A big thanks to Olivia for this guest post about how to make cold brew coffee! Olivia is an avid traveler, has a quest for adventure, and a coffee junkie. She co-writes at Fourth Estate Coffee and Pretty Home. She lives to travel and explore and can never say no to a well made cup of coffee. You guys know how much I love my morning cup of iced coffee, so I was especially excited when she offered to contribute to CNC. Everyone has a different take on how to make cold brew coffee (here's how I make my morning iced coffee), so here's another method for cold brew from Olivia. I hope you enjoy it!
Cold press coffee, also commonly known as cold brew coffee can be easily misunderstood for iced coffee and other such caffeine-based/blended drinks that are poured over ice. In order to make a cold brew coffee, we don't simply add ice to the coffee. How to make cold brew coffee? Cold-brew coffee calls for a different method of extraction. To make cold brew coffee, you require filtered water (cold or at room temperature) and coffee (coarsely ground). This extraction process requires a longer soaking time for the preparation of cold brew coffee.
Few companies have created equipment to prepare cold brew coffee. Here, however, we will discuss brewing methods that won’t require you to invest in new equipment, yet deliver great results. We will also go over some useful tips to help you understand the process better so that you can make that perfect cuppa coffee.
Let the brewing begin!
How to make cold brew coffee
If you don’t have ground coffee beans, begin by grinding them. You may want to grind the coffee beans coarsely. For grinding the beans you can check the best coffee grinder. Using coarsely ground coffee beans helps make the process of filtration easier. Coarser grind makes the coffee taste much less bitter. On the other hand, grinding the coffee beans too fine will heat the grounds and can affect the taste of the coffee. (Here's my favorite coffee grinder.)
Now that you have the ground coffee beans ready, stir them in the water and make sure that the grounds are fully saturated. How much water, you ask? Ideally, a one is to four ratio will deliver the best flavor. For one part/cup of ground coffee, use four parts/cups of water. The water should either be cold or at least at room temperature. Now place this in the fridge for about twelve to twenty-four hours.
After having steeped the coarsely ground coffee beans for over twelve hours (or more), the coffee beans are ready for filtration. In order to filter, besides using fine mesh colander, you can use paper filters, cheesecloth, cloth filters, etc. You can also use old shirts or nylon stockings if you so wish. Another creative method (though time-consuming) is to prepare tea bags and fill them with the coarsely ground coffee beans. You can use these tea bags to infuse coffee in each individual cup. This method is ideal, for those who are new to cold brew coffee and are looking to test if they enjoy the coffee brewed this way.
Feeling impatient? Cannot wait for twelve hours or longer? How to make cold brew coffee? Well, let us tell you, that your patience will be rewarded. Cold-brew coffee as the name suggests does not involve the usage of hot water in the extraction process. Efficient and effective extraction, therefore, depends on the time it takes till the coffee grounds are fully saturated. This helps the flavor of the coffee as well as the soluble solids infuse properly. Hence, premature filtration is likely to result in a weak cup with inadequate flavor.
Caffeine is soluble in water. Therefore, the caffeine from the coffee grounds will naturally be extracted through the lengthy process of cold brew. Owing to the number of grounds and the amount of time it has steeped in the water, it is only natural that the caffeine will be more in cold brew coffee as compared to hot brewing techniques. Which is why, the cold brew should be used as a concentrate, which can be mixed with cream, milk, water or ice to reduce the concentration of caffeine.
Using cold water for brewing instead of hot water slows down the process of extraction. However, this process helps extract the flavor from the coffee and at the same time, leaves the bitter compounds behind. It is due to this reason, that cold brew coffee tastes naturally sweet.
Though using hot water to brew helps speed up the process of extraction, it also cooks the coffee grounds during the process. This causes changes to the chemical structure of the coffee. You will notice that hot brew coffee has higher acidic notes. Through cold brewing, where heat is not involved at any stage of the extraction, the chemical structure of the coffee does not change. This is why cold brew coffee has considerably lower acidic notes.
Since there is no change to the chemical structure of the coffee, it increases the span of time the taste of the coffee stays good. You can easily store the cold brew coffee concentrate in the fridge for up to a fortnight and it will taste the same till the very end. Even though preparing cold brew coffee (concentrate) takes longer time to make and uses a greater amount of coffee grounds, you will find that once the concentrate is ready, it barely takes any time to fix your beverage and also none of the concentrates goes to the waste.
Now that you have learned it is time instead of heat that helps extracts the caffeine and flavor from the coffee grounds, let’s take a look at the benefits of cold brew coffee.
Aids in weight loss
Caffeine helps in weight loss. Compared to regular coffee, cold brew coffee has higher caffeine content. Owing to this higher caffeine content, you can lose weight more effectively with a cold brew coffee. Drinking cold brew coffee after a workout increases the ability of the body to continue the process of burning calories even after exercise. Also, as mentioned earlier, a cold brew coffee is naturally sweet as the extraction process leaves the bitter compounds behind. Minimal bitterness combined with natural sweetness will help you eliminate or reduce the quantity of sugar consumed with each cup of coffee.
For those who need the caffeine kick in the morning but also have a sensitive stomach, cold brew coffee is a healthier option. Since there is no usage of heat all through the extraction process, cold brew coffee offers a smoother flavor and has lower acidic notes. This automatically results in lowered acid reflux and better tolerance to coffee.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about how to make cold brew coffee. Please let me know if you tried this method!
About the Author
Olivia is an avid traveler, has a quest for adventure and a coffee junkie. She co-writes at Fourth Estate Coffee and Pretty Home. She lives to travel and explore and can never say no to a well made cup of coffee.