What is Cold Brew Coffee?
In the past few years, the brewing method known as “cold brew coffee” has become pretty popular, and for good reasons. Coffee shops and cafe’s across the globe have been, or are starting to, serve this deliciously prepared iced coffee drink. But what about cold brew makes it the ideal beverage for hot summer nights on the patio?
To start, what makes cold brew coffee different from normal ice coffee? Firstly, instead of being brewed with 200 degree steam like most other coffee is, cold brew is steeped in room temperature water, for an extended period of time, usually 12-20 hours.
This mellow extraction gives the coffee a smoother, and much less acidic body. Since there is a lot less of the coffee’s natural acid that makes its way into the cup, it is also great for people who suffer from chronic heartburn and acid reflex. Cold brew is also touted to have a lot more caffeine than hot brewed coffee, which can make it an efficient way to get your caffeine buzz.
Because cold brew is made over such a long period of time compared to other coffee brewing methods, it is also much more concentrated as a result. Drinkers can add cream, sugar, and even hot water without risk of diluting this amazing brew, as opposed to normal coffee, which can easily lose its subtle flavors when cream and sugar is added.
Making cold brew is actually pretty easy, and only requires a couple things that will already be in your brewing arsenal if you’re an avid coffee maker. On the more professional end of the spectrum of cold brew making, there is a device called a Toddy, which is essentially a big plastic bucket with a spout, where the user fills a coffee filter bag with ground coffee, and adds the correct amount of water, and then closes it and lets it steep. If you’re like me, and don’t want to buy one of those, a French press works just fine.
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
- To make cold brew with a French press, simply add 2/3 of a cup of coarse ground coffee to the press, followed by 3 cups of fresh chilled or room temperature water. After that, simply cover the press with the plunger section without depressing the mesh filter, and let it sit on the counter for 12-20 hours.
- After that, depress the mesh filter, and pour it into an airtight bottle where it will stay fresh for about 5 days. For a more clear cup, you can even filter it through a standard coffee filter to remove any dregs that seeped through the press’s filter.
- To drink cold brew, simply pour the desired amount into a glass of ice, and add anything you would like to it, be it flavored syrups, cream or milk, or hot water to enjoy it on a cold day. Overall, cold brew coffee is one of the best, and easiest, ways to make great coffee at home, without the use of expensive brewers.
You can also buy specific cold brew coffee makers – see my reviews of those here