Cold Brew coffee is having a bit of a spotlight since last Summer.
What use to be an unknown brewing method is slowly becoming more mainstream. This method uses specialized coffee grounds and is perfect for those seeking the newest flavors and tastes in coffee.
Like iced coffee, hot coffee, and other ready-to-drink coffee, you can now find cold-brewed coffee at your local coffee shops and even in bottles at the grocery store.
Despite the above, it’s easier to make cold brew than you think. Heck, you might be able to brew better ones yourself. There’s no need to spend money on expensive gears or buy them from your local coffee shop, unless you’re in a rush!
So, before we get started, you might be wondering. What are the best coffee beans for a cold brew coffee maker? What is cold brew concentrate? While this mostly depends on your personal preference, a good rule of thumb is entirely dependent on good coffee beans; not the random machine processed ones you found in grocery stores.
Cold Brew Is Not Like Hot Brew
To get started in cold brew, you must first…forget everything you know about the hot brewing process.
Well not really, just don’t think about it since it won’t do you much good here. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s because of the temperature.
The difference in temperature affects the entire brewing process and results completely!
Different flavors are extracted more effectively at different temperatures. Hot brewing and hot water tend to do a better job at bringing out the floral and fruity notes from the coffee beans. While simply using room temperature or cold brew is better at bringing out coffee beans that carry a bolder flavor note; such as nutty, cocoa, or even brown spices.
Oh, it’s probably a good time to point out that hot brew that brings out the more floral or fruity notes in coffee are typically more acidic, especially compared to cold brew. So if you want something that’s easier on the stomach, or just don’t really enjoy the acidic flavor in your typical coffee, then give cold brew a try!
What Kind Of Roast?
That last section didn’t really help you find the best coffee for a cold brew. Patience. We’ll get there. The first step to choosing coffee for a cold brew is to decide whether you want a light, medium, or dark roast. Again, leave behind your knowledge of hot brew: It won’t help you here.
As we know, the cold brew method brings out the bold flavor from your coffee. As such, you don’t want something that’s too dark roasted, or else the coffee will end up being too bitter. Instead, you want to go for a lighter or medium roast.
Some of those fruity, floral coffee blends also tend to be very expensive and they aren’t the type of coffee you want to waste on an experiment, especially if you can’t even bring out those floral notes that you’re paying for. Instead, save that coffee for your hot brew.
If this is your first time making cold brew coffee, then I don’t recommend using the most expensive, best coffee beans for your cold brew experiment. In fact, some coffee lovers believe the extraction process is more effective than cold brew, so it can bring out the flavors even if the beans are older, and sometimes, even have gone stale.
As such, if you want to experiment and got some left over beans left, why not give it a go.
DIY Cold Brew Coffee At Home
Making your own cold brew is probably the easiest coffee brewing method of them all. Simply add the coffee grounds to a cauldron, add water, add more coffee grounds, add more water, and that’s it!
Well, let it sit for 12 – 24 hours, either in room temperature or in the fridge, then filter it once with a strainer and once with a paper filter. As a result, you’ll end up with cold brew concentrate, which you can add both water and milk to for your own taste.
Here’s a video that’ll explain everything in more detail:
A lot of cold brew experts recommend using single origin coffee rather than blends. While the end result is not as drastic, cold brew’s main advantage is to extract the flavors from the coffee. If the coffee is blended, it’ll be difficult to experience the natural flavors when it’s all mixed up.
While it’s all up to personal preference, a true coffee connoisseur will go for the single-origin route.
If you’re still not sure about what beans to use, just give this all a go next time you have a batch of coffee that’s going stale. It’s important to get your feet wet and take action!
While this may not give you the perfect cup of cold brewed coffee, it’ll still give you an idea of what kind of flavor you can expect if you used fresher coffee beans. If you think you’ll like it, then dedicate your next batch just for it.
Finally, feel free to save your cold brew! Cold brew coffee can keep in the fridge for up to two weeks (if you don’t drink it before then). Unlike an old pot of hot coffee, a cold brew that you don’t finish right away can be put back in the fridge and enjoyed another day. Just another awesome benefit of trying the cold brew trend!