Brewing coffee has undergone many innovations in recent years. You are now able to make coffee using a wide variety of brewing methods, each more unique than the other. But there’s something that all of them have in common: They use hot water to help extract the coffee.
Well, almost all of them. Cold brew, the method of brewing coffee without the use of hot water, makes use of either room temperature water or cold water.
But this method isn’t really all that new. It was first documented as a way to brew coffee in feudal japan; Coffee was brewed at room temperature in large containers for even days at a time- and that’s how they prepared the drink.
Though it took some time to catch on, eventually cold brew became hugely popular. And thanks to your fridge, you can now safely brew coffee for hours without fear of fermentation.
What makes cold brew different
But cold brew coffee is more than just regular coffee that takes a long time to make. It is different not only regarding taste and aroma, but also regarding its chemistry. When exposed to high temperatures, many of the compounds in coffee undergo changes that result in a transformation of taste and aroma. This is why cold brew tastes so different: By avoiding heat, you end up with a cup of coffee that completely lacks bitterness and is sweet and syrupy.
Another important aspect of cold brew coffee is regarding the oils contained in the coffee beans; High temperatures make these oils loosen up and allows them to make their way into your cup - this can be both good and bad, depending on the type of filtering you’re using. Some of the oils in coffee beans can raise cholesterol, for example.
Compared to other coffees, cold brew coffee is:
- Less bitter
- Less acidic
- Higher in caffeine concentration
But above all, cold brew coffee is refreshing and feels like a completely different drink than most other coffee drinks.
Although there are many inventions designed specifically to brew cold coffee, the process is so simple that it can be done at home without the need of specialized tools. If you have any type of container with a lid, that’s enough to make cold brew coffee!
Here’s a short & easy recipe for you to try:
Homemade Cold Brew
What you’ll need:
- A container. This can be a jug, a jar, or even your French press!
- 1 cup coarse coffee grounds, just like the ones you would use for French press coffee.
- Water, about 4 cups.
- A sieve.
How to make:
- Using freshly ground coffee if possible, sieve to sort out small coffee grounds that would otherwise ruin the taste of our coffee. For better results, use the coarsest grind size available to you.
- Transfer coffee grounds to your preferred container, then add water at room temperature.
- Close the lid and store in the fridge for 16 to 24 hours.
- Take the container out, filter using a paper or cloth filter, and serve. If using a French press, this step is not necessary!
- Do not use ice cubes. Cold brew coffee is already diluted enough; Using more water will only ruin the taste of it. Instead, brew an additional batch and make it into ice cubes!
- Take advantage of the extra time. If you enjoy flavored coffee, use this time to infuse your coffee with spices and sweetener. You can use cinnamon, cloves, and other spices mixed with the coffee grounds to make a unique cold brew. Just make sure you filter them out before serving!
- Use darker roasts, as cold brewing brings out the most flavor out of dark roasts.
- If you’re looking for a great coffee to use try one of our roasts
As you can see, the basic process of brewing is quite easy. One of the great advantages is that you don’t have to supervise water temperature as closely as with other methods, which takes a lot of work and pressure off of your back. What’s more it minimizes the chances of something going wrong during brewing, so we are able to achieve consistency in the quality of our coffee.
Once you have the traditional method down, you can start experimenting with other types of cold brewing; There are many devices made particularly for this type of coffee.