I've got a Takeya pitcher with a fine mesh insert that I've been using to cold brew. I fill the mesh with coffee and then as much water as will fit in the pitcher. Typically brew for 24hrs shaking it occasionally. I like what's Starbucks offers (yeah I know) but I'm finding that mine is coming out much lighter in color and more watered down tasting. I've gone as far as not diluting it after brewing and it still seems light. Any suggestions?
Did you follow recipe procedures (with all due respect)?
- up the amount of coffee to water ratio. Cold brews will use at about double the amount of a hot brew.
- grind beans for cold brew? I've heard that you can go as fine as drip maker or as coarse as French press. If you feel that the ratio is correct and that you feel that the results are still weak, then you will want a more finer grind - but the suggestion is not to go finer than drip.
- use an arabica bean. Again with all due respect, cold brews work well to tone down some of the bitterness while retaining the other aromas. This translates to using arabica over a robusta.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out? And I actually like the Starbucks cold brews.
I have the same cold brewer and have gotten similar results before. Here are some things I picked up that I think are helpful:
Ratio is definitely a personal preference, there is no right or wrong. I've seen people say that they like ratios of 1:8 all the way down to 1:4. (ex.1:8 ratio is 5 ounces of beans to 40 ounces of water.) If you think yours is weak try a 1:4 ratio.
Not sure what your grind size was but if it's weak I would suggest going finer. You don't want to go to fine though and have a bunch of coffee sludge in the bottom of your pitcher because your grounds were too fine and came out of your filter.
If you use a medium-fine grind you should. If you need help with grind sizes this might help you out.
Also maybe try brewing it at room temperature, Here people are talking about good results with a 12-18 hour brew time by just leaving it on the counter instead of putting it in your fridge.
Another thing that could be effecting your flavor is the beans you are using. You mentioned that you like Starbucks and I think they have a really bold roast flavor. Maybe the beans you're using aren't capable of giving you the flavor you're looking for.