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How to Make New Orleans Cold Brew

Cold Brew

Cold brew is an easy and delicious coffee drink. But if you’ve already mastered the basics — and especially if you want a less caffeinated cold brew — it’s time to try your hand at a new recipe: New Orleans cold brew!

This cold brew recipe produces a rich, full-flavored drink with substantially less caffeine than regular cold brew. It’s a New Orleans specialty, perfect for a Mardi Gras celebration or just an extra-special weekday. Keep reading to learn how to make New Orleans cold brew — and see our handy brewing tips, too.

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What’s New Orleans Cold Brew?

What makes cold brew into New Orleans cold brew? Chicory! Chicory is a plant root that’s roasted and ground to make a coffee-like drink. It doesn’t contain caffeine and has a unique flavor.

Chicory cup drink
Chicory coffee, ground chicory, and chicory flowers. Image Credti: masterQ, Shutterstock

Chicory was originally used as an inexpensive coffee substitute during times of hardship, but these days many people love it as a way to reduce their caffeine intake. You can mix it into coffee for a tasty New Orleans-style drink.


New Orleans Cold Brew Recipe:

Ingredients
  • Coarsely-ground coffee (We’re using Lifeboost)
  • Ground chicory
  • Filtered water
  • Milk and sugar (optional)
Equipment

1. Combine coffee and chicory.

Mix ground coffee and chicory in your cold brew maker or French press. Make sure the coffee is coarsely ground. To avoid overwhelming the coffee with chicory, we usually start with a ratio of 3 parts coffee to 1 part chicory. You can adjust that ratio to your taste! If you’re using an especially tasty coffee like Lifeboost’s dark roast, we recommend increasing the amount of coffee.

French Press Cold Brew Stirring Grounds
Image Credit: Joseph Robertson, Flickr

2. Add filtered water.

Pour filtered water into the mixture and give it a good stir.

3. Let it brew!

Let your cold brew steep for 12 hours on the counter or 16 in the refrigerator. When it’s finished, filter out the grounds and transfer your cold brew concentrate to a new container.

cold brew coffee
Image Credit: Dennis Tang, Flickr

4. Serve & enjoy.

To serve your cold brew, pour it over ice and add a little cold water. You’ve made a cold brew concentrate, so you’ll want to add some water to bring out the best flavors. You can add milk or sugar if you’d like!

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New Orleans Cold Brew Tips:

Wondering how you can customize this New Orleans cold brew to your tastes? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Chicory Ratio

Chicory granules and ground coffee

How much chicory to add is the biggest decision you’ll need to make in this recipe. Add more chicory for a stronger flavor and the least caffeine. Up the coffee content if you want your cold brew to taste mostly like coffee and a little like chicory. If you’ve never had chicory before, we recommend starting with less and working up from there. It’s a bit of an acquired taste!

Steeping Time

Steeping New Orleans cold brew is just like steeping any other cold brew. Whether you do it on the counter or in the refrigerator will affect exactly how long it needs to steep, but it will take between 12 and 18 hours. Let your cold brew steep longer if you want a stronger flavor.

Serving Suggestions

coffee ice cubes in a glass

For a stronger drink, make coffee (or coffee and chicory) ice cubes. Just pour any extra brewed coffee or cold brew into an ice cube tray and let it freeze. As for toppings, we recommend spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to play up the chicory flavors. You can also mix in a little milk or cream.

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Conclusion

There you have it: an easy (and tasty!) New Orleans cold brew recipe to try today. Steeping coffee and chicory together produces a unique, rich cold brew that may just be your new favorite drink. Why not give it a try and see what you think?

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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