Cold brew coffee is fast becoming a mainstream coffee beverage. With popular coffee shops such as Starbucks introducing it in their menus, it is bound to gain even more momentum.
Many people mistake a cold brew coffee as being another iced coffee. Both the coffees have different making processes and shouldn’t be thought of as the same thing.
When coffee is brewed over a period of 12 to 24 hours using water which is either at room temperature or cold, it is known as cold brew coffee.
While a cold brew coffee is cold, it didn’t get its name due to the temperature of the final cup of coffee. Cold-brew got its name due to the process that is used to make the coffee.
Cold-brew should be smooth, full body and less acidic in taste. This is mainly because of being brewed using cold water. A cold brew also has high caffeine levels. It can be served either hot or cold. Due to the longer brewing time, the flavors are also extracted to the maximum.
Due to the cold brew coffees being less acidic (mainly due to the longer steeping times), they are easier on the stomach. So people whose stomach gets upset due to coffee should definitely try switching to the cold brews.
Because of longer brewing time, cold brews tend to extract the maximum flavors out of the beans. Cold brews are also smooth and full body due to having less than half the acidity and bitterness of other coffee drinks.
Many people get an upset stomach after drinking coffee. Cold brews are perfect for these people as it is low on acidity which prevents any discomfort, especially on an empty stomach.
Due to the cold brewing process being simple it is very low maintenance. Since it uses the immersion method, a french press can be used for the brewing and a pour-over dripper for the filtration.
Cold-brew coffees can be brewed in a concentrated form by increasing the number of coffee grounds that we add to the water. This can’t be achieved with hot brewed coffee. Also due to the longer steeping times even if extra coffee beans are added to the water, it won’t result in an unbalanced extraction.
A coffee bean starts losing its flavors after two weeks of being roasted. This is mainly due to the oxidation that happens after the beans get roasted. The oxidation process replaces the original flavors with a dull and bitter flavor. To prevent this only buy from places that roast on the spot or roast in small batches.
It is also important to grind your coffee right before brewing. Coffee starts losing its taste after 30 minutes of it being ground. That’s why it’s best to grind only when needed.
If your water contains chlorine or any other flavors to it then it’s best to use filtered water for making the coffee. Unfiltered water can affect the taste of your coffee.
Using the right coffee to water ratio is important. Normally a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water is sufficient.
Using the coarse grind helps make the filtration process easier. It also prevents the coffee from becoming too bitter. Another reason for using coarser instead of finer is that fine beans can overheat the grounds which will affect the taste of your coffee.
If your final cup of coffee is too strong then you can add some water to reduce it. Similarly to make your coffee more strong add some concentration to it.
Many times your coffee might taste too bitter or sour. In case of bitterness, it was likely due to the concentrate being over-extracted or using finely ground beans. To fix this you can lessen the brew time and go with a coarser grind.
In the case of your coffee tasting sour, it was likely due to being under-extracted. To fix this, you can increase the brew time by a few hours and use a less coarse grind.
You can always experiment with the recipe to get the final cup of coffee according to your taste. Ultimately it’s all about sipping that perfect cup of coffee. To get started all you need is a french press and burr coffee grinder.