The Cold Brew method of brewing coffee is a (fairly) recent phenomenon, and it has rapidly caught the imagination of many new age coffee drinkers. Often confused with ‘Cold Coffee’ or ‘Iced Coffee’ which is a kind of beverage in itself, Cold Brew is simply a brewing method. Cold Brew coffee can be made into Cold Coffee, but not all Cold Coffees are made from cold brew coffee. Confused? :) Read on!
The most common method of extracting brewed coffee from roasted coffee powder involves water and high temperature. Because of the temperature of the water used, soluble coffee solids from the coffee bean dissolve in water and form brewed coffee, all in a matter of a few seconds to a couple of minutes.
With the Cold Brewing method, ground coffee is placed in cool water, and left to ‘brew’ over a period of 12 - 24 hours (some recipes ask for more). There is no heat involved, absolutely no pressure involved and apart from a quick stir once or twice at the start of the brew, there is no other disturbance of the coffee grounds.
Cold brewing coffee completely alters the structure of the beverage. For example if one were to use traditional hot-brewing methods to brew our Light and Bright coffee, what you would end up with is a beautifully floral and refreshingly acidic cup of coffee. If the same coffee is cold-brewed, the result is a sweeter, bright but mellower cup. Both are great, but it depends on what you are in the mood for.
Here are some benefits of cold brew coffee.
1. Bitterness reduced
Some of the bitter soluble coffee solids which are normally extracted with a little bit of heat are now not present in cold brew coffee. Also heat causes some amount of oxidisation and degradation which leads to bitter notes. Cold brew coffee eliminates these flavours.
The biggest plus point for cold brew coffee. The sugars present in the roasted bean - caramelised sugars, candied sugars, etc. gently find themselves being completely one with the brew.
3. Acidity is greatly reduced
As acids in the coffee bean need some coaxing through heat to dissolve into the brew. With hot-brewing methods, acids are the first to dissolve into the brewing water, however with cold-brew coffee they tend to get filtered out. This is not always an advantage though. Acidity in coffee is a desirable characteristic, read all about that here.
4. If you are a caffeine fan!
Cold brewing enables comparatively higher levels of it. Caffeine has all the time in the world to find it’s way into the brew, so yes if you drink too much cold brew you’re going to be bouncing off the walls!
5. Make ahead for up to 6 days.
Cold brew concentrate stays bottled in your refrigerator for up to 6 days, which means if you make a batch, you almost always have access to fresh, rich, full of flavour coffee, in an instant,
Cold Brew / brewing Method.
Cold brewing is pretty simple. All you need is time! There are many methods by which one can cold brew coffee. The ratio that we recommend to make a concentrate however stays the same, one part of coffee to four parts of cool water.
To begin with, use a clean container - steel or glass or one like this food grade plastic container, and place coffee that has been ground for cold brew (coarser than your regular drip filter grind, finer than the French press grind) in it. Add four times the amount of cool, clean filtered water. For example, if you are using 100 gms of coffee powder, add 400 gms of water. Stir this mixture and keep covered in the refrigerator for an hour. After an hour give this mixture another stir (since the coffee grounds in all probability will have risen to the top of the liquid), cover and place back into your refrigerator. Allow this to brew for another 13 hours. You could extend this time upto 24 hours (if you want it really strong), but we recommend 14 - 18 hours for a nice, balanced brew.
After 14 hours, take the container out of the refrigerator and filter the grounds out. You could use a fine cloth or filter paper if you have some, to do the filtration. An easy way to do this is to use these cotton brew bags at the start of the brew, so then all you have to do is lift the brew bag above the container and simply allow the delicious cold brew coffee to filter through!
Bottle this cold brew concentrate and keep refrigerated for upto 6 days. To use, simply add some ice, or ice and water, or ice and milk / cream. Other delicious ways to make cold brew drinks are - using tonic water, orange juice, soda and a wedge of orange, etc. A shot of cold brew concentrate added to coke is like making home-made energy drink (If you’re into that).
We have 3 cold brew blends for 2021, designed and roasted especially to work well when cold-brewed. If you like something light and are going to drink it simply on the rocks or with a splash of water, then Light and Bright is for you.
If you’re into a stronger, fuller bodied brew and may or may not add some milk / cream or ice-cream, choose Dark and Fruity. New Orleans Style cold brew creates a very unique taste thanks to the roasted chicory that’s a part of the blend. This blend is recommend if you like your cold brew with milk and maybe some jaggery.
Video recipes and ideas
We have a series of 21 very casual videos that show you the different things you can do with cold brew concentrate, with LOADS of tips and tricks. Watch the set that starts with this video here.