Why Is Cold Brew Coffee So Much Better
We routinely make a batch of cold brew concentrate to enjoy throughout the week during the spring/summer months. Its become an essential part of our Sunday meal prep and one of my favorite ways to drink coffee. Heres why:
So now that you know why cold brew is awesome, let me tell you how to make it.
Things To Know About Cold Brew Coffee
09 May, 2021
Cold brew coffee is one of the hottest things in coffee. It fills a nice niche in your coffee drinking schedule, is refreshing and sweet, and can be just as or even more convenient as popping a pod in a machine.
Interested in learning more about this delicious beverage and how it can fit into your coffee life? Read on to find out:
Before we get started:
Cold brew vs. cold brew concentrate:
Cold brew concentrate is cold brew with a very high coffee to water ratio. The drip coffee you’re used to is anywhere from 1 part coffee to 16 to 20 parts water. We also call this “strength”. Cold brew concentrate is often 1:4 to 1:8. It is literally a concentrated coffee drink and is much stronger – and has much more caffeine – than the same amount of drip coffee liquid.
You will see us reference these terms a few times, so this is worth a primer!
#1 | How is cold brew made?
Coffee grounds + water + time = most cold brew
Cold brew coffee is usually made by steeping coffee in water for a number of hours at cold or ambient temperature. This slow, low temp brew makes cold brew taste very different from hot brewing the same type of coffee beans: mild chocolate and mellow, low acidity fruits are common flavor notes.
#2 | Cold brew vs. Iced coffee
Can I Reuse Cold Brew Grounds
Yes! You can reuse them once, but after that you might not get enough caffeine or flavor out of them. The first batch will always be highly caffeinated, but you can still get a good chunk of caffeine and flavor if you steep them a second time.
And now you know how to make cold brew coffee! Youre on your way to a cup of cold brew that will make you feel like you can run a marathon. Now you can enjoy your energizing, smooth cold brew and wonder why you ever drank hot coffee in the first place!
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High Kick Of Caffeine
Many rumors are circulating that cold brew has more caffeine than traditional coffee. This myth isnt the case, as both types have the same amount of caffeine at their core.
What makes cold brew significantly different is how you prepare it, which can cause you to have more caffeine to enjoy.
Typically, cold brew is consumed without the use of sugar or milk, unlike regular coffee.
The easiest way to explain the jolt from the cold brew is the less you reduce the concentration, the more caffeine youll have.
How To Store Cold Brew Coffee
Making cold brew coffee is simple, and you should store it in your refrigerator. Regularly brewed coffees flavor quality begins to degrade within 30 minutes after the water touches the ground coffee beans.
Cold brew keeps much better because it has higher flavor stability. Cold brews can last up to 10 days although this coffee is so good, it probably wont be in your refrigerator for that long.
I hope you will give this cold brew coffee a try. Its so easy to do, and it tastes so good.
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Whole Beans Vs Ground Coffee
The choice is yours! You can use either whole beans or ground coffee to make cold brew. Seeing that Im suggesting you purchase a burr grinder above, Im obviously partial to using whole beans. Using ground coffee will end up being quicker and more convenient but youre going to be compromising the taste.
Why is the taste comprised? The simple answer is that whole bean coffee is going to be much fresher. As soon as coffee is ground it starts to go stale. Grinding the beans yourself will give you a fresh, delicious flavor.
What’s The Best Coffee For Making Cold Brew
In terms of choosing the best coffee to make a cold brew, you can choose any type of coffee. However, having said that, when we asked our for their thoughts on the matter, there were two clear, prevalent responses:
Brewing coffee with cold water cuts the edges of coffees flavour, both in terms of its bitter side and its acidic side. Using coffee beans with higher acidity will help you to retain some of the coffees characteristic fruitiness, even when its made as a cold brew coffee.
Plus, since bitterness is not much of a worry, you can experiment by using coffee beans that have been roasted for espresso, as the cold brew process will help to extract the more subtle notes from these beans better.
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Best Big Batch: Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker System
What We Love: Can prep coffee for the week, less acidic brew
What We Don’t Love: Delicate glass
Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker System is the undisputed king of big-batch cold-brew coffee, with a half-gallon consumer model. The Toddy system is made of glass, BPA-free plastic, and rubber, and comes with felt filters that can be reused 10 times.
One aspect to keep in mind is that you have to remove the rubber stopper to drain your cold brew, and quickly position it over the glass carafe. Still, its a reliable method to get vast quantities of tasty cold-brew that rivals what you’d get at the cafe . The Toddy system is among the larger cold-brew coffee makers, so plan to brew on the counter, then refrigerate your concentrate.
Dimensions : 7.3 x 7.3 x 13 inches | Capacity: 2 liters | Weight: 2.4 pounds
What We Love: Simple and attractive design, affordable
What We Don’t Love: Mesh can bend out of shape
Its worth investing in a portable cold-brew coffee maker for travel, and a crowd-pleasing favorite is actually Bodums 34-ounce French press. Yup, you can use a French press for cold-brew. Let it steep, then plunge and strain.
Dimensions : 5.1 x 4.1 x 9.25 inches | Capacity: 34 ounces | Weight: 1 pounds
What We Love: Reusable filters, produces strong flavor profiles
What We Don’t Love: Tall height may make it hard to store
Dimensions : 4.7 x 4.3 x 11.8 inches | Capacity: 1 liter | Weight: 13 ounces
Are The Materials Safe
Since youll be drinking from a coffee maker regularly, its normal to wonder about the materials used to make your coffee machine. Even coffee makers that use plastics that contain BPA, a chemical that should be avoided, typically only use them in areas like the base, which has no contact with either the coffee or the water, meaning that no toxins are transferred in brewing.
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Grind Your Coffee Beans
When youre ready to start brewing your cold brew coffee, the first step is to grind your beans. Were using Lifeboosts delicious medium roast coffee. The best cold brew coffee-to-water ratio is 1:5, so if youre making 20 ounces of cold brew, youll need 4 ounces of coffee beans. Using a burr grinder , grind your beans to a coarse grind size. Your cold brew will be steeping for many hours, so you dont want a finer grind.
The Perfect Ratio For Cold Brew Coffee
While the beans are the foundation for making the perfect cold brew, the next most important thing is getting the right ratio of coffee to water. There are two ways you can make cold brew, and the ratio you choose really depends on the size of your container, how strong you like it, and how much coffee you want to make.
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The Water And The Coffee
For a 1-quart mason jar youll need about 3oz of coffee. Thats 1.5 cups of coffee when its coarse ground. The ratio is easy here you need twice as much water as coffee. So, if your coarse-ground coffee is 1.5 cups you need 3 cups of water.
As this is a simple ratio, you should be able to work out how much coffee you need for any vessel pretty easily with just a little trial and error.
Pour your coffee and water into the jar, then give them a stir. Let the mixture sit out of the fridge for 5-10 minutes before sticking the lid on and refrigerating.
Pour Through Cloth Vs French Press Vs Cold Brew Machine
There are three methods to making cold brew, so choose whichever works best for you! The pour through cloth is my personal favorite.
Pour Through ClothFor the straining process, I prefer to use a pour through cloth because its simple and doesnt require any special gear. Simply place the cloth over a cup or bowl, and slowly pour the coffee concentrate through. Let it sit and strain through, refraining from making the cloth overflow. Additionally, dont squeeze the coffee grounds through let them slowly strain.
French PressIf you do have a French press, they are great to use for making cold brew coffee. Measure out your coffee grounds and water, then add them to the press. Stick the lid on top and let the coffee steep for about 12 to 24 hours in the fridge. Press the plunger down, decant the coffee, and serve!
Heres a great tutorial and description of the parts of a French press that may be helpful.
Cold Brew MachineFinally, for the die hard coffee lovers that may be extra prepared for this recipe, using an actual cold brew machine wont hurt!
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The Best Beans For Cold Brew
The quality of your cold brew is directly affected by the type of beans you choose to use! Since cold brew is lower in acidity, the flavors of the coffee itself are more prominent than in regular coffee. This means that if you use low-quality coffee, you’re going to REALLY taste the bad notes. For this reason, we recommend using a high-quality coffee. It may cost a bit more, but you’ll still be saving money vs. buying from the grocery store or coffee shop.
I’ve tried many varieties to make my coffee with, and I’ve found I prefer to use a medium to medium-dark roast because the long steeping process will produce a deep flavor that I don’t want to be overshadowed by roasting. At this moment, my absolute favorite to use has become this half-caff Mayan water process from Stone Street Coffee. It has the best flavor , and I love that I can get a brew that’s lower in caffeine. I like to order in bulk from their website because they will coarsely grind the beans for you, and it’s a bit cheaper. Below are a few other options I’ve enjoyed:
What Is The Ratio Of Coffee To Water For Cold Brew
Ratios are confusing because it always depends how much youre making. Or maybe Im just really bad at math, Im not sure. Either way, the accepted coffee to water ratio for easy cold brew coffee is 12 ounces of coffee beans per 64 ounces of water. If that seems like too much, you can always cut it in half and see how that feels.
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How To Make Homemade Cold Brew Coffee
Making cold brew coffee at home is surprisingly simple.
Add 8 ounces of coffee grounds to a large container filled with 4 quarts of room temperature water. Since the beans are steeped in room temperature or cold water, it takes much longer to extract the sugars, oil and caffeine from the beans. Recommendations vary on the soaking time for the beans, anywhere from 6 hours to 24 hours. Or as little as 2 hours if you are antsy for your cold brew. I personally recommend at least 12 hours.
Then give the mixture a stir.
This mixture can then sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours. Since I cant wait to drink it once its ready, I like to store it in the refrigerator so its nice and cold.
The grounds are then filtered out using a coffee filter in a fine mesh sieve set over a large container.
Strain it in batches until you are left with a smooth, cold beverage that can be enjoyed on its own or used as the base for a specialty coffee. I recommend trying it with some of my homemade Sweet and Spicy Chili Simple Syrup and a few other goodies to make the Pioneer Womans Spicy Cowgirl Coffee. So yummy!
Hario Cold Brew Coffee Bottle
This cold brewer is sleek, simple, and delivers an impeccably clean cup. Ready in as little as eight hours , youll have a refreshing cup of liquid energy faster than most other brewers. Place course-ground coffee in the strainer, twist on the strainer cap, slowly pour cold, filtered water through the mesh hole in the cap, give it a little swirl, pop the top on, and let it work its magic in the fridge.
Start with 68g coarse-ground coffee and fill to the white square on the side of the bottle. Easy as that.
- Pro: Easy to clean, looks cool, and brews fast.
- Con: Not as fridge friendly as its tea counterpart
Coffee Drinks With Cold Brew
These are all variations on a theme.
The basic principle is simply replacing the water you would usually use to dilute your cold brew with a milk of your choice.
You can use almond, soy, even coconut milk if it takes your fancy!
Homemade simple syrups or good quality store-bought syrups are a great addition.
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee Fast: A Beginners Guide
Joakim is a coffee connoisseur who loves all types of coffee, no matter the type or region of origin. He loves writing about his coffee experience, sharing with readers the tastes, methods of making, and more.
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More people are learning how to make cold brew coffee fast because the idea of waiting for up to 24 hours for the perfect batch might be too overwhelming.
Or perhaps youre craving cold brew, but you would prefer to have it within a couple of hours, rather than waiting until the next day.
In this guide, well explore some of the top-recommended recipes that you can use to help reduce the amount of time it takes to make cold brew in small and large batches so that you can enjoy a full-bodied cup with low acidity as you would from your favorite barista.
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S For Making Cold Brew Coffee
Here’s how it works: Grind the coffee coarsely, which you can do yourself at home or wherever you buy the beans. Combine the grounds with water, then let it steep overnight, or for around 12 hours.
During this time, the coffee slowly infuses into the water, creating a strong, concentrated brew. Strain the next morning, and you’re ready to go.
Drinks To Make With Cold
1. Mix it with chai tea for a spicy but smooth beverage.
2. Add a shot to hot chocolate, milkshakes, or anything involving chocolate or vanilla. Instant mocha!
3. Blend it into your morning smoothie.
4. Cold-brewed coffee + sparkling water + a few drops of vanilla extract = a great coffee soda. For a mocha soda, stir in a splash of chocolate extract.
5. Make mocktails. Cold-brewed coffee is more flavorful than Kahlua. Add it to vanilla, chocolate extract, and cream, then shake it with ice cubes to make the ultimate Mudslide.
6. Add boiling water to get a steaming cup that’s less acidic than if you started with heat.
7. Swap in cold-brewed coffee for water or milk when making batters for cakes, muffins, pancakes, or crepes.
8. Soak ladyfingers in it to make tiramisu. Layer with shaved chocolate, drizzles of maple syrup, and a 50/50 blend of ricotta and mascarpone cheese, then dust with espresso powder.
9. When making custard or ice cream, substitute half the milk with cold-brewed coffee.
10. Use it for poaching, deglazing, or making marinades.