Style Of Brew: Immersion Cold Brew Vs Drip Cold Brew
There are two main ways to create cold brew at home: 1) Immersion , and 2) slow drip .
The immersion method is the favourite way to cold brew because its simple and only requires you have access to:
- Cold water
- A glass
- Coffee grounds
However, it does require that you steep the coffee overnight in the refrigerator for about 11 to 12 hours minimum.
So the major advantage to slow drip is that you can brew a cold one in just 3 to 5 hours, depending on the equipment. Heres what youll need for slow drip cold brew:
- Coffee grounds
- Slow drip carafe or cold brew maker
That specialised equipment requires some investment of up to $150, or if you want to go commercial, there are $17,000 espresso machines, too.
We suggest using the immersion method also because of its full-bodied flavor for any coffee type. The taste is actually much more diluted with a slow drip coffee brewer, and you also have to choose the right coffee bean depending on the method.
Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee For Cold Brew
Absolutely! You can use any coffee that you enjoy the best, whether its a specialty blend from unique retailers or an everyday breakfast blend that you consume every day.
The most important thing to remember is youll want the coffee grounds to have a large grind, something similar to raw sugar, as it helps to prevent the coffee from getting too bitter.
Some households might benefit significantly from investing in a standalone coffee grinder, whether manual or automatic, to achieve the perfect ground coffee.
How Long To Steep Cold Brew:
So whats the best range to steep cold brew? We recommend staying within a range of 12 to 18 hours. We usually steep our cold brew in the refrigerator for 16 hours, which is right in the coffee extraction sweet spot. Never bitter, never weak: this is cold brew as its meant to taste.
If youre steeping at room temperature, you may only need about 12 hours. At that point, you can filter out the grounds and put your cold brew in the refrigerator to chill.
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How To Make Cold Brew Coffee In A French Press
If using a French press, once your coffee is done, gently press the mesh down on the grounds to filter them out. Pour the coffee into a jar or bottle for holding. French press cold brew makes less mess, so if you plan to brew cold regularly, it’s worth investing in the coffee maker.
With other kinds of containers, put a filter or cheesecloth in a sieve on the mouth of another container. Gradually pour coffee through the filter.
Or, before you brew, use a rubber band to bundle grounds in a coffee filter or a piece of cheesecloth. Put in the packets and cover the container with plastic wrap. Just pitch the packets when you’re done.
What Are The Benefits Of Cold Brew
You might be wondering what the perks are when it comes to skipping the traditional brewing method. There are many reasons why people are swapping out regular coffee in favor of cold brew. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of cold brew:
- No heat or special equipment required.
- Easy to custom measure as much or little as you want per batch.
- Very simple to make.
- A mellow, balanced flavor.
- Low acid.
Many people prefer cold brew specifically because it offers a low-acid alternative to brewed coffee. In fact, cold brew can have almost 70 percent less acid than normal coffee. That’s great news for anyone with a sensitive stomach!
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Where Do You Keep The Cold Brew While Steeping
When you finish filling your cold brew container, you can leave it on your kitchen counter for the upcoming hours. This way, the coffee will extract the fastest.
The downside of leaving it on the kitchen counter is that after youve filtered your cold brew concentrate, youll need to cool it completely to enjoy it fully. For this reason, I like placing the cold brew in my refrigerator for the steeping time.
After the cold brew has steeped long enough, you have to filter it, and you can start drinking it right away. Its amazing.
What Is Cold Brew
Cold Brew coffee, by definition, is coffee made by steeping coffee grounds at room temperature or colder for an extended period. The results are different from what you would get by adding ice to a hot brewed coffee. The lack of heat prevents many of the solubles in the coffee from completely dissolving, resulting in a brew with much lower acidity, enhanced smoothness, more incredible sweetness, and generally little to no bitter component. Since you are brewing at room temperature, the longer brewing time and higher coffee to water ratio are necessary to give the water more time to extract those solubles from the coffee grounds.
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Use A Cold Brew Machine And Brew In 20 To 40 Minutes
Thanks to the booming popularity of cold brew coffee, many manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon and coming out with cold brew machines.
These machines speed up the brewing process by spinning cold water through a coffee filter.
Spinning the water increases the rate at which the water interacts with coffee, letting you make a cold brew in much less time.
Personally, I prefer the traditional cold brew, but these machines make pretty decent coffee too.
Can You Cold Brew Tea
Another exciting thing to try is cold brew tea since it can be a fantastic alternative to coffee, whether you opt for a caffeine-free type of tea or a black tea with plenty of caffeine.
Its also a far healthier alternative during the summer, as it will taste like a fruity splash of flavor to water compared to a heavy drink filled with sweeteners, syrups, and milk.
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Best Coffee For Cold Brew
When choosing the best cold brew coffee, “traditional coffees from South America like Colombian or Brazilians blends that list “chocolate,” cocoa,” or nutty in their tasting notes espresso blends, and medium or medium-dark roasts are best for cold brew. These are all great options for an overnight cold brew coffee method that yields a thick, syrupy coffee concentrate. Avoid very dark roasts and coffees with extremely low acidity, like Sumatrans or Hawaiians. You can’t go wrong with Kuma Coffee’s Sun Bear, which is specifically meant to be used for cold brew!
The longer brewing process draws out a heavy, creamy texture to the coffee, and the concentrated form lends well to bolstering its creaminess with milk, condensed milk , or even nitro gas. No matter what method you use, it’s important you use fresh coffee beans when making cold brew.
Brew The Coffee On The Counter Instead Of In The Fridge
The first thing you can do to slightly speed up the brewing process is to brew the coffee on your countertop.
My french press cold brewing method call for putting the coffee in the fridge until its ready to be enjoyed.
The fridge will maintain a very low temperature, slowing down the brewing process. To speed it up, leave the coffee outside the fridge.
Your countertop will be not hot enough to turn your coffee into a hot brew, and the room temperature brew will result in a really neat batch of cold brew.
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What Is The Coffee Ratio
The concept of the coffee ratio is pretty simple. It is the ratio of ground coffee to water. It is the formula you apply to get the ideal strength, viscosity, and flavor.
Think about good old drip coffee. The number of scoops of ground coffee you put in the filter determines whether the coffee is strong or weak. But how big is a scoop? How much water to use. Its all imprecise, but it does make a difference. The ideal characteristics of cold brew, demands careful attention to coffee ratio. You need to find the perfect balance between consistent brewing and ideal flavor.
How To Make Cold Brew Sweeter
There are many ways to make cold brew coffee sweet, but this must all happen after the steeping process is complete. You can add condensed sweetened milk, sugar, cream, and even a variety of flavored syrups. Learn more tricks on how to sweeten cold brew coffee here.
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How To Brew Cold Brew Coffee
Cold coffee, made even easier
Cold brew coffee is hands-down the easiest way to make cold coffee: and you dont need any fancy gear.
All youll need is a large jar, jug or container thats easy to pour your cold brew out of once its finished brewing.
How Do You Make Cold Brew Coffee
Fortunately, you dont have to spend a ton of money on an expensive piece of equipment to make a fantastic batch of cold brew coffee since you likely already have everything needed in your kitchen, especially if youre an avid coffee drinker.
Its a phenomenal refreshing drink to have on-hand during the summer, and by refining your technique, you might even be able to avoid going to the coffee shop entirely.
Sure, there are plenty of store-bought options when it comes to cold brew, but they are typically far more expensive than making your own, and they lack the personal touch that you might desire in your drinks.
To make cold brew, all youll need is ground coffee, filtered water, a mason jar or any other glass storage container, a fine-mesh sieve, and cheesecloth or nut-milk bags.
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Why Make Cold Brew Coffee
- Cold brew coffee is easy to make ahead, so it is ready for you right when you need that caffeine hit.
- Homemade cold brew coffee keeps in the fridge quite well. It is best within 24-48 hours, but can be stored for up to a week or two.
- Cold brew coffee can have less acidity and be easier to drink. If hot brewed coffee is a bit too acidic for you, cold brew may be a great option.
- Homemade cold brew is much more affordable than buying it from a coffee shop every morning.
- Cold brew coffee is easy to make in large quantities making it the perfect option when making coffee for a group.
- Its flexible. It can be made stronger as a concentrate or at a ready-to-drink consistency. It can be drunk black or mixed with cream.
- Its a great mix-in for coffee cocktails. This Cold Brew Old Fashioned recipe is my favorite!
- Its delicious!
Does Cold Brew Need To Be Refrigerated
If youre thinking you can just store your cold brew at room temperature and then drink it poured over ice, youd be mistaken. Cold brew coffee MUST be stored in the refrigerator.
Not only that, but you should also brew it in the refrigerator. While you may find some recipes that suggest brewing with cold water on the kitchen counter, brewing in the refrigerator will always be better.
Even after brewing, store your coffee in the refrigerator. Keeping it outside will not result in an enjoyable cup, even if its winter and your house is pretty cool throughout. In hot summer months, keeping your coffee outside is an absolute no-no.
To store your cold brew in the fridge, use a plastic or glass bottle that you can tightly close shut. A screw-on cap is the best option, but if you have a pitcher that doesnt have a top, use plastic film to cover the top.
Coffee is very good at absorbing odors and since your fridge is full of so many different odors, you want to try and close off your coffee to any outside influence.
Can You Make Cold Brew In The Fridge
The name cold brew, combined with the final drink being chilled, might suggest that the brewing is actually taking place in the refrigerator. However, this usually isn’t the case. Cold temperatures slow down the extraction process meaning, a cold brew that is steeped in the fridge will taste weak by comparison with one that’s steeped for the same amount of time at room temperature. It can still be brewed it in the fridge, but it will require a longer brew.
How Is Cold Brew Coffee Made
Cold brew coffee has two variations: drip and immersion. Although they vary in method quite dramatically, the basic principle is the same: by using time instead of heat to extract the coffee from the grounds, they produce coffee that is sweeter and lighter, as the lack of heat means less oils and acids are taken into the final cup.
Well get into the differences a little later. First heres a super recipe for a simple immersive cold brew, with minimum specialised equipment, which gives you a feel for the process and how easy it is:
Place 1 cup coffee beans, coarsely ground in a mason jar.
Add 5 cups filtered water.
Give this a good stir.
Steep in the fridge for 15 hours.
Then use cheesecloth, a paper coffee filter or a fine sieve to strain the coffee grounds.
And your coffee is brewed.
Serve with equal parts water, and add ice and milk to taste.
It really is that simple. Of course, as you learn there are many things you can tweak and improve as you go. Mastering cold brew might take a little while, but getting started couldnt be simpler.
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Steeping In The Fridge Vs Steeping At Room Temperature
When you steep in the fridge your coffee will inevitably take a longer time to brew. This is part of the reason I did not give you a very specific answer carved in stone.
Some might brew their coffee in the fridge, some might leave it on the counter overnight. Both ways are fine, just make sure your brewed coffee ends up in the fridge so it will keep for longer.
So if you’re steeping your cold coffee in the fridge, your caffeine will be ready only after those 8 hours have passed. Then, you will need to allow the coffee more time to release its flavors.
It will happen slower than with room temp coffee, but again after 24 hours there is no point in letting it steep anymore.
If you’re brewing on the counter, then your caffeine will be ready much faster, somewhere between 4 and 6 hours might just be enough to get all of it out. And here too you’ll need to let the coffee steep for much longer to get the full flavor.
This all depends on the kind of coffee bean you use. Some might release more caffeine than others, like the Robusta which has double the amount of caffeine of an Arabica.
So this all means that you should know that even if you leave an Arabica to steep on the counter, it will still have less caffeine than a Robusta brewed in the fridge.
And Robusta might just develop a sweeter taste in a cold brew, even if it’s usually a very poor coffee.
But as you’ll see, the difference between Arabica and Robusta won’t be much of an issue in terms of taste with cold brew coffee.
Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee
Cold brew is similar to iced coffee but not exactly the same. While cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds at room temperature for a long time, conventional iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee using a standard method and then chilling it either by refrigerating it or pouring it over ice.
The trouble with iced coffee is that it can taste a bit weak once it’s been poured over ice since the ice dilutes the coffee as it melts. This can be remedied by brewing the coffee at double strength for iced coffee. Unfortunately, this can also end up doubling the acidity and bitterness.
With cold brew, it’s possible to brew the coffee at any strength you desire, factoring in that it will be served over ice, simply by altering the ratio of grounds to water. This way you can enjoy your chilled coffee without diluting it and without the unpleasant flavors that can result from hot brewed coffee. Indeed, some cold brew enthusiasts say that cold brew tastes so good, they don’t need to add cream or sugar to it at all.
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How To Make Cold Brew
To make cold brew coffee, all that is needed is cool or room-temperature water, preferably filtered, plus some freshly ground coffee beans a vessel, like a pot, pitcher, or jar to brew in as well as some way of filtering the coffee. Cold brew can also be prepared in a French press coffee pot or in a dedicated cold brew coffee makers.
The basic procedure is to combine water and beans in a specific ratio, which will vary according to taste and how the finished brew is used. Common ratios of water to coffee range approximately from 4:1 to 10:1. Then let the brew sit, covered, for somewhere between 12 to 18 hours, although this too will vary based on personal taste. Once the allotted time has elapsed, strain the coffee through a filter, chill, and serve.