ALL ABOUT MAKING A GOOD COLD BREW
Are you craving for a good iced coffee in a hot afternoon, but usually ends up tasting watery or overly bitter coffee? Cold brew coffee saves the day! This method guarantees a smooth, icy, and a perfect cup.
Making cold brew coffee is no great secret, nor does it require the skills of a trained barista in order to make it perfect. You don’t even need much special equipment beyond a large container and a strainer for making the coffee. Would you believe that you can make a perfect cold brew coffee even at your own home?
HISTORY OF COLD BREW
Dutch sailors cross the seas and trade with far away lands and they needed a way to brew and preserve a concentrated form of coffee. Through their journey, the concentrate would take less space and make caffeine more accessible for them. They would heat water and cut the concentrate with it to make hot coffee. In the Netherlands, it is not clear whether this was an invention to solve the issue of coffee at sea or if there was already a tradition of cold brewing. No earlier documents can be found so we’re left speculating about cold brew coffee before 1600.
Dutch traders spread their cold brew coffee ways to Japan, who adopted the practice and made it their own by creating the Kyoto-Drip method. Rather than immersing the grounds in water, this method involves slowly dripping cold water over coffee grounds to produce a rich concentrate.
The first evidence of true cold-brewed coffee, made with cold water, comes from Japan.
Kyoto-Style Japanese Coffee
Kyoto-style coffee, named for its popularity in Kyoto, Japan, is the earliest record of cold-brew coffee. In the 1600s, the Japanese were brewing coffee this way, although the record prior to that is unclear. As it was mentioned above, others speculates that the Japanese have learned about it from Dutch traders, who would have used it as a way to make coffee that could be carried on their ships. Kyoto-style brews have become highly artistic over the centuries. In this method, the coffee is brewed drop by drop instead of submerging grounds for hours. A single bead of water is let down through the coffee grounds at a time, creating a process that takes just as making toddy does but is much more beautiful to watch. It wasn’t long until tall, elegant towers were being used in Kyoto to make cold-brews.
In Cuba, there was a report of a coffee compilation published in 1922, the practice is to grind the coffee fine, to put it into a receiving vessel, and to pour cold water on it. This is repeated many times, until the coffee mass is well saturated. A highly concentrated extract was the final result which is used for making cafe au lait, or cafe noir, as desired. What this century-old recipe describes, is nothing less than the trendiest drink of the past several summers: cold-brew coffee.
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew coffee is simply coffee, brewed cold. The coffee grounds are steeped in water for up to 24 hours to produce a concentrated coffee essence, which is then diluted to taste and served chilled. Cold brew coffee is mellow, and sweeter than a conventional Americano or filtered coffee, with a lower acidity. It’s also a greener option, as it doesn’t require heat or electricity. Brewing cold results in the extraction of a range of flavour compounds, distinct from those associated with hot brews.
How it works:
Grind the coffee coarsely and combine the grounds with water, then let it steep overnight, or for around 12 hours. During this time, the coffee slowly infuses into the water, creating a strong, concentrated brew. Strain the next morning, and you’re ready to go. This coffee-making method has a few things going for it. The slow infusion pulls all the great coffee flavor from the beans, but leaves behind most of the compounds that can make coffee taste bitter and sour. Cold brewed coffee is incredibly smooth and almost sweet-tasting. You can also adjust the concentration of your cold brew coffee, making it stronger or less strong to suit your taste. Start with one cup of beans steeped in four cups of water. This will make a fairly concentrated coffee on its own, but it’s perfect for pouring over ice or mixing with milk – or both. Adjust the ratio of beans to water to suit your taste, you can adjust it up or down until you hit the perfect balance for you. This method for making coffee actually saves time in the morning especially before going to work. You can make a big batch over the weekend, starting it on Saturday or Sunday night and straining it the next morning, and then keep it in the fridge for an easy coffee fix for a long week.
TIPS FOR PERFECTION
Make sure your beans are coarsely ground: Beans that are ground to a sandy powder can result in an over-infused coffee and make the strained coffee gritty and muddy. Your beans should look like coarse cornmeal, or even slightly rougher.
Use filtered water: This is just good coffee advice in general. Your cup of coffee will have a cleaner, sweeter flavor if you use filtered water to make it.
Steep for at least 12 hours: The coffee needs this full time to fully infuse the water. Be careful, straining too early can give you a weaker cup of coffee and over-steeping will start to extract some of those bitter flavors we’re hoping to avoid. Make sure not to steep for more than 15 hours or so.
Chill your cold brew with coffee ice cubes: Make coffee ice cubes to chill your iced coffee!
Let’s Make Cold Brew Coffee!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Steeping time time: 12 hours
Yield: About 3 cups
Tip: You can also make cold-brew coffee in a French press. Steep the coffee overnight, then press to separate the grounds from the coffee. Transfer the coffee to a bottle or jar for longer storage.
1 cup (4 ounces / 113 grams) whole coffee beans
4 cups water
Coffee or spice grinder
1 1/2 quart (or larger) glass, ceramic, or plastic container
Cheesecloth or cotton flour sack cloth
Bottle or jar, for storing your cold-brew
1 Coarsely grind the coffee: Grind the coffee beans on the coarsest setting on your grinder, or in short 1-second pulses in a spice grinder. The grounds should look like coarse cornmeal, not fine powder. You should have just under 1 cup of grounds.
Tip: You can have your coffee ground on a nearest coffee shop or where you buy your coffee.
2 Combine the coffee and the water: Transfer the coffee grounds to the container you’re using to make the cold brew. Pour the water over top and stir gently to make sure the grounds are thoroughly saturated with water.
3 Steep overnight: Cover the jar with a lid to protect it from dust and bugs. Let the coffee steep for about 12 hours. Let the coffee stay on the counter or refrigerated; steeping time is the same.
4 Strain the coffee: Line a small strainer with cheesecloth or flour sack cloth and place over a large measuring cup or bowl. Pour the coffee through the strainer.
5 Store the coffee: Transfer the coffee to a small bottle or jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.
6 Serve the coffee: Dilute the coffee with as much water or milk as you prefer.
Allow yourself to make a smooth tasting cold brew at home. Also perfect way to share with your family and friends. Enjoy your coffee and share your amazing experience with us!
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