The weather is hot, and you want your cold brew, premium roast coffee fix but don't want to go out. Maybe it's because you think your local coffee shop's brew is a little too bitter, or watery, or something just doesn't feel right about it, though you can't quite put your finger on it.
Perhaps it’s time for you to see if you can make a better brew at home. To help you with your DIY cold brew project, here are some pointers to help you do just that.
What Is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew coffee is exactly what it sounds like: coffee made with cold water, that is, at or below room temperature. Yes, cold brew coffee is made without the use of hot water. It can be a delightfully refreshing drink in hot weather, and contrary to popular belief, it is extremely simple to make.
You don't need any newfangled fancy coffee making equipment or a special certification as a barista who had to work for 25 years under a coffee sensei just to learn the secrets of the coffee bean. All you need is water, premium roast coffee beans, and the right way to grind them.
Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee
Iced coffee (also known as ‘flashed chilled coffee’ or ‘flash brew’) is brewed coffee that is either splashed over ice or has ice added to the mixture before it is served.
Some people like it, but most avid coffee drinkers believe the coffee-to-water ratio is a little too high in favour of water — about 1:16.
Fun fact: In light of the dissatisfaction of some customers with previous iced coffee recipes, baristas devised a better preparation method. To account for the addition of ice, the drip coffee to water ratio has been adjusted when making iced coffee. The mixture is then immediately cooled after the coffee has been brewed and the ice has been added.
Cold brew coffee is the exact opposite. To begin with, the coffee used in its preparation is not drip coffee, but rather premium roast coffee beans. Furthermore, the brewing process is slower because the coffee beans are steeped for a longer period of time, allowing for more flavours and tastes to emerge from the brew. This process is what infuses cold brew coffee with that rich, flavorful taste you've come to love.
How to Prepare Cold Brew Coffee
Making cold brew coffee is relatively simple. Just follow these instructions:
- To begin, add the coffee grounds to water. It is best to brew the coffee with filtered water. This prevents the brew from being overly bitter.
- Then steep your mixture for at least twelve hours. Some baristas recommend allowing the coffee to steep for a longer period, but twelve hours is sufficient. So, brewing a mixture in the evening and letting it steep overnight is a good idea.
- Once your coffee has been properly steeped, strain the mixture and collect the remaining grounds.
That's all there is to it. Your cold brew coffee is now ready to drink. Simply add ice or, better yet, refrigerate the brew instead of adding ice to avoid diluting the coffee.
Pro Tip: Use premium roast coffee for a richer flavour. Premium roast coffee beans are lightly ground, with a rough texture that is never too fine. This is significant because if the coffee grounds you use to make your cold brew are too fine, the flavours will seep into the water too much and ruin the flavour you're going for.
Although the ideal coffee-to-water ratio is debatable, most baristas agree that a 4:1 ratio is sufficient for sweet-tasting cold brew coffee. That is, one cup of coffee beans should be mixed into four cups of water.
The Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee: The Perfect Cup of Coffee Every Time
Coffee dissolves in hot water which actually weakens or destroys the bonds that hold coffee molecules together. This frequently results in a more acidic coffee drink than is necessary.
Cold brew coffee allows the coffee compounds and flavours to permeate the drink while leaving some of the more acidic components behind. As a result, you get more flavour and some of the healthy coffee compounds while leaving the acidic compounds behind.
Another benefit of cold brew is that you can reuse old coffee grounds. Steeping the coffee for a longer period of time allows old coffee grounds to release even more flavour than they do when used in drip coffee methods.
Finally, cold brew coffee can be made in any strength desired. Cold brew coffee brewed with a 1:4 ratio is the standard cold brew concentrate, but it is very versatile. You can make some adjustments according to your preferences. You can pour it over ice, add milk, or add any other liquid to dilute the flavour so it suits your taste perfectly.
The best part is that cold brew mixtures can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week and a half without losing flavour. As a result, you can make large batches at a time, so you have more of your favourite brew to drink when you need it.
Ready to make your own cold brew coffee?
Check out our range of premium roast coffees to help you achieve the flavour you want.