Welcome to a whole new way to brew! If you’ve decided that it’s time to up your brewing game then you’ve come to the right place. Cold brew coffee is the hottest coffee trend on the market right now. With the summer heat just beginning to show itself, the time for ice-cold drinks is here! What could be better than starting your day off with a cold brew? Careful though…dodon't assume the name is a result of the temperature of the coffee! In actuality, the reason it’s called a cold brew is not because you drink it cold, but rather this refers to the actual brewing method.
So, make no mistake. Cold brew coffee is not an iced coffee. It is so much more than that. It is refreshing, has an incredible flavor, requires a particular amount of time to create, and (once it’s been made) is a great time saver for busy mornings. So many advantages!
So, here we go. Time to dive into this fun new trend and see what it’s all about. Let’s begin with the reasons why you should try it. Below is a slew of beneficial reasons for why your morning brew should be a cold brew.
Benefits of Drinking Cold Brew Coffee
- The slow release of caffeine hitting your system makes for a gently wake up and zero crash despite the higher levels of caffeine.
- The taste is mellow and less acidic than hot or even iced coffee.
- Because it’s less acidic, it’s gentler on the stomach and the enamel of your teeth.
- Long-lasting! When properly brewed, cold brew coffee can last up to ten days.
- Because it’s long-lasting, your busy mornings are made simpler. Just pour and go!
- Use it in recipes! Things like cakes and other sweet treats! There’re tons of recipes that out there that use cold brew coffee.
- Cold-brew coffee can even be heated up if you want to change up your morning routine.
- It’s a strong brew! If you are a mild coffee drinker, make sure you know to expect a stronger drink when trying cold brew. Despite being strong, unlike other coffees, the taste is smooth and refreshing. It’s even possible to taste the chocolate and fruity flavors of your beans because of the way it’s brewed!
- Even though many people drink it with ice alone, adding milk is still an option. You can customize your cold brew, however, you wish!
- Because the water starts cold, it needs to steep for anywhere from ten to eighteen hours before it’s ready to drink. This cold extraction is the reason it tastes so good, though! This method brings out fewer of the coffee’s bitter compounds resulting in a smooth and sweet flavor.
- Grinding your beans makes a better coffee. You’ll need coarsely ground beans either ground at home or it can be done at the grocery store or coffee shop as well. It’s never been easier to make your cold brew at home!
- Any beans will do! Well, sort of. You should only be considering Arabica first of all. They are the best coffee beans on the market. Want to know more about Arabica beans and why you should be choosing them? Check out our article What Is Arabica Coffee? In this article, we discuss what Arabica beans are, why you should be using them, and the many different types of Arabica on the market.
How to Make a Cold Brew Coffee at Home
First of all, you’ll need a very coarsely ground coffee and cold water. Why coarsely ground? Because if the grinds are too fine, you’ll end up with an over-extracted, bitter coffee.
A general rule of thumb for a cold brew coffee is a 1:5 ratio of coffee to water. This is a good ratio to start with, and you can always adjust to taste as you go. If it’s your first time, follow this guideline however, don’t be afraid to adjust to your liking.
Now you’re ready to steep!
Steeping time for a cold brew is flexible, just like it is in the diluting process. Sometimes overnight steeping is recommended, other times up to sixteen to twenty hours. Even if you go a bit longer than initially planned, it’s perfectly fine; you can always dilute with extra water afterward.
As for the water that you use…well, like everything else, the better quality the water is, the better quality your result will be. There is a difference between tap water, distilled, and filtered. Just for quick reference: distilled removes all the minerals that help make coffee taste fantastic. So, with this in mind, filtered water is the best option.
Steeping your cold brew coffee at room temperature is okay as long as the brew gets into a fridge soon after! After all, you don’t want to altogether remove the “cold” from the cold brew process.
After the steeping is done, then it’s time to strain the coffee grounds out of the water. After all, the last thing you want is sludgy sediment in your coffee! That stud is better strained out for sure.
Straining can be done using cheesecloth, or if you find that too challenging (which it can be), then a very thin paper filter will do the trick too. Another creative way to strain is by using a thin, cotton cloth like a handkerchief or a napkin. Drape your cloth over a fine-mesh sieve, or if you’re using the paper filter, simply drop it in. Place the strainer over a pitcher and pour the concentrate through it.
A properly stored cold brew lasts up to ten days. This is great for those of us who are not morning people! No need to get up early to make your favorite coffee. Brew on the weekend, refrigerate and have fresh cold brew each day of the week. If you pass ten days and you haven’t finished your cold brew yet, you might notice that the flavors start to change. That’s when it’s time to pass on what’s leftover and make a new batch. However, cold brew coffee is so delicious that it probably won’t happen!
Common FAQs about Cold Brew Coffee.
- Is a cold brew coffee more acidic than other types of coffee?
- How much caffeine is there in a cold brew versus a hot coffee?
- Can you heat a cold brew and drink it hot?
- Do you need to have a cold brewer to make cold brew coffee?
These are all excellent questions, so let’s take a minute, explore them in greater detail.
Starting with #1: Is a cold brew coffee more acidic than other types of coffee?
Actually no. Cold brew coffee is most definitely less acidic than hot coffee and even iced coffee. This is excellent news! This is because of the brewing time and temperature of the water used. In a traditional hot coffee (which is later chilled to make ice coffee), the brewing temperature is so hot that the oils and acids in the beans oxidize and degrade quickly. With a cold brew coffee, it is the cold water and long brewing time. That is the reason the result has a sweet flavor and is missing the bitterness that can come with a hot coffee.
Moving on to #2: How much caffeine is there in a cold brew versus a hot coffee?
So, this one is tricky to get a straight answer with…
Technically there is more caffeine in a cold brew coffee than in a hot coffee; however, caffeine dissolves quicker in hot water. Also, despite the higher caffeine levels in a cold brew, because of its slower release time, you don’t feel the rush of caffeine hitting your bloodstream in the same way.
Time for #3: Can you heat a cold brew and drink it hot?
Yes! This is an excellent advantage to the cold brew, as much as it is delicious and refreshing cold, it can also be heated up when you have a craving for a hot coffee. The best way to do this is to brew it cold then add hot water to the concentrate to dilute it. You can add a little at a time until you have the perfect ratio for your taste. Typically though, it’s about 1:2, but everyone is slightly different.
And finally… #4: Do you need to have a cold brewer to make cold brew coffee?
Well, it is the best choice, can’t deny that. However, if you don’t have a cold brew coffee maker, there are other alternatives. A mason jar, French Press or an Aeropress are all viable options as well. The French Press is a more common household item. If you have one, you can check out this video on how to make a cold brew coffee using your French Press https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VQqcT8w2lU
All to say that making your own cold brew coffee is so much more than just a passing phase or trend. This method has been around for decades, but it has simply gained popularity with the masses most recently. And this is a great thing. A great thing because cold brew is healthier for your body and more flavorful! Healthier because of the absence of that caffeine high and inevitable crash that hot coffee brings. Healthier because it’s less acidic on the stomach and teeth. More delicious because of its mellow yet rich, sweet, and layered taste. Not to mention how it’s long-lasting abilities and flexibility in terms of serving it hot or cold are all great reasons to brew a cold one! So, don’t delay! Hop on to this fabulously useful and healthy trend today! Remember to use the guidelines above, and you too will soon be enjoying your morning joe as a cold brew!