I used to think cold brew coffee was just a new trendy thing people were obsessing over. I was first introduced to it nearly three years ago at Peet’s coffee. At the time I didn’t initially recognize the difference between iced coffee and cold brew coffee. Later on, my younger brother went on to work for Peet’s as a barista. He’s taught me a thing or two about coffee, but he specifically explained to me that cold brew coffee isn’t just a fad, it’s a method for brewing coffee. After that, I did notice a difference between cold brew coffee and iced coffee. Cold brewed coffee has a much stronger flavor and it doesn’t get watered down quickly like iced coffee does.
I always want to understand the why behind things, so I did my own research to find out what the difference between cold brewed and traditional brewed coffee is. Believe it or not, there is a scientific explanation. Breaking it down simply, during the brewing process, heat extracts various compounds like oils and fatty acids from the coffee bean. These compounds are responsible for the bitter taste you may be all too familiar with.
Those bitter tasting oils and fatty acids are only extracted at a high temperature during the brewing process. With cold brew coffee, since the bean doesn’t experience any heat, those bitter flavors aren’t extracted during the brewing process. Interesting, right? At the end of the process the coffee concentrate that’s created can be used for cold or hot coffee drinks.
Not only have you learned the science behind it, but I’m also going to teach you how unbelievably simple it is to make your own cold brew coffee!
1 cup coarsely-ground coffee
4 cups water
2 large bowls
reusable thin cloth or biodegradable coffee filters
jar or container
- Submerge coffee grounds in the cold water in a container.
- Cover and refrigerate the mixture for 12-24 hours.
- Once you’ve let the grounds steep, pour the grounds into a sieve set over a bowl. Discard the coffee grounds or add them to your compost. Next, line the sieve with a thin damp cloth or coffee filter. Pour the mixture through the sieve once more. Now you have your coffee concentrate! At this point you can keep it in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to two weeks.
- To enjoy a cup of coffee, you can play around with the ratio of coffee concentrate to water based on your preference. I like strong coffee, so I like a 1:1 ratio for the concentrate to water.
Let me know what you think when you try out the recipe! I’d love to hear how it turns out for you! Have you ever had cold brew coffee before? If so, what do you prefer, traditional or cold brewed?