The Ingredient That's Missing from Your Cold Brew

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: How to make cold brew cooler.

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Amanda C. Thompson's comment on How to Make Cold-Brewed Coffee sparked our curiosity: "Pro tip: Add mint. It tastes even more refreshing that way. Just include a few sprigs when you mix your water and grounds and steep them with the rest of the brew." 

Whoa, wait. This was one of those tips that just seemed so why-didn't-I-think-of-that genius, I had to give it a try. For my next batch of cold brew, I did as Amanda suggested, using three mint sprigs for a 32-ounce French press. The mint added brightness and a "Hm, what is that flavor?" It tasted faintly of mint, but subtle and unlike the often overwhelming flavor you'd get from peppermint or spearmint extract. Do as Amanda says. This is coffee like it's mint to be. 

Have any cool cold brew tips? Tell us in the comments below!

Photos by James Ransom

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Mandina80 July 16, 2017
I second that - did a blog post a few years ago on this very idea : :)
Sarah July 12, 2017
I add some torn basil after adding half a pound of coffee and 4 cups of water to my toddy and before the last half pound. It is very subtle. Next brew I will try mint!
Kim June 22, 2017
Who's familiar with Barnie's Santa's White Christmas?? Well they make it in cold brew! It's DELICIOUS! It's in Publix and online. Enjoy!
Lisa D. August 20, 2015
Gold Coast, Australia we served in the warmer beach weather days a cold brew cooler yes with mint but also a squeeze of organic lime served with sparkling water ice and lime wedge :-)
Stephanie A. August 9, 2015
The missing ingredient is not mint, but chicory! I have made Blue Bottle founder James Freeman's New Orleans-style cold brew for going on 7 years now. He gave me his recipe long before his company hit the big time. Add 1 ounce of ground chicory ( difficult to find; I get mine at a natural foods market where they sell bulk herbs and spices) to a 1/2 pound of very coarsely ground coffee and about a litre of water. Soak overnight and strain several times. I use Blue Bottle's Bella Donovan blend. Delicious!!
Dovydas August 6, 2015
Where could I get those gorgeous glasses?
Ann K. July 31, 2015
Philz coffee in Palo Alto, CA serves up an delicious iced mojito made with mint leaves muddles with sugar and a little water, then coffee is added and finally cream with lots of ice. It is YUM!
lynx60489 July 29, 2015
I love this idea! Chailait in NYC serves a seasonal iced coffee with mint and figue syrup that is delicious. I always assumed that the mint was an ingredient in the simple syrup, but this method makes more sense as the mint flavor in the coffee is subtle.

I'm definitely going to try this out with my next batch of cold brew.