Cold brew is not just hot coffee poured over ice!
Cold brew coffee is produced by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period (18-24 hours). While the coffee infuses slowly in the water, this creates a strong, concentrated brew.
This can be serviced in many ways once the concentrate is ready. Though the shockingly strong iced coffee that runs through our veins all summer long is an entirely different beast than our regular coffee offering. While it's not rocket science, making cold brew is a little more complicated than pouring water over a batch of beans and forgetting about it.
As the coffee grounds are steeped in cold water rather than hot, this process takes a lot longer than regular coffee in order to extract the right amount of flavour, caffeine and colour. The slow, gentle infusion process results in a smoother, less acidic flavour than regular coffee. This is because fewer of the coffee’s bitter compounds are extracted in cold water, making cold brew coffee slightly sweeter in taste. It’s also slightly stronger than regular coffee but can be diluted with water or milk.
Cold brew coffee originated in Japan, where it has been a traditional method of coffee brewing for centuries. Their slow-drip cold brew refers to the process in which water is dripped through coffee grounds at room temperature over the course of many hours. Cold brew coffee is also called cold water extraction or cold pressing.
The water is normally kept at room temperature, but chilled water can also be used. After the grounds have been steeped, they are filtered out of the water using a paper coffee filter, a fine metal sieve, or felt.
Some commons mistakes with cold brew coffee are.
1. Grinding the beans too fine Some methods of brewing, like pour over, call for finely ground beans. But in cold brew, because you're steeping them for upwards of 12 hours, you should grind the beans coarsely.
2. Using the wrong ratio Most recommend a 1:8 ratio, 1 gram of coffee for every 8 grams of water and then diluting as your final step. To make a litre for the fridge, you should be looking at around 125g of coffee.
3. Worrying about water temperature Despite the many and varied options and opinions, you can start the steeping process with whatever temperature your heart desires. Hot water kick-starts the brewing party, which is useful if you're in a hurry. But if it's a classic, simple cup of cold brew you want, start with room-temperature water. The colder the water temperature the longer it should be left. 4. Not diluting the concentrate The standard time for steeping is 24 hours. When you're ready to drink, dilute it with water. Your cold brew will contain roughly twice the amount of caffeine as hot drip coffee. Cutting that 50/50 with water is appropriate, but it depends upon your individual taste.
5. Storing it too long in the fridge Unlike hot coffee, which has a short shelf life, cold brew will keep in your fridge. As an undiluted concentrate, it'll keep for up to two weeks, although the flavour quality will degrade after the first week.
Nitro cold brew is a variation of cold brew coffee that uses the addition of nitrogen gas to create a smooth texture. It was created in the early 2010s and first offered at third wave coffee houses.
Production of nitro cold brew coffee begins with the making of cold brew coffee. Once the grounds are adequately steeped, the coffee is put into a room temperature bottle or keg. As the cold brew is poured, it is charged with nitrogen to give it a rich, creamy head of foam, similar to draft beer. Nitro cold brew is typically served chilled, as ice would damage the foamy top.