The Cartel Cold Brew Skinny

The Cartel Cold Brew Skinny

September 04, 2015
Paul Haworth
Educational Series

If you are like me, you find cold brewed Cartel coffee to be one of a kind. There really isn’t anything else that simultaneously quenches the thirst and re-energizes in such a delicious way. If you’re curious about what makes our cold brew unique, keep reading.


Most coffee lovers are familiar with the rules of proper brewing. Good coffee; proper grind; good water; proper water temp; ratio of coffee to water; and the right amount of brew time are the critical elements for making your best cup.

This is basically what we take into account when ‘dialing in’ whatever method we are using for our filter coffee. What makes ‘cold brewing’ so interesting is that it throws at least two of these rules for a loop. Namely, the water temperature is room temperature or lower, and the brew time is measured in hours instead of minutes and seconds.

Cold brewing coffee seems like a brand new idea, but it has actually been around since at least the early 20thcentury. Years ago, these ‘proto’ cold brewers produced coffee that was praised for its smooth body, heightened sweetness, muted acidity, and generous caffeine content.


Just like traditional filter coffee, there are a great variety of cold brew methods out there. In general, the colder the water is, the longer the process will take. Room temperature methods typically need 12 hours, while brewing in a fridge will often need a full 24.

In the beginning, Cartel performed a lot of different cold brew experiments. We experimented with varying brew times, different filtering, different temperatures, different ratios, different grind sizes, and on and on. After coming down from a 3-month caffeine buzz, we settled on our ultimate method. Like everything else we do, we chose what was most delicious.

We use organic cotton cloth filter bags and brew a full 24 hours in the fridge. We believe the magic is in this ultra-low brew temp and longer brew period. We are very transparent about our process and even invite our customers to try making it themselves.


You will need:

  • 1 Cartel Cold Brew Bag (available in-store for purchase)
  • Cartel Coffee (coarse grind)
  • Filtered Water (we find it is best to start at room temperature)
  • 1 Large Container (that will fit in the fridge)

Use the ratio of ½ pound of coffee to a gallon of water. Put the ground coffee (you can ask one of our friendly baristas to show you the best grind size) into the bag and pour half of your water through the coffee before tying the bag. This helps to jump-start the extraction. Tie a good knot that avoids grounds escaping but leaves some ‘breathing room’ as the coffee will expand during brewing. After adding the rest of the water, leave the batch in the fridge for 24 hours.

The next day, remove the bag and give a nice squeeze to get the residual coffee out. It is now ready to serve over ice. One major advantage to cold brew is that the flavors extracted are based less on volatile aromatics, meaning that your concoction will change very little when stored in the fridge, even after a week.

Whether or not you choose to DIY, let us help you get through the rest of these warm months with our famous caffeinated nectar.