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How To: Cold-Brew Coffee with Sous Vide

Traditional cold-brew often calls for steeping overnight. Sous vide cuts that time down to mere hours.

Like its warmer sibling, cold-brew coffee only requires two ingredients: beans and water. But while the recipe is short, the list of varied methods is long. This beverage can be brewed in a French press, a specialty maker, or in most any container that can hold liquid. But traditional methods take many, many hours for the beans to saturate the water—often overnight or longer, in many recipes. The Culinary Research & Training Academy (CREA), the research and development arm of Cuisine Solutions, has studied how to make the same flavor- and caffeine-packed brew in a fraction of the time.

While the cooking time and temperature aren’t affected by the roast of the coffee beans, CREA recommends selecting a lighter, fruity roast for sous vide cold-brew. Grind the whole beans coarsely, as if you were preparing hot coffee in a French press.

Liquid and electronics don’t mix, and an external vacuum sealer is no exception. Combine the grounds with ice instead of water in a sous vide pouch before vacuum-sealing to prevent liquid from getting inside the machine.

Cold-brew recipes often recommend steeping at room temperature, while hot coffee, according the National Coffee Association, should be brewed at 195°–205°F. Sous vide cold-brew coffee falls in between. CREA recommends cooking the sealed coffee mixture in a water bath set to 176°F (80°C) for 4 hours. After cooking, strain the mixture through a coffee filter to prevent the beans from continuing to steep in the water. Pour over ice and enjoy with one of our breakfast favorites, The Perfect Egg.

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