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COLD BREW - The Guide

As we all know – an act of consuming the world’s most magnificent beverage, coffee, is science on its own. The same goes for the cold brewing methods – to make the perfect cup of coffee is a complex process full of exciting stages that lead to the heavenly moment of a first sip.

Here's everything you need to know about types of cold brew coffee and cold brewing methods. Read on and enjoy!

First that you have to have
in mind is that a cold brew
stands for cold coffee, but
not the regular iced coffee.

The final taste depends a
lot on the recipe and
personal taste, but what
never changes is the
process of brewing it with
room temperature or cold
water over a 12 to 24-hour
period

The fact it's made with cold
water makes the taste more
soft and subtle. It also has
far less acidity than any
iced coffee.

After the steeping phase, a
powerful coffee essence is
cut with water, about 50/50.

#Pro tip: Don’t drink cold brew concentrate straight away - it’s highly caffeinated!

Although coarsely-ground coffee makes the best cold brew, you can use any coffee variety you enjoy.

Understanding
Cold Brew

What is Cold
Brewed Coffee?

Basics of
Cold Brewing

With a cold brew, what you ought to have in mind is that less is more. How is that?

Coffee brewed at 210 degrees will contain more aroma compounds and flavor than coffee brewed at 72 degrees, but the heat will also extract the majority of bitterness. Good cold-brew balances hints of dark chocolate, caramel and mature black fruits, with pleasant mild acidity.

Freshly ground, whole beans are the best for any cold brew coffee. It is recommended to use medium roast beans, which have been heated to a lower temperature than dark roast beans.

One of the ways to reach a perfect cup of cold brew is to always follow these essential steps:

  1. Combine room-temperature water and freshly ground coffee in a large French press.
  2. Ten minutes later, a fair amount of coffee grinds will form on the surface. You should stir it.
  3. After the initial stir to combine the ingredients, during the process of brewing, a bit of additional stirring will do good.
  4. The French press (one of the numerous cold brew methods) should be covered with plastic wrap and let sit at room
    temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the plastic wrap is removed and the grinds are then pressed to separate the
    concentrate.
  5. You can, later on, pour the concentrate into a fine-mesh strainer set over a large measuring cup or pitcher.
  6. The final step is to dissolve the concentrate one-to-one with cold water and pour it into a glass with plenty of ice. Voilà!

Type of Coffee
Best for Cold
Brew

The truth is – the best coffee for your brew is the one you like the most.

However, have in mind the opinion of experts and the majority, while experimenting. Many people swear by using a dark roast when they want to make cold brew, and there’s a good reason for that.

Dark roast coffee is going to give you dark and rich flavors with earthy, chocolaty, nutty or even little syrupy undertones. If you are a fan of robust flavor, dark roast is the choice to make!

What about the best cold brew coffee grounds? A course grind should be the optimal grind size - when you rub it between the fingers, it should feel sandy. This is the best choice for many different reasons. Most of all, the coarse grind is going to be the fastest to begin dripping. A fine grind is too dense, so the problem is the water that cannot flow that easily.

The age of the beans is of great importance for making the perfect brew. Use beans that are more than a few weeks old: that way, you will get cold brew coffee grounds that will provide a sweet and caffeinated beverage.

Cold brew
vs
Iced Coffee

Let’s make this terminology a bit clearer.

In general, iced coffee refers to any way to serve non-espresso based cold coffee over ice. It also refers to flash-chilled coffee or regular coffee brewed on a drip machine and put in the fridge. On the other side, cold brew is any brew method that doesn’t involve hot water.

What about the amount of caffeine in a cold brew?

Cold brew coffee can be made with any ratio of coffee to water, so if you brew it using the amount of coffee and water in, say, French press recipe, it’ll have just about the same amount of caffeine. If you choose the stronger coffee to water ratio, the final brew will have more caffeine by volume. However, since half of the glass will be filled with ice, the beverage should have around the same total caffeine as the hot beverage of a similar size.

Cold Brew
Over
Iced Coffee

There are many reasons to name – first of all, cold brew is more stomach-friendly due to less acidity. These low acidity levels give the cold brew smoother and softer flavor, which lacks in hot and iced coffee. Even though caffeine levels are pretty high in cold brew, there is no sudden caffeine kick as in hot brewed coffee, it affects the human body slowly. Cold brew coffee concentrate can be diluted and used in many different recipes and it can last up to ten days.

To reach the final unique taste of a cold brew it takes some effort, but it pays off - the aromatic oils in coffee do not dissolve in water, they leach out into it. This is the reason the whole process is prolonged when cold water is used.

That is, also, why it takes about 24 hours to make cold-brewed coffee. The longer brewing time and higher coffee to water ratio give the water more time to dissolve coffee’s bitter flavor components, which results in distinctive mellow taste.

Types of Cold Brews

COLD
BREW

Cold brew is made by combining grounds and
cool water making a coffee concentrate via
cold extraction. It is adored by many for its
smooth, sweet flavor.

cup with iced coffee
flash-brew-pourover-small-image-2_3b6b39a9-1da7-4073-85c8-d7bd7d2e2cf5_large1

Pour Over
Ice Coffee

Cold brew is made by combining grounds and
cool water making a coffee concentrate via
cold extraction. It is adored by many for its
smooth, sweet flavor. Here's a brililant tutroial for your viewing and learning pleasure.

Iced
Americano

By brewing a shot of espresso and combining it
with hot water is how we get a super-powerful
cup of espresso drink called Americano. Iced
Americanos are brewed with the shot of
espresso going directly onto the ice and then
topped with iced water or ice. What consumers
love the most about this type of brew is a touch
of bitterness and more robust coffee flavor
than any other iced coffee.

americano style illustration
drip illustration icon

Ice Drip
Method

If you see unusual glass towers in the local
coffee shop, you are, my friend, witnessing a
slow magic process of Ice Drip Brew. So, what’s
going on there?
Coffee is being made by cold water slowly
dripping and seeping through the bed of
grounds, ending up in the container underneath
as cold brew. The result is a brew with a range
of nuanced flavors and sugary soft body.

Nitro
Brew

Did you know that most cold drinks are made
with some type of gas?
For example, carbon dioxide is what gives soda
pop its charming bubbles.
Nitro coffee is a type of cold brew coffee
infused with odorless gas nitrogen. And why is
it so special? Much like typical cold brew,
nitrogen-infused drink is low in acidity and very
smooth, but the catch is the unique silky
mouthfeel. The nitrogen-infused blend is
released through a pressurized vent with tiny
holes in order to create a creamy note. This
type of brew is usually consumed black,

nitro foam in cup
new Orleans cold illustration

New
Orleans Style

New Orleans style iced coffee is a cold-brew
coffee flavored with chicory. Coffee and
roasted chicory are both mixed with water in a
pot and left overnight. The next morning, all
you have to do is pour the concentrate through
a fine-mesh sieve and enjoy!

Methods to
Brewing Cold Coffee

The critical catch here is time. To achieve a balanced taste that cold brews require, it will sometimes take up to 24 hours of brewing. A mix of water and ground coffee should be steered and left to cool overnight. The day after, you should strain the mixture to remove the excess coffee and there you go – you are ready to serve your cup of joy!

As mentioned before – the main ingredient of this method, apart from coffee, is patience. This type of brew combines cold or room-temperature water with ground coffee that is let to rest for 8 hours minimum or more (it can be 24h or even a few days). After this stage, the infusion is strained and ready to drink. In some cases, depending on an individual taste, it can be diluted with additional water. The most significant advantage of this type of method is a soft and smooth coffee taste with a hint of chocolate. Due to the fact, the extraction is done at low temperatures (around 70 degrees mostly), the coffee is less bitter and lacks acidity too.

Immersion icon

Art of Immersion

What ombre was for hair in the hairstyle industry a few years ago, this is what's Immersion in the coffee world
now.
Immersion Method is by far the most popular method of cold brew at the moment.
It represents the process of placing coffee grounds in a pot of water and letting them steep for some time. For the next 6 to 24 hours extraction process takes place and then the grounds are filtered out to create the cool, smooth-tasting drink everyone is eager to taste!

Brewing Basics

You should know some basics if you ever want to try to brew your own cold coffee. Have these hacks in mind, but also follow the steps we already mentioned in the Introduction part.
If regular drip coffee or espresso upsets your stomach, cold brew might not. Why? Because it is less acidic. The only way to know is to try it, and you’ll have more control over the end result if you make it yourself. Have in mind the best cold brew is made with coarsely-ground coffee. If you don't have the coffee grinder at home, you can do it in any bigger grocery store using their grinder machine,
with the dial set on the coarse option. Coffee should be steeped in cold water and any variety of coffee will work. The fact we use cold water makes the whole process a bit slower, so the steep time should be 12 – 18 hours. The cold extraction process brings out fewer of coffee’s bitter compounds, which produces a sweeter and smoother final flavor.

espresso machine illustration
drawing of a french press

French Press

This method is named by the plunger pot invented in France in the 19th century, also known as melior, plunger coffee or press pot. A container with a plunger and filter screen that presses hot water through ground coffee creates rich earthy taste. A medium grind is known as the best option for this type of brew.

-Brewing with a French Press-

To get the perfect cup of French Press brew, you always want to freshly grind your medium roast beans, which have been heated to a lower temperature. The best advice is to use filtered room-temperature water and freshly ground coffee in a large French press. The key role of the is to separate the concentrate from the grinds after brewing. After about ten minutes, you will notice a substantial amount of coffee grinds on the surface. Stir this raft into the water and repeat this multiple times over the next 24 hours. Next, you should cover the French Press with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature. After 24 hours, remove the plastic wrap and press the grinds to separate the concentrate. Finally, the concentrate should be diluted one-to-one with cold water. The final step - pour it into a glass with plenty of ice and take the first sip! Read our complete tutorial on using a French press for cold brewing.

Bags

Another way to make your refreshing beverage is to use Cold Brew Bags.

Fill one bag with coarse coffee grounds but leave some space in it, do not pack the bag fully. Your aim is to let the cold water penetrate all the way into the center of the bag of coffee grounds. Pull the drawstring gently until the bag is sealed firmly, which will stop the grounds from spilling out into the cold brew concentrate, leaving the sediment in.

-Brewing with Bags-

The sealed bag should then be put in a container that is filled either with room temperature or cold filtered water. Make sure all the coffee is submerged. During the brewing process, there is a danger of coffee to oxidize and pick up stale flavors – in order to avoid this, there are two things you can do. First and the easiest one is to cover your container while brewing, while the second one is to place your jar in a spot far away from direct sunlight. After 12 to 18 hours, all you have to do is remove your bag and pour the drink over ice!

showing coffee bags for brewing
drawing of Aeropress in pour over

Aeropress

In this method, coffee is steeped for 10-50 seconds and then pressured through a filter by pressing the plunger through the tube. You can use either the AeroPress paper filters or thin metal filters.

Boiling water will make your coffee bitter, so have in mind the best option is to use hot water only (195°F is what you should aim for). For AeroPress, you'll want the coffee ground fine, like for drip coffee.

-Brewing with a AeroPress-

• Bring your water to a boil then let it cool for about a minute. You're aiming for something in between 175°F and 195°F.

• Measure around four tablespoons of coffee beans and grind until fine.

• The next you want to do is to wet the filter with a bit of warm water. Then set up the AeroPress with the same paper filter inside the cap and place it on top of a mug.

• After this, put the funnel on the top of the cup and pour in the coffee.

• Pour in coffee until it comes up to the top line on the AeroPress.

• Stir briefly with a spoon.

• The key moment – insert the plunger and firmly press it.

• The final step is to taste your coffee and add more water if needed.

Toddy
Cold Brew

Back in 1964, a chemical engineering graduate Todd Simpson developed and patented a cold brew system that creates a superior type of coffee with 67% less acid than its hot brewed doublet. Since then, more than a million units have been sold all around the world.

-Brewing with a Toddy Cold System-

• To start working on creating this brew, you will need the white brewing vessel, the rubber stopper and the filter. Take 187.5 grams of coffee and 1500 ml of cold drinking water.

• Check if the rubber stopper is securely fitted into the hole and place the filter into its position at the bottom of the brewer.

• Make sure not to dump all the water and grounds into the brewing vessel. If you do this, the filter will most likely displace from its spot and create a mess.

• The next step is to pour 200ml of the water into the Toddy (with filter and stopper in place) and add 90 grams of the coffee. Gently pour in another 600ml in slow circular motion.

• Then add the remaining 97.5 grams of coffee. Wait about five minutes and add the remaining 700ml of water, making sure all grounds are wet.

• The best way to cold brew your coffee is to leave it for 12-24 hours, either at room temperature or placed in the refrigerator.

• The final step is to remove the stopper and let your coffee concentrate flow into the glass decanter. This type of brew makes coffee fresh, even up to 2 weeks! Now that you know everything about the magic of cold brew – get to work! Test, experiment and admire the final result! It will take a bit of time until you find your perfect method, but the reward will be absolutely delicious: a cup of bold, super-soft and sweet black gold!

the toddy cold brew illustrated
ENJOY