Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

Two very different types of coffee, both delicious. However, cold brew is superior. 

The difference is science, I guess. Regular ice coffee is just hot coffee poured over ice, maybe with an hour of refrigeration thrown in. But this method tends to result in a watery drink. And the ice cubes tend to either melt or wither into weak little ice balls. 

Cold brew is literally brewing coffee in a cold environment. The cold brew creates a smooth, highly concentrated liquid that tastes better – in my opinion – than hot brewed coffee. I think it’s because you don’t burn the grinds. It’s a low-labor process, but takes time. It’s well worth it. 

Here’s how to make cold brew coffee: 

1) Fill your French press with cold water and the amount of coffee you normally use. Make sure the coffee is coarse grind – it should be, anyway, if you’re using a press. (If you don’t have a press, get one; presses are the best option for those who don’t like the causticity of auto-drip coffee, but also don’t want to toy with a double-induction inverted vacuum beaker, or whatever it is coffee nerds use.)

2) Put it in the refrigerator, leaving the press/lid part off. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent refrigerator smells from getting in. 

3) Wait 12 to 24 hours

4) Check the brew. It should be opaque, but don’t fret if it’s not. If it looks good, pop on the press and emulsify the coffee and water as if you were making a batch of hot coffee. 

5) This step is optional, but you might want to strain the cold brew through a paper filter. I do this because my press is old does not filter out all the grinds. 

For whatever reason – something to do with science – cold brew coffee is stronger than hot brew, so you don’t need as much. It’s great for plain-old ice coffee, or for making fancy coffee frappe drinks. You can even mix it with a little vodka to make perky coffee liquor. Enjoy!
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