Do you love iced coffee with whipped cream? Some people prefer a plain cup of coffee poured over ice. They think that ice removes the bitter taste in coffee, but leaves its pure and heavenly flavor.
Do you really enjoy the taste of good coffee, the energy kick from caffeine and its energizing effect, but you don’t like a hot drink? If you see coffee as an energy boosting or even a relaxing ritual, for the whole day, or even at night when you’re up for some late work, getting it cold would work for you.
The process of making coffee is so basic. You boil the water, heat the coffee pot, and mix. Some people also use coffee machines to do the job. But, how do you make a cold coffee without compromising its flavor and aroma?
What is Cold Brew Coffee
Over the past few years, cold brew coffee has gotten quite a lot of attention. Though it is not really new at all, the trend seems to have gotten hotter, that even Starbucks has recently released that they too, will be joining the trend of coffee shops selling the brew. Although this brew hasn’t even been in most coffee shops menu’s over five to ten years ago, it still managed to emerge today- it’s basically a household name now. It somehow found its way to be on every coffee shop’s menu.
How is Cold Brew Coffee Made
Some people might get the wrong impression of the name cold brew. The name isn’t derived from the product’s temperature, but rather from the process of making it. To put it simply, cold brew is made by steeping in cool water at room temperature. Over 12 to 24 hours, the cold brew will slowly become its best self. The remaining liquid is chilled and then served after the coffee grounds are strained out.
However, let’s break it down into tiny bits and pieces. Here is how you make cold brew coffee, step by step:
- The coffee beans should be grounded into a coarse grind. Check out our recommended coffee for a cold brew.
- Get a jar filled with water, and combine the ground coffee inside.
- Stir the mixture to incorporate.
- Put the coffee inside the refrigerator to steep for 12 to 24 hours.
- Strain the coffee grounds out of the concentrate.
- Chill the remaining liquid in the jar and then serve.
Alternatively, you can use a cold brew coffee maker, instead of a jar. The market is full of options, and some are surprisingly good, to be honest. Check out our list of best cold brew coffee makers and see for yourself.
If the step by step isn’t enough, here’s a common recipe that you can use as a basis for your cold brew endeavors:
- The most common kind of jar used for a cold brew is a 1-quart wide mouth mason jar. Inside the jar, you’ll be putting 3 ounces of coarsely ground coffee and combine it with 3 cups of water.
- Stir the mixture so that they’ll incorporate.
- Afterward, you will be steeping the brew for about 12 to 24 hours.
- After the estimated time, you will be straining the whole mixture. You’ll have about 3 cups of cold brew concentrate- this will be enough for 5 cups of cold brew coffee.
In simple terms, you brew the coffee with cold or room temperature water, using coffee double-strength. Pour it over the ice, and you have your own cold brew beverage.
What are the Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
Less acidity than regular coffee
In terms of taste and acidity, when compared to average coffee, cold brew is better.
The best thing about cold brew coffee is that it tastes slightly sweeter and a bit milder than normal coffee brews. This is because research says that heat tends to get the most intense chemicals out of coffee beans, which makes it taste bitter and a lot more acidic than your typical cold brew coffee.
Although the aroma and flavor of the coffee brew remain the same, it is way less acidic and strong than your average cup of Joe. Drink it if you want a change. This brew is made for people who want to avoid adding any kind of creamers or sweeteners but have trouble drinking plain, bitter, black coffee since this brew is much smoother than your regular cup of coffee.
Brew it in Advance
If you want to make high-quality coffee at home and want to brew it a day or two in advance, then this brew is a great option for you. Cold brew is definitely suitable for people who dislike having to wait for the coffee machine to finish brewing. By making this brew, you’ll be able to avoid the everyday hassle of steeping, straining, and making coffee.
There are some arguments that brewing hot coffee destroys its anti-oxidant properties, this cold brew is healthier. But there is no sufficient supporting evidence to prove it. They also claim that it is easier on the stomach because it is less acidic than hot coffee.
Better Cold Brew at Home
These are not Area 52 secret barista tips, but we hope they can help you achieve a better cold brew.
Get the Grind Right
Cold brew requires a coarse grind that can be compared to the coarseness of raw sugar. This is needed because it prevents the brew from getting bitter overnight. If you have a small coffee bean grinder available at home, its best to grind your coffee beans in batches so they all have the same coarseness.
Higher Coffee to Water Ratio
For example, your recipe uses a ratio of 5 ounces of ground coffee to 5 cups of water; which is one ounce of coffee grounds per cup of coffee. This makes it easier to scale the recipe up or down.
When You Strain, Do it Slowly
Multiple coffee shops use different types of coffee machines to make this kind of brew. However since you’re just making it at home, the best way to replicate it is by straining the cold brew through a cheesecloth and strainer.
You must avoid pressing on the coffee grounds, or else you might extract the bitter flavors by accident. To strain as gently as possible, it’s best to do the training in batches. Coffee filters aren5t very ideally when doing the whole straining process since most of the time it tears apart, causing a much messier production. Not only that, but it also prolongs the process that could be done in mere minutes.
Cold Brew FAQ
Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?
Yes. It contains more caffeine. The reason behind it is that in hot brewed coffee, the temperature of water extracts the full flavor of the ground coffee, while the cold water doesn’t.
What is the Best Grind Size for Cold Brew Coffee?
It is advisable to use a coarse grind for cold coffee. The coffee tastes less bitter.
Can You Heat Up Cold Brew?
You can heat up almost anything, but why would you want to do it?
If you have a heater or a stove available, you can simply heat up your cold brew concentrate to enjoy a hot beverage any time of the day. Even the microwave works perfectly fine.
Is There Decaf Cold Brew Coffee?
There sure is! Just use decaf coffee beans to make it!
Is Cold Brew Coffee Less Acidic?
The hot brewing process usually extracts the acidic properties of caffeine. Since cold brewing doesn’t, iced coffee is 67% less acidic than hotly brewed coffee recipes.
If you’re one of those people who is planning to shift from a hot brew to a cold brew coffee, you’re in for a treat! You can enjoy a flavorful and less bitter beverage, which some people also find sweeter than a regular coffee. So, if you are trying to cut back on your sugar consumption, this is for you. There is no need to add sweetener and cream when drinking it, though there is no rule that says you cannot.
But, if you are still a fan of hot black coffee, relax! You can heat the iced coffee anytime you want and enjoy the delicious cup that switches the brain the morning and a great mood booster during the day.
Coffee is an everyday beverage for millions of people around the world. Sometimes, you just eat out in a place simply because it serves the coffee you enjoy. It is one of the ultimate comfort drinks that people could enjoy all their life.
While some complaint of gastric side effects, cold brew seems to be easier on the stomach and it is healthful too compared to sodas and other drinks. It can be enjoyed with a meal too, that’s why it is usually the beverage of choice.
It is also a kind of drink that relaxes and soothes you while it keeps you active.
Still, at the end of the day, it is still the same coffee-only at a different temperature. You get the same benefits, like antioxidants and fibers that protect you from heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and diabetes.
It is still an energy booster, a weight loss aid, and a mood lifter. It’s your taste buds, so go for the beverage that will make you more satisfied.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.