Cold Brew: Taking Your Chemical Dependency into Your Own Hands

We’ve Designed This Helpful Guide For:

  • Who: Anyone who drinks coffee, needs chems to help get through the day, wants to save money.
  • What: Large batch coffee that should last you at least a couple days.
  • When: 24-48 hours before you NEED it.
  • Where: Anywhere with a cold-storage unit.
  • Why: Want to save money, make caffeine in large batches, have it on hand and just pour instead of taking the “time” to make it.

Greetings subversive droogs! Today we’re here to talk about just one way you can take become the master of your own chemical consumption. After all, we are largely a sloshing, ambulatory, cocktail of chemicals and electricity. Electrolytes, Glucose, Caffeine, Alcohol, THC, LSD, Ambien, Percocet… you are what you eat. While you need some of these building blocks to live, others you want just so you don’t murder and eat the flesh of every other meat-bag you bump into on the street. This subject is sanguine enough that even drones who just need a pick-me-up to get through their day, while rubbing one out for the man, can follow along.

That’s where our good friend Caffeine comes in. He’s cost effective, over-the-counter, and legal. He’s here to give you a kick in the teeth, wake your bones the hell up, and make you lurch forward, a shambling lich of your former self, before you had kids and a mortgage. Gallup says 64% of American adults drink at least one cup per day. It’s our opinion that if that’s all, you might like the taste, but you might not fully understand what coffee is for.

If you’re going to get serious and start drinking joe with more bite you’ll want to convert from “cups” to “shots”. The average price of a cup of espresso with one shot is $2.70, but if you’re going to pay some other schmuck to make your brew for you, you can find yourself shelling out anywhere from $5 – $7 a cup (we won’t even get into if you should tip these workers or not). Let’s just say that $5 can add up, quick. Even if you only have one cup a day, that’s about $150 a month you’ll be blowing to have coffee from a fancy corporate chain.

Bust out the tents and snakes, we’re having a revival! Yes brothers and sisters there is a better way. A way you can get your fix for cheap, in large amounts, and it will take little-to-no-time to make. In fact time, entropy, the rotation and heat death of our universe, does most of the work for you. Set it and forget it, this new way forward is called COLD BREW! Can I get an amen!?

Cold brew is like the vampiric yeti cousin to sun-tea. Essentially you’re going to take a cup of grounds, submerge them in a gallon pitcher of water, and set them in the lonely darkness of the back of your fridge for 24 hours (next to that alfredo sauce you tried to make once). When you’re done you’ll have a slurry that will kick your skull out of your head like a Colombian Football player on PCP.

Let’s play Walter White and get specific. Here’s the shit you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of unused coffee grounds* (~$3-7)
  • 1 tea cloth or flour sack (dye and chemical free)(4 for ~$2)
  • 1 gallon pitcher (~$5)
  • 1 sack of decorative river rocks (~$2)
  • 1 spool of colorless twine or hemp cord (~$5)
  • 1 gallon of filtered water (~$1)
  • 1 pair of scissors? (~$2)
  • 1 refrigerator (~$1000)

* The most important ingredient here is the grounds. We’ve found that while we like the taste of the darker roasts, the more blond the blend is, the more caffeine it’ll anoint you with when this potion is finished. Saunter down the coffee aisle and you’ll see anything with a “breakfast” label on it is fairly blond. That’s because most humans need a jolt from a car-battery to make them give a crap about getting vertical and going about their day.

You’ll also notice with the cloth and twine we’re trying to do things the Trader Joe’s way and purchase materials that’ll be as close to dye (and chemical) free as we can. Otherwise, as your coffee “brews”, that stuff is going to diffuse into your coffee (and into you). It’s fairly easy to get what you need, even at Wally World. Just look for stuff that says 100% cotton/hemp and doesn’t have any color to it.

The rest of that list is fairly straight-forward.
And from here the steps are simple enough a 5th grader can complete them.


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  1. Once you get this trove of parts together you’ll want to hand wash your supplies: cloth, rocks, pitcher, hands.
  2. Lay out one of your rags and put 3-5 of your river-rocks in the middle. We use these so the bag doesn’t get too buoyant. When you’re done your bag doesn’t have to sit on the bottom of the pitcher, but it does need to be fully submerged. You can think of these as cement shoes for your coffee.
  3. Next measure out 1 cup of the grounds you chose, and pour this in the middle of your cloth on top of the rocks.
  4. After you have the rocks and grounds in the middle, gather up your cloth around it, give it a twist, and put your twine around it. We like to start with a slip knot as it’ll hold the bag closed better. The last thing you want is the bag opening up in the water, or you’ll have a cold mess in a bucket.
    1. If you never learned your knots, take a moment to look them up online. This guide is helpful and you’ll find these are handy to know, in general. Now you’re empowered to get creative that one time a year your partner let’s you do more than snog.
  5. Make your slip knot, wrap the twine around the bag 4-5 times and close?it by tucking the end under one of your strands and pulling it semi-tight. Leave enough line that when the bag is sitting in the bottom, you have some coming up and out the spout of your pitcher. This is so you can haul the cache up from the deep when the time is right.
  6. You’ve now got your “bag” with rocks, and grounds, and it’s twisted and tied. You probably have a lot of excess cloth; leave 1-2 inches above where you tied it off, and cut the rest off.
  7. Put your bag in the bottom of the pitcher and pour hot water over the top of the bag (not just in the pitcher). We find hot water jump starts the process and leads to a better tasting brew. We have a filter on our tap so we can do this easily. If you bought a gallon of filtered water because you live somewhere like Phoenix, then you may want to simmer the water on the stove first.
  8. You’re in the home stretch. This part requires patience. Put it in the fridge and forget about it for 24 hours.
  9. 24 hours later, pull it out via the string. Give the bag a hefty squeeze with your freshly washed hands, and set it aside. We actually tie the bag to one of the knobs of our cupboards above the sink. Let the grounds drip-dry. When they are dry you can toss them out into the backyard (it’s good for your plants); just be sure to pick your rocks out first so you can reuse them.
  10. Vigorously stir your brew.
  11. Pour a cup! Note: this stuff is a “concentrate”; if you’re not used to this much caffeine (3-6 times more than a normal cup), then you may want to cut it with some water and/or cream/syrup/flavorings/sugar.
  12. SAVE YOUR BAG! It may not be nice looking on the inside, but you can rinse it out with hot water in the sink. Like Rachel Dolezal it’ll never be white again, but that’s all right. You’ll get hundreds of uses out of one bag before the fabric starts to fray. If you got a pack of four, you’ll have others on hand so you don’t have to miss a beat.

And that’s the secret of how you can make huge quantities of caffeine, in your own home (or the office), save a ton of money, and break-up with your dealer. Understand the power you hold in your hands now: one cup will be plenty strong (if you don’t cut it), two may give you jitters, and we can’t be responsible for what three in a short time will do. Like any drug, it’s important that you hydrate while you self dose.

In our own lab we’ve got two pitchers of this in rotation at a time. This way we can be drinking on one while the other brews. The longer the bag “steeps” the more caffeine you’re going to get out of  it. Twenty-four hours is good, 48 is better. You can go for longer, but you should be going through one and needing the other around 4-5 days. If you let this stuff sit for too long (weeks) it can get a film on it. When you’ve finished a batch, rinse (don’t wash) the pitcher, and make another!

Until next time. Know your drugs, know your doses.

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