What is Cold brew coffee?
Cold Brew Coffee is a beverage typically prepared by immersing coffee grinds in room-temperature to cold water. The process of immersion can range from 12 hours up to 36 hours.
Unlike espresso-based drinks, which use a drip-based method, cold brew coffee is extremely easy to prepare.
It is also one of the coffees that probably take the longest to prepare.
It is usually served in cafes with little or no ice cubes in it at all.
In this article, we will be going through everything regarding cold brew. We will be going through different recipes that you could use, what kind of beans are best for cold brew, and the difference between cold brew coffee vs iced coffee.
Cold brew Coffee vs Iced Coffee
Some people have no idea what’s the difference between cold brew coffee and iced coffee. This could be because the cafes that prepare their cold brew, just call it iced coffee. Or they can’t taste the difference between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee.
Iced Coffee is
- An Espresso-based drink
- A shot/double shot of espresso mixed with iced water
- AKA Ice Black
- AKA Iced Americano
What’s the difference with Cold Brew Coffee?
- A weaker “coffee” taste
- More Acidic
- More Bitter
- Harsher mouthfeel
Cold brew coffee is typically served with fewer ice cubes, and in smaller portions compared to iced coffee. Its taste has a smoother mouthfeel, less acidic and depending on the roast, carries fruity or chocolatey notes.
In any case, if you’re confused you could always ask the cafe whether or not their Iced coffee is an iced americano or cold brew coffee.
French Press Cold Brew Recipe
French Press is the most commonly used coffee maker in the world. And also one of the easiest. It is usually used to brew hot coffee, however, it can also be used to make cold brew.
What you need:
- French Press (8 cup minimum capacity)
- Manual/Machine Grinder
- Coffee Beans/Grinds (the right size for cold brew)
- Add 1 cup coffee grinds into the bottom of French Press
- Pour in 5 cups of cold water into the French press
- Stir the grinds so all of it gets wet
- Store French Press in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
- Take out French Press and strain cold brew concentrate into a Jar.
- Add Ice or water to the Cold brew concentrate for satisfaction.
For a French press, the coffee grinds you put in can’t be too coarse or fine.
Best Cold Brew to Water Ratio?
Does coffee to water ratio matter? Absolutely. But it matters much more when brewing with hot water. Heat extracts flavors from coffee much faster and so the prep time has to be very exact.
The most common coffee grind to cold water ratio is 1:10. If you prep 1 cup of coffee grinds and immerse it in 1 quart of water, the cold brew yielded will taste satisfactory.
If not, adjustments can be made by adding water, ice cubes or cream. By principle, its always better to brew a stronger batch of cold brew, rather than a milder one. You can dilute a brew, but you can’t make it taste stronger.
The only way to make it taste stronger is to let the coffee grinds immerse in the water longer. The longest recommended immersion time is 36 hours.
Alternative Way to Make Cold Brew at Home: Hario
Another great way to make cold brew is the Hario Mizudashi. Its extremely affordable ($20) and a great alternative compared to the Kitchenaid cold brew maker ($199). Like the French press, it is also a very intuitive way to make cold brew.
1.)Manual Grinder/Machine Grinder
2.)Hario Cold Brew Maker, Mizudashi
4.)1 Large Cup/kettle
6.)Kitchen Scale, Coffee Scale
1.)Use the grinder of your preference and grind coffee beans for medium coarseness.
2.)Width of grinds should be no more than 1mm.
3.)Weigh your grinds and record the weight
4.)Pour grinds into the mizudashi filter.
5.)Set the filter back into the mizudashi jug.
6.)Prepare a 1:11 ratio of water in kettle/cup.
E.g. if you had 100 g of grinds, prepare 1.1liters of water
7.)Pour water in a circular motion over the filter and let the water slowly drip through the filter into the jug.
8.)Gently stir the grinds so the water can filter through faster.
9.)Once all water is poured, cap the mizudashi and place it in the fridge for 12 hours.
10.)After 12 hours take out jug and drink for a taste test.
11.)If the coffee is not as strong, leave it in longer.
12.)Taste test until coffee is to satisfaction.
Choose the Best Coffee for Cold Brew
Most cafes might not use their best beans for cold brew. Instead, they reserve that for their espresso. What’s used for cold brew at the cafe could be coffee beans that have been around for 1 month or longer since their roasting date.
These beans are no longer good for espresso or hand-brewed coffee and need to be used for something else.
Try Freshly Roasted Coffee
Use coffee beans that have just been freshly roasted. These beans are fresher and might yield a concentrate or brew that is more potent.
Choose Single Origin over an Espresso Blend
Go for single-origin coffee beans. A single-origin carries all the beans from one specific coffee plantation. Therefore the flavor profile of a single-origin bag of beans would be more consistent.
An espresso blend might carry beans of similar quality, however, the flavor profile might be more mixed. The cold brew produced from a blend might not taste as consistent and carry as many potent notes or flavors. Also, espresso blends are also typically roasted for espresso, not immersion-based coffee.
Light, Medium or Dark Roast?
Light and medium roasts might be good for those who prefer more acidic and fruitier notes.
Darker roasts are probably best for richer, chocolatier and earthy notes.