Have you ever wondered what cold brew is all about and tried making it at home? Did you try that mason jar method where you leave it to seep and then you strain it out in a cheesecloth later?
Yeah, me too. Messy.
Soulhand, the expert producer of stovetop gooseneck kettles for brewing artisan pour-over coffee, has developed the perfect stylish solution to brewing cold-brew coffee at home.
The Soulhand Cold Brew Coffee Dripper is just as easy to use as any classic drip or filter coffee machine. Only, it looks so much cooler.
No coffee-lover’s summer is complete without a cool, crisp, cold brew coffee. Here is how to make amazing cold brew coffee in the comfort of your own home.
Why Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee is a new entry to the worldwide coffee-stage. While it is wholeheartedly an out-and-out coffee drink, it is totally different from just about every other style of coffee out there.
Why? You brew it cold, and you drink it cold.
Don’t be mixing this drink up with coffee that’s just gone cold. Oh no, cold brew is to coffee as ice tea is to tea. It’s light, icy, and refreshing. Perfect for a warm summer day.
It’s a brew method that’s all about patience. You’ve got to plan ahead if you want a cool, crisp, cold brew.
Instead of using heat to extract those lovely coffee flavors, cold brew takes time for those flavors to slowly infuse into the water. The result is a hearty, sweet, refreshing, coffee that avoids all of the harsher flavors that can come with overheating regular coffee. Plus you can reheat cold brew to heat it back up again if you were so inclined.
Cold-brew coffee has even been shown to be able to contain lower levels of acidity than traditional brewing methods when using the exact same beans. This means that cold brew can be an excellent option for those of us who find coffee can cause a bit of an upset stomach.
The Soulhand Cold Brew Coffee Dripper
- Produces brilliant coffee
- Making cold brew couldn’t be easier
- Doubles as the perfect flask to store your coffee in
- Sleek and elegant design
- Easy to measure with volume scales on the side
- The glass is delicate
- It is top-heavy at the beginning of the brew
The Soulhand Cold Brew Coffee Dripper takes the classic drip coffee machine design and slows the whole process down. The sleek glassware gives an elegant and minimalist look to accompany the keep-it-simple process of cold brewing coffee. Bamboo wood accents complement the stylish glass while serving as crucially functional components of the whole design.
On unboxing the Cold Brew Coffee Dripper, I was immediately reminded of the glassware I once used when I worked in a lab. If you’ve ever watched Breaking Bad and wanted a coffee setup similar to their own, this certainly fits the vibe.
The design itself is really relatively simple.
Firstly, there is the top chamber that you fill with water. If this piece of glass is not perched on the rest of the dripper, you’ll want to place it upsidedown; because the little dripper valve on the underside is not going to let it sit upright.
The dripper valve is a neat design. You can control the speed of the drips flowing out by twisting it. You can’t easily unfasten it as it’s more than a simple threaded bolt design.
As you twist the valve, you will allow the drips to come faster, but as you continue to twist in the same direction, the drips will slow down to a complete stop. Keep twisting in the same direction, they will flow again. So you can’t actually unfasten the little valve and accidentally have all the water flow out. Clever.
The top chamber rests on a simple little bamboo-wood ring that rests on top of the lower chamber. While the wood does a good job of holding the dripper snugly in place, you certainly don’t want to accidentally knock this. You’ve got some top-heavy glassware here!
Underneath the top chamber is the metal coffee grounds filter basket. This simple little mesh bucket holds all your coffee grounds and sits securely in the neck of the lower chamber.
The lower chamber is simply a conical flask. Your freshly brewed cold brew coffee will all be caught in here.
Lastly, there is the little bamboo lid. This cleverly designed little lid serves two purposes. You place it on top of the top chamber while your coffee is brewing, but when the brewing is finished, this little lid fits perfectly on top of the lower conical chamber too. That way, you can remove and store your top chamber separately when the brewing is finished.
While the glass provides a sleek and minimalist finish, that won’t affect the flavor; glass is always a compromise. The glass is not particularly thick and this dripper is very top-heavy at the beginning of a brew. With that said, the glass itself is pretty similar to a Chemex, you just have to be careful with it.
How to Use it
Don’t let the slender design of the Soulhand Cold Brew Coffee Dripper fool you into thinking it’s a complicated piece of apparatus. It really couldn’t be any easier to make your own cold brew at home.
Firstly, make sure you thoroughly wash all of the components after you unpack them from the box.
Secondly, I absolutely recommend using filtered water. The tastier the water is, the tastier your coffee will be; and vice versa!
Thirdly, use freshly roasted coffee beans. With great beans, comes great coffee. I opted for a lovely dark roasted Colombian blend from a local coffee roaster.
Now, down to the brewing business!
The instructions recommend the exact same coffee to water ratio as we do at Above Average Coffee, that is 1:15. In this case, the instructions recommend using 750 ml of water and 50 grams of coffee ground to a medium-fine grind. A medium-fine grind has particle sizes between 1/16” to 1/32” (1.6mm to 0.8mm).
- Load 50g of freshly ground coffee beans into the metal filter basket, and place the basket in the lower conical flask.
- Pour a tiny amount of water over the top of your coffee grounds just to get them wet.
- Fill the top chamber with 750ml of ice and water, although water alone works perfectly fine too.
- Hold the top chamber over the coffee grounds and twist the little valve until 1 drop is falling roughly every 2 seconds.
- Rest the top chamber onto the lower half of the dripper and leave it there to slowly infuse for around 4 hours.
The Dripper, when fully assembled is about 14 inches tall. So it won’t fit inside most fridges while brewing. I wanted to let it drip while refrigerated and I have a fairly large fridge, but I still had to remove a shelf just to fit in it!
Luckily, the idea is that you only pop the lower portion in your fridge once all of the water has dripped through the coffee grounds. The lower flask is only about 8 inches tall, so it should fit inside most fridges.
The little wooden lid can then be removed from the top section and placed on the lower conical flask to keep your precious cold brew covered while it rests in your fridge.
The instructions also say to let your coffee rest in the fridge for 3-5 days to ferment, which I initially overlooked. After brewing my coffee, I was so excited to try it that I served some cold brew to my wife over ice, only to then re-read the instructions and realize that it was meant to be left in the fridge for a few days. Oh well, that only meat I had an excuse to run another batch immediately!
In the first batch I made in the Soulhand Cold Brew Dripper, I missed out on the 3-5 days of letting the brewed coffee ferment in my fridge. After re-reading the instructions, I then brewed a second batch and allowed it to ferment after guzzling my first batch. Not to mention several batches, with different beans, since then.
So I feel I have thoroughly tested out the range of coffees that this little dripper can produce.
The first, non-fermented batch was delicate, light, and very refreshing. Perfectly timed for the first warm day of summer.
The first batch really brought out the natural sweetness of the coffee itself. It was very similar to a typical iced tea, only not that sweet.
From my second batch onward, after allowing it to ferment in the fridge for four days, I was surprised to find that the flavor really did mature. While maintaining that refreshing delicateness, the flavors really became much bolder and pronounced.
I have tried making cold-brew in all kinds of ways. The Soulhand Cold Brew Coffee Dripper makes making cold brew coffee at home an absolute breeze.
It takes the same amount of time to set up as a regular drip machine, and it’s just as easy too.
After your coffee is brewed, it is already in the perfect container to store it in. The lower conical flask doubles as a storage container.
Cold-brew coffee opens up a whole new dimension of flavors from coffee that you just would not experience from traditional hot brewing methods. While I always appreciated a good cold brew, I think this might be my new coffee obsession.
The instructions say to allow the coffee to ferment in your fridge for three to five days, I accidentally just pushed on and served it up once it had been brewed. I feel I may have stumbled upon a new facet to coffee here altogether. It’s delicious whether matured or not, but I wonder if I might be able to play around with different lengths of maturing times and see how the coffee varies.
The Soulhand Cold Brew Coffee Dripper is a sleek and stylish solution to making cold brew coffee at home. It deserves a place in your coffee-kitchen alongside any trusty Chemex.
It is available from Amazon and Soulhand’s own store alike. This glass dripper apparatus may have just started me out on a whole new cold brew coffee fascination.
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