Last Updated on 23/07/2022 by Miki
Cold Brew Coffee – It’s time to do a deep dive into this delicious coffee trend. This drink is slowly but surely taking over as America’s coffee drink of choice. Cold brew is brewed at a low temperature over a long period of time. This process extracts the nutrients and most of the acid, which is what gives coffee its bitter taste. So why not make the coffee with a little twist? I recommend topping it off with some cream or adding your favourite flavouring to give you a little more personality. The possibilities are endless for a cold brew because you never know what you’ll be in the mood for that day. Let’s keep discovering more about this unique coffee 🙂
Why Is Cold Brew Coffee So Popular?
You may have noticed that we see cold brew at cafes more and more. The popularity of the drink possibly comes from its taste – smoother and less acidic. Personally, I’m not a fan of acidic taste in my coffee, so it is a great option. It is also favoured by Millenials who are in search of something new and innovative. If you are a curious and adventurous person, it is definitely worth trying cold brew!
What’s The Difference Between Cold Brew And Iced Coffee?
Cold brew is not the same as iced coffee although it is cold coffee. Does it sound confusing? Well, to put it simply, the brewing method is different. The former isn’t made with hot water, therefore it has less acidity and more sweetness. On the other hand, the latter is made with hot water and then it’s cooled. Here is a simple guide from Starbucks.
Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?
Although hot water will extract more caffeine from coffee, cold brew coffee typically contains more caffeine since it is a concentrated form with a higher ratio of coffee to water. However, you need to take into consideration that you usually add water or milk when you have the coffee as it is concentrated, which means that the caffeine content will even out. You may want to read this article about caffeine content.
Does Cold Brew Spoil?
In general, cold brew lasts longer than hot coffee that is supposed to be drunk as soon as it is freshly made. If not diluted, it will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge although it can start to lose its quality in flavour after the first week. Keep in mind that if you dilute it with water, its shelf life will become only a couple of days.
Why Is Cold Brew Expensive?
If you would like to have this type of coffee at cafes, you will notice that it is more expensive than iced coffee. Why is it so?
It is because the method of this coffee requires more coffee beans and more time. In general, the ratio is 1 cup of beans to 4 cups of water and you can adjust the amount according to your preference in coffee strength. Similarly, the time of steeping is typically between 12-15 hours, but if you like your coffee stronger, it can be done up to 24 hours.
Can I Heat Cold Brew Coffee?
There may be a misconception that cold brew should be served in cold only as the name suggests. In fact, you can heat the coffee by adding some hot water as it is a concentrated form and it is typically diluted with water or milk when you drink. If you want more convenience, you can add some water and just microwave it. More details can be found in this article.
As you can see, making a batch of coffee when you have time will save you time in the busy mornings. It may not taste exactly the same as your regular coffee, but it will be another delicious cup of coffee after all.
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Can I Use Pre-Ground Coffee For Cold Brew?
You need to use a coarse grind for cold brew coffee to get the best result. Unfortunately, pre-ground coffee is not the best option as it is usually ground for drip coffee machines. Moreover, it is much better in flavour and aroma if you freshly grind whole beans. If you don’t have a grinder at home, it is definitely worth investing in one for yourself like this one.
Do You Need A Special Coffee Maker For Cold Brew?
The simple answer is no, you don’t need a special coffee maker for it. However, if you are a big drinker of cold brew and make it frequently at home, then it’s worth considering buying one of the cold brew coffee makers as it is easier and more effective to make the coffee.
The Coffee To Water Ratio
The perfect cold brew coffee to water ratio is all a matter of taste. You might prefer a sweeter brew or a more refreshing one. However, one thing is for sure, you need to have a balance of flavorful grounds and the right water ratio. We know you want to do the best for your taste buds and that’s why I recommend that your cold brew coffee to water ratio should be 1:4. This ratio is perfect for a delicious, refreshing, and flavorful cold brew. However, you may find it a bit too strong as this ratio is more for a strong coffee lover like myself. You can always experiment with the amount of coffee depending on your preference for sure.
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee
One of the great things about cold brew is that you don’t need special beans or tools to make it. Having said that, there are some recommended coffee beans for a cold brew and it is good to have a grinder to freshly grind whole beans at home. Otherwise, you can simply purchase a bag of whole beans from your local cafe and ask your barista to grind the beans for a cold brew.
What you’ll need:
- Coffee grinder
- 1 cup of whole coffee beans
- 4 cups of water (preferably filtered)
- A large glass or ceramic container with a lid
- Measuring jug
- A bottle or Jar for storage
- Adjust the grind setting to the coarsest on your grinder and grind the beans.
- Remove the coffee grounds from the grinder and transfer them to the prepared container.
- Pour the water over the top of the coffee and gently stir with a spoon so that the coffee will be saturated with the water completely.
- Cover the container with a lid to make sure nothing will come inside. Allow the coffee to steep for at least 12 hours. You can leave it on the kitchen counter as keeping it in the fridge will slow the steeping process.
- Line a strainer with a piece of cheesecloth and place it over a measuring jug. Gently pour the brewed coffee through the strainer.
- Transfer the cold brew to a bottle or jar. You can store undiluted coffee in the fridge and it should last for up to 2 weeks. However, it will last only a couple of days if you have diluted the coffee.
How To Sweeten Cold Brew Simply
As we already know, cold brew coffee is naturally sweeter than our regular hot coffee since the brewing method leads to a less acidic and more smooth taste. Therefore, coffee lovers who do not have a sweet tooth like me will not need additional sweetness in the coffee at all. However, there are some coffee lovers who enjoy the extra sweetness in their coffee. If that’s the case, you can simply add cinnamon, honey/maple syrup, or vanilla essence. I would recommend these healthier options than refined sugar for two reasons:
- First, I am relatively health-conscious and I would like to avoid refined sugar and processed food as much as possible.
- The second reason is that unless sugar is in liquid form, it won’t dissolve well without hot water. Therefore, it is not suitable for cold brew coffee.
Cold brew coffee is certainly different from your regular coffee in both its brewing method and taste. Moreover, it is convenient in that you make a batch on a weekend and store it in the fridge for the week so that you can enjoy the coffee without a hassle in the morning. To make it even better, you can easily adjust the strength by adding water or milk. For those reasons, there should be nothing to prevent you from trying it today 🙂