You can buy cold brew coffee at so many coffee shops now. Though you’re probably better off making it at home with this one extra step.
Iced Coffee vs. Cold Brew
Iced coffee is made by brewing an extra strength batch of hot coffee and pouring it over ice or by chilling hot coffee in the refrigerator.
With cold brew, you trade heat for time by allowing room temperature water to steep with coffee.
Hot water brings out the acid in coffee. With cold brew, the coffee is described as sweet and round.
However, the acid that comes out of coffee is often described as “bright” and is a treasured characteristic of the highest priced coffee in the world. Bright acidity is fawned over.
The acid becomes even more pronounced in traditionally brewed coffee when it is allowed to cool. The lack of acidity in cold-brew keeps sweet. Others call it flat and one note.
Either, way the technique for making cold brew is not terribly difficult and worth trying to compare the difference.
3 Reasons to make cold brew:
- It has lower acid.
- It is sweeter.
- It is very easy.
3 Reasons NOT to make cold brew:
- It has less caffeine than hot brewed coffee.
- It has less acid and can taste muddy.
- It takes at least 12 hours.
Cold brew coffee history
Cold brew coffee’s popularity has skyrocketed in the last decade, much like Greek yogurt.
It used to be that you could only find it at boutique coffee shops such as Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco, CA. Then Starbucks caught on, and cold brew now appears to be the de facto cold coffee of choice.
The first record of cold brew coffee comes from the Japanese in the 1600s. Others say the Japanese actually learned the technique from inbound Dutch sailors, who needed a way to stay caffeinated while at sea.
However, the Japanese had also been cold-brewing tea, so it is not far fetched to think they would use the same technique on coffee.
Kyoto Drip Cold Brew Coffee
The Japanese have turned cold brewing into an art form where they drip it, drop by drop, in the form of high priced machines that look like they could tell time.
Does this drop by drop method make a difference? Captures the acidity than cold brew. More nuanced, and varied with high notes.
What is the ratio of coffee to water?
Here we use a simple 1 part coffee to 4 parts water.
How long do you steep cold-brew for?
Estimates range from 6-20 hours. Starbucks steeps theirs for 20 hours. We do overnight or at least 12 hours.
After steeping, the mixture will need to be strained twice. First through a fine mesh sieve to remove the coffee grounds. Second, through a coffee filter to remove the fine sediment.
The Simple Extra Step
Once the coffee is strained, make coffee ice cubes. This will keep the beverage cold and won’t dilute the coffee as the ice melts.
The only caveat is that you do have to wait for the cubes to freeze. However, with the overnight steeping, you’ve already been waiting a long while for cold coffee.
Just wait a little longer….
Sweeten with sweetener of choice. Agave is pictured below.
Top with a couple dollops of coconut cream, spooned straight from the can. No judgement.
Make your own gourmet coffee cold brew coffee @home. No special equipment is required, and you can make it even better by adding your own coffee ice cubes.
Other Coconut Cream Recipes
As we know, once you’ve opened that can of coconut cream, it must be used fairly quickly, probably within a week. Here are other recipes that use coconut cream:
Cold Brew Coffee with Coconut Cream
- 2 c coarse ground coffee
- 8 c water
- coconut cream
- Pour water onto coffee grounds, mix well, and steep for 12-24 hours.
- Pour coffee through a fine mesh sieve. Strain again through a coffee filter placed inside the fine mesh sieve.
- Pour into a glass (with ice cubes if desired) and top with coconut cream.