Today, cold brew boasts of increasingly becoming more popular among coffee enthusiasts. There’re many reasons why it’s becoming more loved by coffee enthusiasts. For instance, it has a sweet and refreshing taste with low acidity. It’s also simple to brew.
Regardless of the simplicity behind making cold brew, the steps involved in the entire process are essential. Luckily, it’s quite easy to learn and master the brewing process. In this guide, you’ll learn more about making cold brew coffee, the best coffee to use, and the best methods for making cold brew. You’ll also get to know why cold brew stands out from average brews.
What Are The Differences Between Cold Brew And Iced Coffee?
If you’ve ever taken cold brew, you’ve probably noticed that it differs from iced coffee. Although these two types of coffee look similar, they differ in the brewing methods. Also, they don’t taste the same.
When making iced coffee, the process starts like the one used in making hot coffee. The coffee is made with hot water and ground coffee and any coffee-making method including French press, pour-over, and drip coffee among others. Once the coffee is ready, it’s allowed to cool until it gains room temperature. Thereafter, it’s chilled in a refrigerator. Once chilled, it’s served by pouring it into a coffee mug containing ice cubes. Thus, its flavor profile is similar to that of coffee made with boiling water.
On the other hand, cold brew is made using a different process. As its name suggests, the process of making cold brew involves brewing coffee with cold water. Instead of extracting coffee with heat, ground coffee beans are steeped in cold water for several hours. Thus, it takes more time to make cold brew than iced coffee.
The Art of Patience in Brewing Cold Coffee
When brewing coffee, the flavor of the final product is largely determined by the water temperature. Conventional brewing techniques rely on hot water to extract flavor and aroma from ground coffee. Hot water works by bringing out the brightness and acidity of coffee quickly.
On the contrary, cold brew uses a technique that releases the deeper and smoother aspects of coffee. In cold brews, coffee grounds don’t mix with any hot water. Instead, coffee grounds are steeped in cold water, whereby the cold water extracts the depth and richness of coffee. Consequently, the final brew has low acidity. However, the process of brewing coffee with cold water is relatively slow. Luckily, your patience will reward you with a smooth and balanced cup of cold coffee.
While some methods of making cold brew can give you a tasty cup in about 6 hours, you’ll need about 24 hours to get the tastiest cold brew. Luckily, making cold brew doesn’t require a lot of effort. It only needs patience. Thus, you have to plan in advance to make a tasty cold brew.
Making a Cup of Tasty Cold Brew
Coffee enthusiasts love cold brew for its smooth and rich taste, with a flavor of toasted nuts or chocolate. Many coffee enthusiasts who often drink coffee-containing milk prefer taking black cold brew. The reason behind their preference is that cold brew has low acidity. Thus, it has a smooth taste that doesn’t require adding milk.
Since cold brew has the potential of bringing out the sweet notes of coffee while keeping away bitter notes, you’ll find it easier to enjoy the coffee without adding any sugar as there’s not much bitterness to eliminate.
Tips for Making a Perfect Cup of Cold Brew
There’re two main methods used in making cold coffee brew. These methods are easy to implement at home. The best thing is that one of these methods doesn’t require any special appliance. These methods include:
- Drip Method
Making cold brew using the drip method involves dripping cool water over coffee grounds at a slow rate. The extracted brew is collected in a coffee carafe in drops. The carafe is positioned below the coffee maker. The kind of coffee makers used in brewing cold coffee feature a lot of style with minimal technology. The appliances are sleek and can add to the décor of your home. Cold brew is also made using commercial coffee machines.
- Immersion method
This method is mostly embraced by minimalists. It’s a basic method of extracting coffee from ground coffee beans. In this technique, coffee is added to cold water. The grounds are allowed to steep in the water for about 24 hours. Next, the mixture is filtered to keep out the grounds and remain with bold, rich coffee. Some coffee lovers brew a cold coffee concentrate and dilute it for a perfect cold brew.
You only need a clean mason jar to make cold brew. You’ll also need a filter to filter the steeped mixture. You can as well use a French press to make cold brew. The French press is a perfect coffee maker for steeping coffee grounds and filtering them perfectly.
How to Choose the Best Coffee Roast for a Perfect Cold Coffee Brew
The extent to which coffee beans are roasted is a major determining factor in the flavor and aroma of a coffee brew. Thus, it’ll help to learn more about the perfect color of roasted beans for more flavor in your cup of coffee.
Cold brewing allows for the extraction of a different tone of flavors from coffee beans. You need to remember this fact when choosing coffee beans for your cold coffee. You may end up preferring a different kind of roast coffee to make cold coffee than what you use when brewing regular hot coffee.
Since the cold brewing technique results in low-acidity brews, the brighter coffee notes that are mainly found in light roast won’t be felt. As a result, cold brewing results in rich, chocolate-like notes. These notes are more present when brewing cold coffee from dark roast beans.
Many coffee drinkers feel that medium to dark roast beans results in the best tasting cold brews. Besides bringing out rich coffee aroma and flavors from medium to dark roast using the cold brew method also reduces the bitterness of the drink. Thus, you’ll enjoy full-flavored and smooth cold coffee.
Considering that the cold coffee brewing method results in fully-flavored coffee, it’ll help to choose the right coffee beans for the job. By using medium to dark roast coffee beans, you’ll enjoy drinking a perfect cold brew.
Which Is The Best Coffee Grind For Making Cold Brew Coffee?
A coarse coffee grind is most ideal for brewing cold coffee. In case you’re using pre-ground beans, ensure to buy a coarse option. Finer grind often clumps together. Therefore, water won’t circulate freely around the clumped coffee and fail to extract a rich flavor. Coarse grounds don’t clump together such that water circulates through them freely for maximum extraction of coffee flavors.
Many coffee enthusiasts prefer starting with specialty coffee from whole coffee beans and grinding them with a coffee grinder at home. Using your own coffee grinder will give you maximum control over each brew. Also, grinding coffee beans freshly every time you’re brewing coffee allows for the retention of maximum coffee flavor. Besides, your kitchen will be filled with the delicious flavor of coffee.
Best Way for Serving Cold Brew
There’s nothing as refreshing as drinking cold coffee from a glass containing ice. However, ice will eventually melt.
After brewing an aromatic cup of coffee from perfectly roasted beans, it’d be such a waste to dilute the cold brew. Rather than diluting your brew with ice cubes, you can fill your ice cube mold or tray with a small amount of the cold brew. By making ice cubes with cold brew, they won’t destroy the flavor of your coffee as they melt.
Considering that cold brew has low acidity and lacks bitterness, it’s has a very smooth taste. The smoothness makes it possible for coffee drinkers who like adding sugar or milk to their coffee to drink cold brew without such additions. Regardless, you can add some sugar and milk, cream, or alt-milk to enrich the chocolate-like notes for a more delicious cup of cold coffee.
If you must add sugar, it’ll be best to use natural sweeteners such as agave syrup. You can also use simple syrup if you’re unable to get agave syrup. You can enjoy watching ribbons form in your coffee glass by adding milk, cream, or alt-milk slowly.
Satisfy Your Craving for Cold Brew
If you’re craving for a delicious cup of cold brew, you can easily make one at the comfort of your home. It’ll be satisfying to do it by yourself. After all, it’s a simple process. You can experiment with various types of coffee, proportions, and waiting times until you make a perfect brew as per your taste. You’ll definitely love the entire process and results.
By planning in advance, this rich and delicious coffee will be perfectly ready for drinking at the time you want. After all, you can keep some cold coffee brew in the refrigerator for a few days. You only need a glass jar with a lid to store the brew.