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Why you should make your own Blue Bottle cold brew

Trust me, it's cheap and easy.
I love cold brew coffee. It’s strong. It’s naturally sweet. It’s hard to mess up. And don’t get me started on cold brew with nitro ❤️. That said, cold brew often feels like it’s part of the “fancy coffee” class that every coffee shop would like you to belief is unreachable. Yes, getting your own espresso machine is crazy expensive, and yes,
. But cold brew is not hard. You just need a pitcher, some sort of strainer, coffee, and some patience. Oh, and cold. Usually a refrigerator, but I assume you can also make this outside in a Chicago winter.

Why should you make your own? Well I went to Blue Bottle recently and crunched the numbers so you don’t have to. They sell delicious cold brew, and for years I’ve been buying all of the mini-cans. But recently I went into my local Blue Bottle and stumbled across the 32 oz jug. “Wow”, I thought, “finally I can buy this sh*t in bulk!”. Short of a pony keg, this felt like my kind of subscription-style purchase. Please add one new bottle to my fridge bi-daily (that’s a thing).

BUT WAIT. The pricing seemed... off. Using the math side of my brain real quick, I crunched the numbers. And it WAS off. Look at this and tell me if you spot the problem:
Blue Bottle cold brew options
1
Option
Price
Ounces
Price/Oz
1
Cans
$4.00
8
$0.50
2
Cup
$4.50
12
$0.38
3
Bottle
$15.00
32
$0.47
No results from filter

The bottle is almost as expensive as the cans?! Crazy town. I know glass is expensive, but that definitely made me 🤔. So I decided to math brain it again. What would this cost to make on my own? Well doing some super sleuthing through Blue Bottle’s online store, and confirming with
, I knew I could figure it out:

Oz of coffee per cold brew batch →
2.4
Cold brew yield per batch →
20
DIY calculation
0
Option
Oz of coffee beans
# of Batches
Oz of Cold Brew
1
Half bag of beans
6
2.5
50
2
Full bag of beans
12
5
100
There are no rows in this table

OK that looks like a lot of output. How does it stack up to the pre-made version?

Category
Option
Price
Ounces
Price/Oz
Buy it 💵
Cans
$4.00
8
$0.50
Cup
$4.50
12
$0.38
Bottle
$15.00
32
$0.47
Make it ☕
DIY (half bag)
$11.00
50
$0.22
DIY (full bag)
$18.00
100
$0.18

WOW.

Anyway, here are a few things that I might get hate for:
Yes, this feels like Blue Bottle hate. It is not. I love Blue Bottle. I just think learning to turn Blue Bottle beans into your own magical power-fuel is a thing you should do, and your wallet will thank you.
Yes, I know there are fixed costs with making cold brew, like the pitcher, the strainer, the cold. I’m not a finance-y person, so I didn’t factor them in. It doesn’t matter.
Yes, I know there’s a freshness situation that happens when you buy beans in bulk and you can only make the cold brew so fast. But my guess is you’ll never realize it. Or at least I haven’t before.
Yes, I’m aware ice is often served with the
@Cup
situation, meaning less actual coffee. 🤷

So without further ado, here is a guide to making your own cold brew. Enjoy.


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