Ah, sounds refreshing! Cold brew. You've probably heard about this for a while now, and have seen products advertising about it as well. Since the last few years this new term is brewing up quite an uproar, because of it's refreshing new flavour and it's surprising brewing method. So what is it?
Cold brew is much more than just a better flavour and a higher price tag, it is a new technique for brewing coffee which uses cold or room temperature water to extract the flavour, oils, sugars and caffeine from ground coffee. Yikes! You might be thinking, ‘Well there’s nothing worse than room temperature coffee’, and you’d be right! Except, the room temperature coffee becomes bitter after getting oxidized and tastes funky because it was brewed like regular coffee.
Cold Brew however, uses coarsely ground coffee and allows cold water to extract the essentials for over 12 hours! This is enough time for getting a large batch of smooth, infused and since it is not made with hot water, it is much less acidic and very mellow. Cold Brew also has a gradual caffeine hit compared to a high attack feeling experience with regular brewed coffee. However, it can be a bit flat in taste, but it is compensated by requiring very less effort to make than regular iced coffee other than a lotta patience!
You may be thinking, ‘I can save a few bucks and just have the regular iced coffee from the nearest coffee shop’, you can surely do that. However, Cold Brews have their plus sides too –
Brewing your own batch of Cold Brew is amazingly simple (if you have the patience to wait for 12 – 24 hours). Bear in mind you will need a more coarser coffee grounds to make straining it after the steeping period more easier. The texture of grounds used in French presses are acceptable to use, but it is better to keep the consistency even and coarse.
Here is a list of materials you will be requiring –
Here are the steps –
Alternatively, you can also use French presses for small batches of cold brew, just follow the same procedure and let it steep for 15 or 18 hours before plunging. It also makes it easier to store in your fridge!
Note: DO NOT use cheap beans to make Cold Brew, unless you want a painfully flat tasting coffee with zero texture. I know it sounds elitist, but Cold Brews really extract the most subtle favours out of your coffee beans. Hence, it’s better to go for better beans.
Different coffee beans will make your brew’s flavour change. It’s fun to mix it up and see what works best for you, as well as tweaking the ratio of coffee to water. Generally, if you like your coffee without milk, you’re good with African beans like Ethiopian and Kenyan. If you want it with cream and milk, it’s better to go for stronger beans like Colombian or Costa Rican beans.
Here are some recipes you can try with your new Cold Brew – link.