In recent years, cold brew has been a popular go to drink among coffee lovers! It’s hard to visit a coffee shop that doesn’t offer this refreshing drink on the menu. With so many people ordering cold brew, how many actually know what it is or how to make it?
In this article, I am going to dive further into what makes this drink so special, explain the pros and cons of this brewing method, and show you how to perfect the drink at home!
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
When people think of a morning coffee, they picture a steaming hot mug of freshly brewed coffee. If brewing coffee in hot water is the quickest method, why would someone attempt to use cold water?
Cold brew coffee is exactly that. Steep ground coffee beans in room temperature or cold water for 12-18 hours. Many coffee lovers find this brewing method to create a more refreshing and less acidic cup of coffee. Pair it with your favorite milk, creamer, or syrup and you have one tasty drink!
The Perfect Cold Brew Recipe
Don’t be afraid to try cold brew coffee at home! What seems like a complex brewing method is actually surprisingly easy to master. I am going to outline what I believe is the best recipe along with some tips and tricks to brew the perfect batch.
Pick your Strainer of Choice
Before you start, you must have a way to filter out the coffee beans from the water. This may be a maker designed for cold brew, a French press, a coffee filter, a cheese cloth, or any other fine mesh strainer you have!
Select Good Quality Coffee
The first step is selecting your coffee. I prefer a light roast Brazil or a dark roast Colombian, but feel free to experiment!
Grind your Beans
Next, you want to grind the coffee beans. Preferably you want it coarse. If you grind the beans too fine, this may over-extract the coffee and even lead to a murky cold brew!
Steep in Water
Once you have your beans ready you will need to combine it with filtered water. Filtered is the key word here! Since coffee is mainly water, it is extremely important to use the best tasting water.
When combining the coffee with the water, use a 1:8 ratio, which is 1 part coffee and 8 parts water.
Now for the longest step in the process! Let the coffee steep for 12-18 hours. My preference is right in the middle at 15 hours.
Strain and Enjoy!
The final step is to strain the coffee beans out of the water, pour over ice, and add your desired milks, syrups, or toppings! If you have never tried cold brew before, it is very smooth and can easily be drunk with nothing added to it!
Before you consider brewing cold brew at home, take a look at some of the pros and cons of this brewing method.
- Less acidic. Hot water extracts the acidity out of the coffee beans much quicker, so steeping it in cold water leads to a smooth and low acidic coffee drink.
- Easy to make. As I outlined above, cold brew takes very little equipment and has very few steps. It doesn’t require a fancy machine or complicated steps.
- Refreshing. Crisp, clean, smooth, and cold is why this is a summer favorite. Many people can’t get enough of it in the colder months as well!
- Long brewing time. The hardest part about making cold brew at home is timing it out. Having a brew time of 12-18 hours means starting in the middle of the day can be challenging. I recommend starting in the evening so it is ready to go when you wake up the next morning!
- Requires lots of coffee beans. Compared to a hot brew, this way of brewing takes much more coffee. Many people prefer brewing large batches as well since it takes so long to make.
- Not a full extraction. Brewing coffee cold is not as efficient. Therefore, sometimes you have to use more coffee grounds and you may still not have a full extraction from the beans. Avoid under-steeping and you should be left with a good tasting brew!
Next time you are craving a tasty cold brew, consider brewing it at home! It's simple, easy to perfect, and will impress your family and friends!