Cold Brew Coffee

Brewing Cold: The Basics of Cold Brewed Coffee

A quick Google search will turn up literally pages of recipes for “Cold Brew”, coffee that is brewed using room temperature water over several hours or longer. Since this method has become popular in recent years, it bears inclusion in our discussion of coffee “how tos”.

Question: Why?

Answer:  Coffee geeks generally scoff at taking hot coffee and throwing ice into it to create cold coffee because it becomes unacceptably diluted in the process. Be warned: Once you try actual cold brew, you will never consider this approach again. Cold brew is smooth, not bitter, and supremely intense in flavor. It’s a different animal than hot brewed coffee.

Here’s how to make cold brew coffee:

1. Choose the coffee that is compatible with the planned use. If you are planning on serving cold brew/iced coffee as an accompaniment to a chocolate dessert, choose a coffee with a complementary roast and taste profile, in this case, a nice spicy Guatemalan with a chocolaty bottom. If you plan to include fruit in the dessert, chose a coffee with those fruity notes. For example, I paired an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dry process coffee with strong strawberry and blueberry notes with a blueberry cobbler. Divine!

2. Let the others discuss how to avoid bitterness. You used a high-quality NanoRoast coffee, so it won’t be bitter. Check that box.

3. Grind your chosen beans about medium to medium-fine. For 2 cups of room temperature water, use 1 cup of grounds.

4. Place the water and grounds in a glass container (I used my french press.) Stir and cover. If you put the press lid on top, please keep the plunger screen above the water and grounds till it’s done.

5. Wait. A long time. Like 12-24 hours. Push the plunger down and decant the brew into a clean bottle, carafe, or other vessel with a tight-fitting lid.  Store in the fridge for up to two weeks if it lasts that long.

6. Serve. Pour your cold brew over ice or serve straight in espresso cups. It’s summer: It’s permissible to add milk, sugar, syrups, or anything else you like to maximize your sipping enjoyment. However, you should try it once without all the amendments. It will knock your socks off.

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