffee used.

Coffees like our H.O.M.E.S. Blend fit a more classic cold brew flavor profile, with rich creaminess, and strong cocoa and nut flavors. Meanwhile, coffees like our current Ethiopian offering would lend itself to a vibrant and floral cold brew, perhaps more akin to an iced jasmine tea than coffee.

This all being said, lots of us might not have a fancy cold brewing system at home - and by fancy, we really mean a glorified bucket with a spigot at the bottom. At Sparrows, we think most of these brewers are overpriced for what they are, and that you can easily fashion a similar rig at home using common home brewing accessories. Below is Sparrows’ go-to cold brew concentrate recipe, using the trusty Chemex and french press brewers. You can also follow along with our newest episode of Tricks of the Trade, in which our head of coffee walks you
through the process step-by-step.

Curious of what to do with said concentrate, besides diluting and drinking as is? Keep scrolling past the recipe, to get privy to some of our favorite easy drinks using the concentrate.

Sparrows Go-To Cold Brew Hack :

Ingredients / Materials

● 12oz bag of coffee, ground at a coarse setting (around french press setting)
● 64 fl oz water (equivalent to 1⁄2 gallon or 1890ml of water)
● 1 french press or chemex brewer
● 1 Chemex filter, if using a Chemex

1. In any bucket or vessel large enough to contain the water and coffee, first pour in the
coffee followed by the water, and stir well to mix.
2. Let coffee/water mixture steep for 20 - 24 hours, to taste
3. If using Chemex: place filter in Chemex, and wet. Leaving as much coffee sediment in  the bucket as possible, pour the concentrate into the Chemex and letfilter.
4. If using french press: Leaving as much coffee sediment in the bucket as possible, pour the concentrate into the french press, and press the mesh filter as you would for hot coffee.
5. This should yield approximately 45 fl oz of cold brew concentrate - to dilute into a drinkable cold brew, you can add around twice its volume in water, to taste.

A little concentrate goes a long way, so why not experiment with some other concoctions with your cold brew? We love it as a base for a cold brew “latte”, as well as stirred or shaken with our favorite spirits.

Cold Brew Latte:


● 2 fl oz cold brew concentrate
● 6 - 10 fl oz milk of choice, to taste
● 15 grams simple or flavored syrup (optional)

1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients
2. Shake with ice, and strain into an ice-filled glass

Cold Fashioned:


● 2 fl oz rye whiskey, bourbon, mezcal, or spirit of choice
● 1 sugar cube, or 1 bar spoon simple syrup
● 1⁄4 fl oz cold brew concentrate
● 3 dashes bitters of choice
● Orange peel and maraschino cherry, to garnish (optional)

1. Combine sugar cube with 2 tsp warm water (or simple syrup), cold brew, and bitters in glass, and stir until sugar is dissolved
2. Add 3 ice cubes, and pour in spirit
3. Stir all ingredients for 20 seconds to dilute and chill the cocktail
4. Finish with garnishes, if using