Cold brew coffee 101
Cold brew coffee is made with medium to coarse ground coffee beans that have steeped in cold water for 12-24hrs. Cold brew is not the same as iced coffee. Iced coffee is coffee that has been brewed in the traditional way (using hot water and a shorter amount of time) and then chilled down. They both produce coffee but with very different flavour profiles.
The distinct flavour and aroma that a cup of coffee has is produced by coffee solubles. A soluble is extracted by water and are dependent on both temperature of the water and how long it spends in contact with the water. Hot water brewing methods takes less time and less coffee grounds and produces that distinct and heady coffee aroma. However, the hot method also degrades and oxidizes solubles leading to the bitter, sour and acidic flavours. The cold brew method requires twice as many coffee grounds and doesn’t produce the same aromatic qualities. However, the cold brew method does not extract the bitter and sour flavours resulting in a sweeter and smoother flavour.
The cold brew coffee process creates a concentrate which can be diluted with water, ice, soda, and is a great base for cocktails.
Another benefit of cold brew coffee is that it can be kept for up to 4 weeks refrigerated. Hot brew coffee goes stale after a couple hours.
Why does it cost so much more at the coffee shop?
It costs twice as much because it requires more raw ingredients to make and takes exponentially more time.
What’s the best way to sweeten it?
Granulated sugar does not dissolve in cold water so the best method for sweetening is by using a simple syrup. You can either buy a simple syrup or make one by bringing equal parts sugar and water (1 cup each) to a simmer and cooking until the sugar is fully dissolved. Chill and your all set.
Can tea be made in the same method?
Yes, absolutely. The outcome of cold brew tea is similar to that of coffee. Brewing tea with hot water pulls out the tannins, creating that bitter mouth puckering effect. When it’s chilled down that affect is amplified, leaving the “iced tea” less appealing to some. Cold brew tea is smoother and sweeter, making it perfect for thirst quenching summer beverages.
Cold brew coffee concentrate
¾ cup coarsely ground coffee
3 cups of cold water
1 litre mason jar with lid
Fine mesh strainer and cheese cloth or coffee filter
Add the coffee grounds into the mason jar and pour the water over. Screw the lid on and place on the counter or in the fridge for 24hrs.
You can strain the coffee out in a couple different ways.
Line a fine mesh sieve with a paper coffee filter (or cheese cloth) set over a bowl and slowly pour the cold brew through.
Use the reusable coffee filter from your coffee maker and pour the mixture through.
Transfer the cold brew to a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Mix 1 cup of cold brew with 1 cup of water (or to your desired strength) and add ice. Add dairy and sweetener as desired.
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