Can I Reuse Cold Brew Grounds? We’ve Got The Answer

homemade cold brewed coffee

So you’ve brewed yourself a delicious cup of cold coffee, but the remaining grounds are too tempting to throw away. After all, they haven’t lost all their caffeine yet because of how slowly cold brew gets infused with coffee essence. It’s reasonable to wonder whether you have to throw them away or you can get more out of them.

You can reuse cold brew grounds though you might need to brew the next batch longer to get the same taste. Alternatively, you can cold-store your cold brew coffee after removing the grounds and use it for up to two weeks. Cold coffee, unlike standard brew, doesn’t lose taste in a short period.

In this article, you will learn a hack to reuse cold brew grounds a second time without losing potency or taste and a method of safely reusing cold brew coffee with a low-dilution taste-preserving method of making and storing your coffee.

Reusing Cold Brew Method One

This method is for individuals who work in remote locations without easy access to a coffee machine. Even professionals who don’t like the options available in their work environment or students who don’t like the campus coffee can use it to consume multiple cups without needing to brew another batch.

Step One – Get Dark Roast Ground Coarse

You can get a coarse ground dark roast coffee or simply grind the dark roasted beans yourself. Make sure they’re ground coarse because leaving even the finest residue in your coffee after you decide it’s “done brewing” will make your coffee taste increasingly horrible with each passing hour, thanks to continuous oxidation.

Step Two – Make a Concentrated Brew

Instead of using your standard single-serving water quantity, use at least a quarter less, if not half. In other words, if you usually would put two cups of water in the tumbler, use one or one and a half. The rationale will become clear with the next step.

Step Three – Wait For 12 Hours

This step is pretty obvious if you like to cold brew your coffee. The cold brewing method relies on time as an asset when it comes to extracting the essence of coffee without scalding or exposing the bean to heat. Most people prefer putting their tumbler in the fridge before dinner, and take it out in the morning. But if your dinner happens at midnight and you wake up at 4 am, then you don’t have a cold brew; you only have cold coffee soup. So, make sure you wait at least eight hours.

Step Four – Take Your First Serving Out and Dilute It With Cold Water 

Remember the missing water? Here’s where you get to add it. Now that you have woken up and need your cup of cold Joe, you might not want to take a sip from what’s sitting in your refrigerator because it will feel like taking cold espresso with an EpiPen. You need to first dilute it by adding whatever water you subtracted in step 2. Please note, though, that you will not dilute the whole tumbler, only what you take for the first serving.

In our example of putting 1 cup of water instead of 2, you will now remove half a cup and add half a cup of cold water to dilute it. In other words, you subtracted one cup at brewing but are only adding half back because the rest is for the remaining coffee.

Step Five – Fill an Airtight Flask With the Remaining Coffee and Heap It With Ice Cubes

Now that you’re wide awake, you’re ready to take the rest of the coffee and commute to work or college. Simply put the rest of the coffee in an airtight bottle, preferably an opaque one, like the Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle, and fill the empty space with ice cubes. Since there will still be an air gap between the cubes, the ice will melt despite the container being airtight. But because the container is airtight, the ice will melt slowly, preserving the drink’s freshness for when you’re ready for your second cup. 

Things to Keep In Mind When Reusing Cold Coffee

Because you used a coarser grind, it is not likely that any bean powder is sitting in your flask, bittering up your coffee throughout the day. As a result, when you have coffee five hours later, it won’t taste like it was cold brewing for 16 hours because it brewed for 12 and sat almost idly for the remaining 4.

Reusing cold brew coffee can save you a lot of time, especially when it comes to preparation. You’ll, however, need to look past the general disdain for reusing coffee or leaving coffee sitting for extended periods. The reason “coffee snobs” look down on long haul drivers, holed up authors, and remote working hedge fund managers who brew a single pot for the whole day is that hot coffee can actually mold if left open and sitting for long periods after coming in contact with air.

This should not translate to cold brew, which is often stored in a refrigerator but not every cultural judgment is rational, and we have generally accepted the idea of being disgusted by perfectly consumable delicious cold coffee just because it has been used for one round of servings. Think about it; your coffee jug doesn’t know a glass has been taken. With hot coffee, you can at least make the argument that the drink’s temperature has changed and has probably affected its taste. Cold-brew already sits over ten hours; to think that sitting sans-coffee for only a few more hours changes anything is not entirely logical.

Reusing Cold Brew Method Two

This method is ideal for individuals trying to get the most out of their coffee or simply not interested in high-caffeine coffee. But since these motivations sound contradictory, you must opt for the right coffee beans to match your goals. If you want lightly caffeinated coffee, choose beans with medium strength. Remember, roast mostly affects taste and perception of caffeine content, not the actual content. 

This method involves using the grounds again as opposed to preserving the drink for a second serving. That’s why the grounds you choose are even more important. With that said, here’s the method.

  • Step one – Pick the right grounds – Pick the beans that match your caffeine requirements and opt for a coarse grind. This way, you retain the grounds when filtering and can reuse them.
  • Step two – Use half the intended water for your serving size. Put only half a cup if you want one cup for the first serving. 
  • Step three – Wait 8 hours. Do not go beyond 8 hours because the grounds might lose too much potency.
  • Step four – Scoop out half the coffee grounds and balance for the first serving. The grounds you scoop out are to be kept in another tumbler. Add water to the first Tumblr until it has enough for your first serving. i.e., if you wanted one cup and used half, add another half. Let the tumblers sit for another four hours.
  • Step five – Drain the first tumbler (the one with water) into a cup, and enjoy your coffee. Scoop the filtered grounds and put them in the second tumbler (the one that only has coffee grounds).
  • Step six – Add water to the second tumbler 8 to 12 hours before you want your next cup. Cold-brew it as standard and enjoy the second cup once it is ready.

Final Thoughts

Cold brew coffee is great for multiple servings specifically because you don’t need to walk the tightrope between keeping your drink hot and keeping its water content from evaporating. You can have cold brew coffee hours after the first cup or reuse the grounds to make another batch.

Tim S.

Tim loves roasting, brewing, and experimenting with coffee. After years of perfecting this craft, working as a barista, and owning a small coffee service in college, he has decided to share his knowledge with the world.

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