Cold Brew: Iced Coffee for Warm Days
If you love caffeine but are craving a cool, refreshing drink, we recommend trying an icy cold brew coffee.
What is Cold Brew?
As implied by its name, cold brew is a way of brewing coffee with cold water. Making cold brew takes a couple of hours, so it’s unfortunately not a drink that can be prepared spontaneously, but it’s worth the wait!
We’ll explain to you what makes this drink so unique, as well as let you know exactly which steps to take and which equipment you need for its preparation.
The History of Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew is slowly becoming an innovative, exciting new staple of coffee shops around the world. While cold coffee hasn’t been on the menu in some regions for long, the cold brew method of coffee preparation has been around for quite some time. In the 17th century, traders from the Netherlands travelling to Asia came up with the idea of pouring cold water over pulverized coffee beans. This type of coffee wouldn’t expire as quickly and was more refreshing to drink in the much warmer climates of Asia. Additionally, the seafarers wouldn’t have to worry about heating up huge amounts of water to prep coffee for an entire ship’s crew.
The popularity of cold brew nowadays, however, likely has less to do with logistics and more to do with the unique taste which stems from the alternative brewing method.
“Good things come to those who wait”
Medium to finely grained coffee beans are most appropriate for the cold brew method, which requires that the coffee beans steep in the water over a long period of time. Due to the cold water and long steep time, not all flavour notes of the coffee beans will be noticeable when enjoying the final product. While some spicy or aromatic flavour notes may be lost, this also means that your coffee will taste much less bitter. Cold brew tends to taste much sweeter than a normal hot coffee.
Sweet, not sour!
Cold brew is not only sweeter and tastes less intense, but it also has a lower level of acidity, which is great for people who suffer from stomach problems, heartburn or acid reflux. The natural sweetness of cold brew allows you to skip the extra lump or two of sugar and splash of milk- meaning your morning doesn’t have to start out with a calorie bomb.
How to Make Cold Brew
What You Need:
Glass jar (with lid)
How to Make It:
1) Fill a glass jar a third of the way full with medium ground coffee beans.
2) Add cold, filtered water to the jar.
3) Screw the jar shut and shake the contents.
4) Leave the coffee in the refrigerator to steep for 24 hours.
5) Fill a glass with ice cubes, place the filter over it and pour the fresh cold brew directly into the glass.
No worries, since the cold brew is pretty concentrated, the coffee won’t be watered down from the ice cubes. The Chemex-Filter is ideal for making this type of brew. However, other coffee filters, even ones made of metal, should work fine as well.
If these steps are still a bit too much work, then consider investing in a cold brew dripper. This model from Dripster is as practical as it is decorative, perfect for your breakfast nook. Using a dripper means you don’t have to bother with filters, since the device has a built-in metal net which operates as a coffee filter. Another advantage of the dripper: you can manually set the drip speed. This allows you to experiment and taste how the flavour of your cold brew varies.
Orange Juice, Tonic and Cold Brew
While the cold brew makes a perfect replacement for your morning coffee, it’s also a good base for a delicious evening drink. Adding some cold brew coffee to a tonic on the rocks creates a lovely looking, alcohol-free drink that’s a great alternative to a sugary cocktail.
What You Need:
Tonic water or orange juice
How to Make It:
Fill a glass with ice cubes and add 200 ml of tonic water. Then, add 100 ml of cold brew. If you’re really looking for a caffeine kick, you can bump up the ratio to 50:50 tonic water and coffee.
Our tip: If you follow our instructions and add the coffee after the tonic water, you’ll create an aesthetically pleasing drink with two separate layers.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can even replace the tonic water with orange juice!
Since cold brew coffee contains the same amount of caffeine as a normal coffee, people who experience problems falling asleep due to caffeine consumption in the evening should either avoid preparing this drink too late in the day.