How to Make Cold Brew at Home

With more people brewing at home than ever before, some people are probably missing their cafe favorites. Making Cold Brew coffee at home is much easier than you might expect and it’s a great way to beat the San Diego heat. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to sipping some tasty Cold Brew.

What You Will Need

Supplies for making Cold Brew
  1. Coffee (Whole Bean works best)
  2. Coffee Grinder
  3. Two 16oz Mason Jars
  4. Water 
  5. Scale (Any common kitchen scale works)
  6. Coffee Filter (Any will do the trick)

Suggested buy not needed – Hario V60

Now that you have all of your items, it’s time to get started.

1. Choose Your Coffee

Barrio Logan, Nicaraguan Medium Roast

First things first, choose your coffee. We recommend anything that is a light to medium roast. Once you go above that more earthy, bitter flavors come out which may not be enjoyable for some. We are using our Barrio Logan medium roast as it is one of my personal favorites.

2. Weigh Your Coffee – 57 grams

Weigh your beans!

It is important to have the correct ratio of coffee and water for taste. For this 16oz recipe, we recommend using 57 grams of coffee for the best flavor and caffeine content.

3. Grind Your Coffee

A coarse grind

A coarse grind works best for Cold Brew. This allows the water to extract all of the flavors from the beans and also makes filtering later much easier. Any grinder will do the trick.

4. Place in a Jar and Fill With Water

Fill jar with coffee & water

Once your coffee is ground, you’ll want to put it in your mason jar. Give the jar a small shake to even out the grinds and fill with water. Since coffee is mostly water, we recommend using filtered water for a better flavor, but tap water will do just fine.


Shake to mix

Put the lid on and give that jar a good shake. Make sure all the grounds are getting saturated for an even extraction of coffee. You may even want to add a little more water and shake again.

6. Place in Refrigerator and Wait 24 Hours

Cold Brew brewing cold

Cold Brew is best when it steeps for 18-24 hours. We like ours to steep for the full 24 hours to get all of the flavors that we can. If you forgot about your Cold Brew, it’s probably still pretty tasty as long as its under 48 hours.

7. Filter

Filter out the grounds

There’s a lot of ways to do this next step. The way we find the easiest is by using a Hario V60 with a metal filter, but any paper filter or even cheesecloth should do the trick. Let the Cold Brew filter from the grounds and into your second mason jar. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let all of the goodness seep out.

8. Enjoy!

Sip and enjoy

The Cold Brew will be pretty strong after it’s finished. If that’s the way you like it, you can drink it as it is. You could dilute it with some more water or milk to take the edge off. You could also get a little fancy and make your own Cold Brew Concoction like our Finest City or Cabrillo.

That’s all there is to it. There are many other brewing methods, but after a lot of trial and error, we found this one to be our favorite. The Cold Brew is best when consumed within 2-3 days. If you want to make more Cold Brew, simply multiply the recipe. We recommend using different roasts and playing around with the recipe until you find something you love.

The Bean Belt Major Coffee Growing Regions of the World

The Bean Belt

Ever wonder where the coffee you had this morning came from? The Bean Belt is comprised of the major coffee growing regions of the World tucked between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. From Africa where it originated, the cultivation of coffee has expanded to the East and to the West to form what is known as The Bean Belt.

While Brazil dominates the market in quantity (nearly 3 million metric tons), coffee growing regions cover the subtropical and equatorial territories around the globe. In fact, coffee cultivation was reintroduced in the mid 1980s in Vietnam, the country is now the second largest exporter of coffee.

Coffee Growing Regions in the Americas

In North America, Mexico is the 9th exporter of coffee in the world. Production is mainly concentrated in the south central to southern regions of the country and grows particularly well in the coastal region of Soconusco, Chiapas, near the border of Guatemala.

In Central and South America, coffee growing regions like Guatemala and Colombia have the rugged landscapes and rich volcanic soil favorable to growing coffee. Colombia’s coffee, famous for the quality and flavor of its beans, is the 3rd largest exporter of coffee in the world behind Vietnam.

But the world’s largest supplier of coffee is Brazil – with plantations covering around 10,000 square miles, mostly located in the southeastern states – a title the country has held for the last 150 years.

The map would be incomplete without mentioning Peru, Honduras and Costa Rica. While the volume doesn’t even represent 4% of the production from Brazil, Costa Rica has earned a reputation for some of the best coffee in Central America. The majority of coffee production takes place on small farms, or fincas.

Coffee Cherries The Bean Belt Coffee Growing RegionsAfrican Coffee Growing Regions

Legend has it that Ethiopia is the mother land of the coffee plant. A Goatherder named Kaldi noticed a rush of energy in his flock after they nibbled on red berries. Intrigued, he tasted some himself and was quickly convinced he had found a valuable source of energy.

Ethiopia is Africa’s first coffee growing region (and first consumer as well). The production reaches up to 860 million pounds, still mostly cultivated and dried by hand and falls under the strict watch of The Coffee and Tea Authority, determined to avoid market concentration.

Interestingly, Ethiopia’s neighboring country, Kenya, was introduced to coffee-growing by the French Holy Ghost fathers, at the turn of the 19th century. While Kenyan production may be considered confidential, with only 51,000 tons per year, it is a major actor of the coffee scene and is much sought-after worldwide.

Coffee Growing Regions of Asia

Continuing our travels along the Bean Belt, let’s visit Asia and its two major coffee growing regions: Vietnam and Indonesia.

Vietnam was on the coffee cultivation map in the 19th century and had established its plantation system as an economic force. The Vietnam war interrupted the production which eventually resumed, though fairly low. In the mid 1980s, the permission to privately own coffee farms again gave a boost to the industry. Ever since, Vietnam production has been growing steadily, up to 3 billion pounds in 2014, right behind Brazil.

But the mention of coffee naturally evokes exotic names like Java and Sumatra, Indonesian Islands famous for the quality of their coffee. The production of coffee in Java started in the 17th century, initiated by the Dutch who began to export it to the rest of the world. The success was such that to this day, we all know and use the term a cup of java.
Indonesia coffee production amounts to roughly 6% of global exports, but provides the world with uncomparable “aged coffee”. Much like wine and cheese improve with age, coffee beans held for a while in the warm and damp climate bear a distinctive deep body and less acidic flavor.

Many countries produce coffee, even the United States (mainly on the Big Island, in Kona). More than half american adults drink coffee everyday. However, according to this article in The Atlantic, the U.S. doesn’t even make it in the top ten countries for consumption. The Netherlands tops that list at 2.4 cups a day. From major coffee growing regions like Brazil, Vietnam or Colombia, to smaller producers like Peru or Kenya, we are fortunate to enjoy a broad spectrum of flavors from coffee around the world.

Coffee Processing 101 From Cherry to Your Morning Cup

Green Bean Coffee Processing 101

Many factors influence coffee from the cherry to your morning cup. The green bean coffee processing method chosen is one of the most influential factors. This process takes the coffee cherry and turns it into dried green coffee beans. Traditionally, two methods of processing were used; washed or natural. Recently, a newer approach called honey, has also become a popular processing method.

Wet or Washed Method

The washed processing method results in consistent quality, hence it is a popular method among coffee producers. Once farmers harvest coffee cherries, they are sorted by a machine that separates ripe from unripened fruit. Using forceful water the machine takes the skin and some pulp from the beans. From this point, two approaches remove the remaining pulp from the coffee beans. The beans ferment in water and enzymes to help break down the pulp surrounding the bean. This is called the fermentation process which can last up to 36 hours. Another way to de-pulp the beans is through mechanical demucilage. This process just uses a machine with forceful water that breaks apart the remaining pulp around the bean. After the beans are free from pulp they dry in the sun on raised beds or large patios. Workers must dry the beans to a ten percent water content for them to be stable enough for roasting.

Using the washed processing method is a form of quality assurance. It creates less ability for unripe or bad fruit to process. Beans processed through the washed method rely on absorbing enough nutrients and sugars during the growing season. This makes the climate, soil and fermentation processes extremely important to the flavor of the finished product. To focus on brighter flavors and single origin profiles, the washed processing method is the best option.

Dry or Natural Methodgreen-coffee-processing-methods-achilles-coffee-roasters

The natural processing method is the original way coffee from Ethiopia was processed in the beginning of coffee cultivation. After harvesting, farmers sort out unripe or rotten beans along with soil and leaves. The cherries then sit out to dry in the sun. Farmhands turn and rake the beans occasionally to ensure even drying. This is extremely important to avoid fungi and bacteria growth from mildew. The drying process may take anywhere up to 4 weeks depending on the climate of the region. Within the natural process this step is extremely important. Beans can dry for too long, making them break apart and defective. On the other hand, too much moisture can promote bacteria growth. After drying, beans sit in silos until they are ready for the hulling process. Hulling removes the outer dried shell of the coffee cherry.

Many countries cannot utilize the natural processing method. This is because their wet, tropical climates make it too humid for the beans to dry out properly. For this reason, the natural processing method can produce a lower quality bean due to the unpredictability. However, when done properly, the dry method creates flavor profiles with heavy, sweet body and complex notes.

Honeyed Processing Method

The honeyed processing method combines techniques from both the wet and natural processing methods. Farmers harvest and mechanically separate the cherry from the bean. Processors then store the beans with pulp still remaining for up to a day. With the honeyed green bean coffee processing method bacteria can be a huge problem. Therefore, when set out to dry the beans must be raked every 2-3 hours to prevent growth.

Because this process is a mix of wet and dry, flavor profiles associated with both methods can be present in the finished product. Honey processed beans tend to be sweeter with mild, but preferable acidity.

Sustainability in Processing Methods

Each different green bean coffee processing method creates a favorable outcome. However, some methods are more environmentally friendly than others. The natural or dry processing method is the most eco-friendly due to fewer resources used in the process. Achilles Coffee Roasters own single origin Windansea roast from Ethiopia is processed using the natural method. Although, the natural process requires more physical labor to tend to the beans manually. Honey processed coffee beans also use less water than the traditional wet washed method.

Various factors influence the flavor of the coffee including climate, region and soil. This is why it is important to understand the flavor profile you are looking for when choosing a processing method.

Coffee Cultivators of Papua New Guinea

Coffee Cultivators

Papua New Guinea is a popular coffee cultivator in the specialty coffee world. Coffee from Papua New Guinea, PNG, as roasters refer to it, have a bright and delicate acidity. PNG’s typically have a less earthy profile than other Southwest Asian Archipelago coffees such as Sumatra and Sulawesi. The country predominately uses wet washing processing methods. Additionally, Papua New Guinea creates a standard for the fermentation process that follows washing. This makes for a highly unique flavor. With coffee production up to over 1 million 60-kg bags a year, Papua New Guinea has maintained itself as a high profile coffee cultivator.

Multi-influenced Coffee Culture

In the 1800s, the German administration introduced coffee to Papua New Guinea for experimental and botanical observation. However, Arabica coffee production for export in Papua New Guinea only began to emerge later in the 1930s. Seeds were imported from Jamaica’s Blue Mountain region for cultivation. Therefore, these seeds created the first plants for export production in Papua New Guinea. Geographically, Indonesia is within close proximity to the country. Indonesia and the island of Sulawesi, both coffee producers, have had great influence on the bean profile in coffee from Papua New Guinea. Moreover, nearly half of households in rural areas are involved in production of coffee. Therefore, making coffee a huge part of the country’s economy.

Profiles of PNG

Within Papua New Guinea’s 19 provinces, 15 of them cultivate coffee. The major growing regions of Papua New Guinea include Morobe, Eastern, Simbu and the Western highlands province. These few regions all cultivate at high altitudes and account for about 90% of production in Papua New Guinea. With the country being so small, the regions produce similar characteristics such as rich soils and ideal coffee-growing climate. Moreover, the size of the country is actually beneficial creating consistency in the beans. Traditionally, coffee from Papua New Guinea has moderate acidity with a smooth, but robust flavor. This comes from the mix of influence from Indonesian Sulawesi coffee and Jamaican beans.

Cultivating Sigri PlantationAchilles Coffee Roasters Coffee Cultivators of Papua New Guinea

Achilles Coffee Roasters uses green beans sourced from the Sigri plantation in Papua New Guinea. Located in the Wahgi Valley in the Western Highlands, Sigri is considered to produce high quality gourmet coffee. All coffee at Sigri plantation grows at an elevation of 5000 feet and undergoes an intensive wet factory processing method. Papua New Guinea maintains a standard for the fermentation process in all coffee. Producers allow the beans to ferment for three days following depulping. However, Sigri allows a full extra day of fermentation, making a highly distinctive cup of coffee. Sigri plantation is profound for their esteemed quality control concerning each, individual bag of beans.

Quality Control in Wet Processing Methods

Concerning coffee production, Papua New Guinea focuses on their processing methods. For this reason, they export 99.9% in green beans alone, with Germany and the United States being the largest buyers. After coffee cherries are hand selected, they are depulped using a wet processing method. Following the wet washing, the fermentation process takes three days. Within fermentation, cultivators wash the beans every 24 hours. Enhancing flavor, beans dry out in the sun for different periods of time. The green beans are then sifted through and graded with distinctions as AA, A, and X. All coffee within the country follows the specific standards for the wet washing and fermentation processes. This ensures quality control within all green beans throughout Papua New Guinea.

Coffee cultivators such as Papua New Guinea have perfected the perfect bean profile through quality control. Through high quality plantations such as Sigri plantation in Waghi Valley, Papua New Guinea will continue to hold a top spot in the world of coffee production.

Cooperative Coffee Roasting – A New Model in the Coffee Industry

If you’re a coffee shop owner you might have considered roasting your own beans at some point. But the cost can be prohibitive for some — when you consider equipment, leasing space, building out that space, getting the right permits, and so on, the costs soon mount up.

Now that’s all starting to change with a new model: cooperative coffee roasting.

What is a Cooperative Coffee Roasting?

At its simplest, a cooperative is an organization run by its members, for the benefit of its members. It has historically been a popular business model for agriculture, art, groceries and sports teams. Industries in which being run by and for customers or fans can be a true asset. An insurance company that is owned by its customers will charge lower prices and pay more claims, for example, because they aren’t driven by the need to make a profit — they merely need to break even. A sports team run by its fans will always place fans’ interests ahead of commercial interests.

Now the model is spreading to cooperative coffee roasting. Cooperatives like Buckman Coffee Factory and Pulley Collective in New York, are beginning to make coffee roasting more accessible to everyone including small local coffee bean roasters.

Cost Benefits of a Cooperative Model

Cooperative Coffee Roasting Can Help Small Coffee ShopsAt its simplest, a cooperative allows people to share the startup costs of roasting. Pulley Collective, for example, estimates that the costs of opening a new coffee roasting operation would be between $300k – $1m in New York. Pulley Collective, in comparison, charges its members $850 per week for membership, with different packages available depending on whether you want to rent the space by the day or by the hour. Buckman Coffee Factory offers hourly and monthly leasing options as well as green coffee storage.

This means that roasting is accessible to everyone, no matter the budget.

Better Coffee, Too

Simple economics would suggest that when the cost of entry into a market falls, more people will enter that market.That’s exactly what’s happening with cooperative coffee roasters: more and more small, niche, local coffee bean roasters are getting involved, spurred on by the lower start up costs and a chance to do something they love.That’s exactly what’s happening with cooperative coffee roasters: more and more small, niche, local coffee bean roasters are getting involved, spurred on by the lower start up costs and a chance to do something they love.

With lower costs, roasters now have the freedom to experiment and try new ideas, too. By allowing room for this variety and innovation, cooperative roasters lead to better quality coffee.

There’s one final benefit: ready access to a community of like-minded people. Coffee Roasters can surround themselves with others who are striving to create great coffee, sharing advice and stories, and bonding over their shared passion.

With so many benefits to coffee roasters and drinkers alike, there’s no doubt about it. Cooperative coffee roasting is here to stay.

Fair and Direct Trade Coffee – Cooperative Coffees

Coop Coffees is an interesting player in the 3rd wave coffee movement. What they do is simple: they import green coffee from smaller-scale farmers and their exporting cooperatives all around the world. That’s not so unique, is it? After all, the fair trade coffee movement has been around for quite some time. What makes Cooperative Coffees different?Buy-Green-Coffee-Beans-Online-Achilles-Coffee-Roasters-San-Diego-California


What Cooperative Coffees is doing differently is evolving the definition of “fair trade.” They already adhere to the “Nine Basic Principles” of fair trade:


  1. Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
  2. Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships
  3. Build Capacity
  4. Promote Fair Trade
  5. Pay Promptly and Fairly
  6. Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
  7. Ensure the Rights of Children
  8. Cultivate Environmental Stewardship
  9. Respect Cultural Identity


What they’ve done is take these nine principles and update them to the present day.


When the fair trade movement first started, the goal was to build a unified and transparent network between coffee growers, purchasers, and roasters. However, it has instead created a tangled web of different purchasing networks and companies. All of these players are operating by different sets of rules. This means that the definition of “fair trade” is much murkier than it once was.


In fact, this murkiness is part of the reason we’ve seen a push towards direct trade coffee, where roasters deal directly with a particular farm, often making site visits and building a person-to-person relationship with the farmer. Direct trade is often hailed as the gold standard of trade practices, but it’s a one-to-one relationship. What about smaller roasters that don’t have the capacity to directly visit farmers?


By updating the Nine Basic Principles and adding the cooperative aspect to their business, Coop Coffees is creating a more transparent and fair market between small-scale coffee growers and small-scale coffee roasters. By creating a collective of roasters that all commit to purchasing under these fair and direct trade coffee principles, they are giving farmers and their communities much more than just income. They’re giving them stability.


As if this wasn’t already enough, Coop Coffees is expanding all across the United States and Canada, with a new location coming to Los Angeles soon. They have dozens of exporting relationships with cooperatives in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. On the demand side, they have over 20 member roasters in the cooperative.


Will we see a Coop Coffees member roaster make an entrance in San Diego? Or perhaps another cooperative coffee shop will dip its toes in the water down here. Either way, this evolution of the fair trade movement is a good sign for artisanal roasters around the country.