Contrary to popular belief, cold brew coffee isn’t just a fancied-up version of iced coffee or yet another blended drink. This deliciously refreshing beverage requires its own preparation technique which, believe it or not, is relatively simple even for non-specialists.
So, if you’ve always wanted to try it out, this step-by-step guide will provide you with all the knowledge you need to prepare your own delicious cold brew coffee at home. Get ready to satisfy your insatiable love for caffeine!
Essentially, what distinguishes cold brew from other icy coffee drinks is the extraction process. Cold-brew involves a significantly longer and slower coffee extraction; this limits the amount of bitterness and acidity that’s naturally present in coffee preparation. The result is a smoother, less acidic, and less bitter drink that has overall higher caffeine content. This is especially interesting for those who like drinking coffee but don’t necessarily enjoy its strong and acidic taste. Not to mention how sweet and refreshing it is!
With good cold brew comes good beans. So, the first step in preparing an exquisite homemade cold brew is to select organic, preferably locally sourced quality beans. As the coffee aficionados from pageonecoffee.com/cold-brew-coffee-guide explain, the type of beans you choose will be the main determinant of the quality and flavor profile of your drink. By all means, skip the cheap, pre-ground type. You could go for your favorite beans, but don’t hesitate to look for alternatives to truly elevate your coffee experience.
If you’ve opted for unroasted coffee beans, the next step involves roasting your beans. Dark (less caffeine, stronger aroma), medium, or light (more caffeine, lighter aroma), the choice is entirely up to your preference. If you’ve got a coffee roasting machine at home, feel free to experiment with different roasts as this will impact the overall taste of your coffee brew.
Next, you’ll have to grind those beans. Remember that pre-ground beans will offer you a significantly less rich and more bitter experience than the one you’d get by grinding your own beans. In any case, go for a coarse grind size when making a cup of coffee, This will facilitate the extraction and dripping process and impart flavor into the drink.
Now that you have your coffee beans roasted and ground, this is when things get interesting. There are two main techniques to prepare cold brew coffee that will both produce great, flavorful drinks:
- Immersion Cold Brew — This is perhaps the easiest and most accessible preparation method. All you need are your beans, cold or room temperature water, and a contain (ideally a mason jar). Start by adding 1½ cups of ground beans to your container. Then, pour in 6 cups of water, and give it a good stir to hydrate the beans. Put a lid on it and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours (up to 24 hours; the longer, the better).
- Hot Bloom Method — This method is similar to immersion cold brew. The only difference is that you don’t add all your water at once. Heat up 2 cups of water until steaming (not boiling), and add it to your beans. Stir well, and let sit for one minute. After that, add the remaining 4 cups of cold water to bring the temperature back down immediately. Stir again, place the lid, and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
The last part of the cold brew preparation involves straining your coffee to get rid of any grittiness and lingering coffee beans. This will smoothen the beverage and makes for a superb tasting experience. You may use a mesh strainer with a cheesecloth to pour your coffee into a larger container. Alternatively, you can strain it using a dedicated pour over that will remove any excess grit effectively. This final step is primordial is you want a clean, pleasurable coffee tasting.
Finally, the best way to enjoy a cold-brewed coffee is to pour it over ice in a tall glass for a refreshing drink. You may also add milk, creamer, syrup, as per your preference. As the preparation is naturally already sweet on its own, you don’t need to add a teaspoon of sugar or honey. Also, you can keep the preparation in the fridge for up to 7 days without any loss of flavor.
While it may sound challenging at first glance, with so many steps, cold brew coffee is actually a very simple preparation method. It’s perfect to be enjoyed during the summer and hot days for a fresh, reinvigorating caffeine boost. With this practical guide, you’ll be able to nail cold brew coffee every single time. Enjoy!