It's Never Too Late For Cold Brew

How would you feel if I told you that you could easily save about $1,000 or more per year with one small change? You’d think I was crazy, right? Well that may be slightly true, but depending on where you shop, you could actually save $1,000 or more if you start bringing your own coffee to work!

I consider myself to be one of the many people that are “addicted to coffee.” If I don’t have it, I don’t get anything done. I’m in a total fog all day.

A little while ago, my coffee addiction got to the point where my regular iced coffee orders just weren’t cutting it anymore and I was getting tired of paying for it. Around that same time, my sister called to tell me about how she made her own cold brew. At that point, I had no idea what cold brew even was. It was this new, fancy, possibly “hipster” phrase that was getting thrown around. I decided to try her recipe out and just see how great this stuff really was.

According to my sister, all I needed to do was grind up coffee beans, mix a cup of the grounds with 3 cups of water, and let it sit in a sealed jar overnight. Twelve to twenty-four hours later, I could filter it out and enjoy. So, I got to business and decided to make it even easier by just using coffee grounds from the store. It really was just as easy as she said!


The moment came when it was time to filter the cold brew out, and I had a couple of options. First I tried using a mesh tea infuser to catch the grounds. This method was only semi-successful, and the brew needed to be filtered out several times with this approach. The next method I tried was fastening a coffee filter around the opening of the jar using a rubber band. The brew took FOREVER to filter using this method.

On another attempt, I tried just rubber banding a paper towel (I use the super-strong absorbent kind) around the opening of the jar and pouring the brew through that. I found this to be extremely successful. Using this method, the brew pours out very quickly while the paper towel blocks all of the grounds from going through. You can even squeeze the grounds out of the paper towel after you finish pouring to make sure you get every last drop.

Once you filter the brew out, you are left with concentrated coffee, which means you’ll need to dilute it before you use it. When my mom tried making her own, she failed to realize that it was concentrated and was wired all day so make sure you’re careful! Each person has their own preference, but I personally add about the same amount of water for the amount of cold brew. With these proportions, and depending on how much coffee you like to drink each day, the brew made from just the one cup of coffee grounds and 3 cups of water should last you about a week.

For the past few months, my favorite way to drink my coffee has been a style that I learned while I was in Puerto Rico.  I was travelling alone and was looking for a place to grab breakfast that had seats along a bar. Let me just say that there are few things more awkward than sitting alone at a table in a restaurant without a book. But, when I saw on their Yelp page that they were known for their iced coffee, and that they made theirs with brown sugar and milk, I had to have this.

As the waitress brought the coffee over, I noticed that there was also a sprinkle of cinnamon on the top, and it looked delicious. I mixed it together and had a sip. There was something interesting about this coffee- the cinnamon made it!  A few minutes later, the waitress came rushing over apologizing. She told me that the person that made my coffee had accidentally put the cinnamon in it. She offered to make me a new one, but I actually preferred this one.

As it turns out, cinnamon has a ton of health benefits that make it a great addition to coffee and other recipes. According to several reports from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, cinnamon has a ton of antioxidants, which help to protect your body.  It has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it great for people that suffer from joint issues. Cinnamon can also reduce the risk of heart attack and lowers blood sugar levels. Here’s another article with more information about the health benefits of cinnamon.

Ever since my trip to Puerto Rico, I’ve been making my cold brew with brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. This coffee recipe tastes great and has health benefits, and it’s not just about physical health. For someone like me who is constantly worrying about money, it’s also about mental health and financial health.

This one small change has made a very big impact on my daily routine. I make my coffee and putting it in the fridge the night before. This has prevented a lot of stress in my mornings; there’s no more running late and wondering if I have time to stop for coffee on the way to work. I have also saving so much money by avoiding going to coffee chains on my way to work. One small can of coffee, which usually costs $3-$5, provides me with coffee for about a month! By making this cold brew every day, I estimate that I have saved approximately $1,200 over the course of a year.

To see more about how cold brew is different from regular coffee, check out this helpful infographic at the bottom of the page, and don’t hesitate to play around with recipes and try adding new flavors and spices!


The Recipe

Supplies: One Quart-sized container, paper towel or coffee filters, rubber band


  • 1 cup coffee grounds
  • 4-5 cups water


  1. Fill a one-quart (or a little bigger) container with about 1 cup of coffee grounds.
  2. Fill the container to the top with water.
  3. Cover it and give it a shake to mix it, then let it sit in the fridge for 8-24 hours (I usually leave it in the fridge overnight).
  4. Filter.
  5. Dilute the concentrate with water (I usually do equal parts or a little more water) and make your coffee whichever way you prefer!