It is time to let the coffee geek in you consider the cold brew.
On the surface it is less acidic, has a deeper, more refined taste and it still has enough caffeine for you to feel it. But chemically speaking, it turns the humble coffee bean into a real treat.
Occasionally time is the answer to all our problems, and sleep too – you can’t forget that aspect of life. And while your cold brew is brewing, you can sleep, and wake up to a refreshing coffee in the morning. It can’t get any better than that!
We know that in cooking, heat destroys many vitamins, so there are cases where raw, or fermented, is best. Cold brewed coffee is similar, but the process is a little more complex than just adding ice to filtered coffee.
Coffee brewed in hot water, 195 to 205 Fahrenheit, does have a fuller body and aroma that cold brewed coffee cannot boast, but the hot water also pulls soluble chemicals out of the coffee grounds making them more volatile, i.e. the characteristic sour/bitter coffee taste. Cold water brewing extracts the complex flavors of the roasted coffee beans, along with some of the caffeine, yet it leaves behind the unwanted elements such as bitter oils and fatty acids. The end result is a much more mild, tea-like brew.
Forget about Nespresso and their wasteful coffee pods, they aren’t quite so popular anymore. Like in fashion, food and drinks go through changes in style too. Cold coffee is in, and for good reason. It highlights the nuances in the coffee beans, making the end result sweet and juicy rather than bitter and acidic on the tongue. And you can play around with the coffee origins and the soaking time to produce rich, chocolatey versions that cannot be achieved with conventional espresso or filter methods.
Cold brewing is a finishing process that makes each cup of coffee truly unique. And while the concept may be new to some of us, in Japan they have been using this cold brewing method since the 1600’s! What’s old becomes new again. The great thing about this method is that the coffee lasts longer without going stale, which can be reheated later, or served cold with ice.
You could make a gallon or more at a time with the right size pots… Imagine taking some on your next camping trip. Just reheat over the fire and enjoy under the stars.
How can you make cold brewed coffee at home?
- Grind your organic coffee beans coarsely, using about one cup of grounds for four cups of filtered water.
- Add the grounds to your French Press.
- Pour room-temperature or cold water over the coffee grounds.
- Allow it to sit in the fridge overnight (about 12 hours). Cover the coffee so it does not absorb other odors.
- Plunge the French Press when ready.
- It lasts up to two weeks in the refrigerator, so always keep some on hand!
If you don’t have a French Press, even a mason jar will do. Same steps as above, just remember to strain it with whatever filter you have on hand.
And if it feels like too much caffeine to handle, like you just inhaled a double espresso, simply dilute it with water – about 50% – or pour it directly over ice.
It does take a greater quantity of beans to make a cold brewed coffee, however, it is unlikely that any of it will go to waste. If you are an avid coffee drinker, you may have found out the hard way that day-old filter coffee no longer tastes good, it can even get moldy if you forget about it in the pot for too many days.
And yes, it does take time and patience, so you have to plan for your coffee cravings ahead of time. But while you are waiting for your cold brew, you can go ahead and still indulge in a nice hot cup of steaming joe. Coffee is marvellous any way you pour it!
Now that summer is here, get your cold brew on, and add any special ingredients of your choice (honey, coconut sugar, cream, ice or an indulgent scoop of ice cream).