What Is Cold Brew Coffee and How To Prepare It?

cold brew, cold brew coffee

If you haven’t already tried cold brew coffee, you’re missing out on something rather special. If you have, you’ll know that cold brew really is a coffee that’s unlike anything else out there.

The moment you taste your first high-quality cold brew is the moment you realise that all iced coffees are most certainly not the same. On a global basis, cold brew coffee has become something of a phenomenon – not only among those who consider themselves to be true coffee connoisseurs. Associate these kinds of coffees with hipsters all you like, but one taste of the stuff and you’ll know for sure exactly what all the fuss is about!

What’s the Story with Cold Brew?

As the name quite rightly gives away, what makes the difference with this type of coffee is the way in which it is brewed cold. Rather than hot water being poured over coffee grounds and summarily cooled to make an iced coffee, the whole process with cold brew coffee takes place at room temperature or below.

As for what makes it so special, it all comes down to the way in which hot water has a tendency to bring somewhat acidic and bitter notes out of the coffee. When brewing with cold water, the process effectively draws all the incredible flavour notes out of the coffee, though without any acidity or bitterness whatsoever. The result of which is the kind of ultra-mellow and smooth coffee that’s almost like a completely different drink in its own right.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

It may be one of the most popular and fashionable types of coffee in living memory, but cold brew is also one of the easiest and indeed most forgiving coffees to make. There are literally hundreds of different ways of going about the process, though each and every one follows the same basic principles.

The first step is to take the highest quality coffee beans you can lay your hands on and grind them to a relatively course consistency. Quality counts as cold brewing produces the kind of delicate coffee that’s guaranteed to highlight any kind of quality issues in the beans themselves.

As a general rule of thumb, you should be looking at something of a 1-to-4 ratio coffee to water. Which may come across as excessively strong, but this simply isn’t the case when brewing with cold water. Combine the coffee grounds with the water in a suitable container, which can be anything from a plastic tub to a glass jar to a large jug with some cling film to cover the top.

After this, all you need to do is place the mixture in a cool place to sit undisturbed for between 12 and 24 hours. Room temperature is preferred if it isn’t particularly warm, though you can also place it in the fridge. When brewed, strain the coffee through a filter and the resulting cold brew coffee can then be stored in an airtight container for several days.

Hence, you may as well make a relatively sizeable batch of the stuff – given the fact that you’re guaranteed to be hooked from the first sip!

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