Cold brew coffee takes time to brew… but often things that are worth doing, take a long time. Many movies would be worse if they decreased their run time. Many works of literature would not be the same if they were reduced to fewer pages. A long walk on the beach wouldn’t be as great if it were a short stroll along the beach. As it turns out, coffee that takes hours to brew is no different. Cold Brew Coffee, as the name implies, is coffee that is made using cold water instead of hot water. This delivers a coffee with heightened flavour and caffeine with a myriad of health benefits.
The Science of Cold Brew
We all know that cold brew coffee is excellent already, but the question is what makes it so great? How is it that this coffee sensation has generated so much support? What actually makes it so good?
It’s all about that temperature.
With cold brew coffee, the beans are not subjected to temperatures that are quite as high. This changes the structure of the coffee taste. Hotter brewing temperature delivers an increase in bitterness which affects the taste of the coffee. Another component of the lower temperature brewing is that the end product is not as acidic, meaning a coffee that is closer to being pH balanced. On top of this, cold brew coffee is also generally higher in caffeine; it is almost the same method as decaffeinating coffee beans except drinking the liquid that is decaffeinating them.
Some claim that cold brew coffee can be made and stored for up to two weeks. The coffee can also be served either hot or cold. This means that your cold brew offers the versatility of having either a hot or a cold coffee as well as potentially longer-term storage. It can also be served with or without milk. The long shelf life in the fridge means that your fresh coffee beans will reach their fullest potential for yield.
Is it the same as iced coffee?
No, definitely not. Iced coffee is coffee that has been made hot and then chilled, quite often watered down with ice cubes. Cold brew on the other hand has been made over a longer period of time. Iced coffee is the same taste as hot coffee, only watered down. Cold brew coffee is a taste explosion with low acidity and greater caffeine content.
The Health Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
There are many rumours about cold brew being better for you. There are suggested health benefits of cold brew coffee, on top of the benefits you can already enjoy from any other cup of joe.
Caffeine is a compound that helps boost metabolism. Many people notice that drinking more coffee does aid in losing weight. This is important when it comes to cold brew since it has more caffeine. On top of the increased caffeine though, cold brew coffee is not as bitter. Less bitterness means that coffee drinkers who normally add sugar, milk, or cream to offset bitterness may not find the need with a glass of cold brew to start their day.
Not as Acidic
Cold brew compared to other coffee is not as acidic. Seeing as there is less acid than other coffee, the cold brew is less likely to offset the gut pH, meaning that the drinker is less likely to get an upset stomach or acid reflux. Less acidic coffee also has benefits for the teeth and other parts of the digestive tract.
Better for Heart Disease
Coffee is suggested to aid in fighting heart disease, although it’s best to exercise caution with the caffeine if you have high blood pressure. Cold brew coffee also has added benefit since it contains compounds that make it better for fighting heart disease including magnesium, many anti-oxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents.
Plus all those Benefits of Hot Coffee
Cold brew carries all the same benefits that researchers suggest can be found in any other cup of coffee, including lowering the risk of type two diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. It will also still lift your mood, and even simply provide the drinker with longer life.
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
Go to any coffee shop that has cold brew, and you will find a coffee that is sometimes more expensive than any espresso. Why is it so expensive you may ask? This is because it’s amazing, it’s worth it, and it takes twelve hours to make. Follow the instructions below to enjoy a cold brew at home.
Beans and Grind
As always, be sure to select beans that are conducive to the coffee that you are trying to make. Many would prefer a lighter roast with this coffee, to take full advantage of the flavour within the bean and that higher caffeine content. This method also calls for a coarser grind. You can always check with your preferred coffee roaster on what their preference in cold brew bean is.
There are many cold brew coffee making appliances available if you would like to experiment with different methods. In order to take full advantage of what the bean delivers, there is the option for cold drip makers or even specialised pots. However, you can start simple with (ideally filtered) water and a method of straining the water from the brew.
Finally, you need to cold brew. Combine the cold water with the beans and let it steep for at least 12 hours. You can go slightly shorter, or much longer. 16 or even 24 hour cold brews can be made. When finished, strain the liquid into a container of choice and chill.
You can have the cold brew straight away over some ice. You can also serve it with milk or cream, but you will likely find that you need nothing to sweeten it. It’s pretty amazing to drink straight black!
Cold Brew – It’s Worth It
Many, many good things are worth the wait. Your cup of cold brew is no different. Steep your beans late in the afternoon for your cold brew to be ready early the next morning. It could even save you some time in your coffee making routine. Cold brew tastes great and it’s healthy for you. Very seldom are things found that taste nice and have health benefits, it just so happens that this one must be made over a 12 hour period.