coffee · coffee at home · Cold brew · specialty coffee

What Is Cold Brew Coffee

When I first started to get more into coffee and the different types and methods of preparing it, I often got confused about iced coffee and cold brew coffee, which I believe is the same confusion for many new coffee enthusiasts here.

But, once I started preparing it myself, I realized it’s not that complicated and it’s actually the perfect coffee for me.

So, what is Cold Brew Coffee?

Heavenly good cold brew coffee on a hot day

Cold brew coffee is the coffee made by steeping ground coffee beans in cold or room temperature water.

There’s no special machine or equipment required, which makes it very easy to prepare it at home. This method takes between 12 to 24 hours to prepare the coffee, so you’ll need to plan it ahead. But, it’s worth all the waiting, because this method produce a great tasting cup of coffee.

How to make a cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee in a special jar filled with coffee with a coffee beans bag next to it, from Brazilian origin.
Cold brew coffee prepared in a special jar

All you need for this heavenly good coffee is freshly ground coffee beans, and cold or room temperature water. You will also need a vessel to brew the coffee in, like a jar with lid, or a plastic wrap, a long spoon to stir with, and a way to filter it. These days there are plenty of cold-brew coffee makers especially designed for this method and they will make the process much easier for you.

Cold brew coffee ratio

The ratio is 4:1, or 4 measurements of water with 1 measurement of coffee.

Begin with 4 cups of filtered water and 1 cup of ground coffee will produce six servings of coffee. You can always make a smaller batch, as long as you keep the ratio 4:1.

And even if you make more than you can drink, it will stay in the fridge for more days.

Grind for cold brew

While it is important to find the best coffee beans for cold brew, you also have to take into consideration the size of the grind. You could have found the perfect coffee beans, but if the grind is all wrong, those poor little beans aren’t going to be fully appreciated.

A coarse grind is going to feel very gritty when you rub it between your fingers and it feels a lot like beach sand. This is the optimal grind size for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the coarse grind is going to be the fastest to begin dripping. A fine grind will be too dense and the water won’t flow as easily.

This results in the water being trapped above the bed of fine coffee grinds. Also, with fine grinds, you can sometimes get a harsh bitter flavor because the grinds were over extracted.

With a coarse grind, the water can drip easily and it’ll be able to full extract the sweet flavors cold brew drinkers come to love and appreciate.

Cold brew caffeine

Cold-brew coffee has far more caffeine than your usual hot-brewed coffee.

Cold brew coffee is made using processes that aren’t too different from how hot-brewed coffee is made — either by fully immersing the ground coffee in water or using a drip system. But because cold brew is made using water at room temperature (as opposed to about 200 degrees for hot coffee), the process is much slower, taking up to 24 hours in some cases.

Room temperature water extracts fewer water-soluble flavors from the coffee (which is why cold brew coffee is prized for its lack of bitterness), and the slow process extracts more caffeine than traditionally-brewed coffee.

How To Make Cold Brew

Now that we’ve gone over the finer details about cold brew and how to choose cold brew coffee grounds, let’s take a look at your basic recipe for making cold brew coffee.

STEP #1. Coarsely grind your favorite coffee beans

Grind 1 cup of your beans on the highest setting on the grinder. If it doesn’t have a coarse setting, you can use quick, 1-second pulses on a spice grinder. Ideally, your grounds should look like cornmeal, not cocoa powder. This will result in slightly less than a cup of coffee grounds.

STEP #2. Combine cold brew coffee grounds with water

Next you will want to pour your coffee grounds into a container and pour in 4 cups of filtered, room temperature water on top of the grounds. You’ll want to use a long wooden spoon to ensure the grounds are thoroughly saturated. Cover the container.

STEP #3. Steep

With the lid on top of the container, all you have to do is wait. Leave the jar on the counter for about 12 hours. You can put it in the refrigerator, but we don’t really recommend this because it will result in a weaker coffee.

STEP #4. Strain the coffee

Once the 12 hours has passed, you will want to use a small strainer that’s been lined with flour sack cloth or cheesecloth, in case you didn’t use a special cold brew coffee maker. Place the strainer over a bowl and pour the coffee through the lined strainer. You can do this twice if you want to make sure there are absolutely no sediments in your coffee.

STEP #5. Transfer coffee

Transfer your coffee in an small bottle or mason jar and keep in the refrigerator up to a week.

To serve your coffee, you can dilute your cold brew with milk or water if you’d like.

This video from Joshua Weissman might help you with the process. I know it helped me.

Video credit: Joshua Weissman


Benefits of cold brew coffee

Even though the coffee has proved to be a very beneficial drink, the benefits of the cold brew coffee are different in some points.

1. Cold brew coffee is less acidic

The biggest benefit to cold brew is its acidity level. As one study points out, cold brew is almost 67 percent less acidic than hot coffee, which means it’s better for coffee drinkers with digestive issues, and it’s good for your teeth as well.

2. Cold brew coffee lasts longer in the fridge

Another benefit of cold brew (and the reason it lasts so long in the fridge) is that because it’s never been heated, its chemistry doesn’t change, and so its flavor doesn’t either, unlike a hot brewed coffee which changes the flavor if it’s being reheated or one day old.

3. Cold brew coffee is saving the environment and your money

This simple method of preparing your coffee (now that you know how easy it is to do), will save you lots of money and the environment as well. This method doesn’t need electricity, you can avoid the plastic cups, and If you buy high quality, fair trade coffee, all of these points can make huge environmental impact.

Final words from me

Now that you know how easy is to make cold brew coffee at home, you are ready to see and experience all the benefits from it.

You won’t be only drinking a high quality home made coffee, but you’ll also make some environmental changes, too.

What are your thoughts?

Tell me in the comments and don’t forget to share this article with family and friends, someone might have a use from it.

Until the next one,

Enjoy Your Coffee!

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