Cold brew coffee: What is it and why you should try it

Cold brew coffee: What is it and why you should try it


With the rise of popularity in coffee, the world has also seen a rise in the variety of brewing methods. Traditionally, all of these methods rely on hot water: When the coffee is exposed to elevated temperatures, it releases all of its flavor, aroma, and -maybe most importantly- caffeine. Cold coffee was, for decades, equal to bad coffee.


But then came the rediscovery of cold brew coffee. For centuries, the practice of brewing coffee with cool or room temperature water was present in Asia, and was first documented in Japan. This meant a great deal of patience that wasn’t much for all those familiar with Zen Buddhism, but the western world never had the patience.


Thanks to the discovery of refrigeration technology, we came to love cold and iced drinks. And coffee was not to be left out of this new trend.


How does cold brew work?

Since cold brew doesn’t use hot water, then, how exactly does it work?


You might be surprised to hear that not using hot water is in fact a great advantage. The heat precipitates certain chemical changes in coffee, which are undoubtedly the cause of most of the aroma of coffee. While cold brew coffee might not have the same aroma, it has a very unique flavor.


Furthermore, by taking high temperatures out of the equation, we avoid bitterness and sourness: There is no risk of over extracting the coffee. Making good quality coffee using the cold brew method is much easier, since there are less variables.


Here’s a short guide on how to make cold brew coffee at home:


What you’ll need:

  • 80 grams of coarse grind coffee

  • 800 ml of room temperature water

  • A cloth or paper filter

  • A sieve or colander

  • Two pitchers


How to make:

  1. In a pitcher, pour ground coffee and water.

  2. Stirr very gently with a spoon or a spatula. Make sure all grounds have been thoroughly wetted.

  3. Close the lid on the pitcher and transfer to the fridge.

  4. Let steep for a minimum of twelve hours, preferably up to 16 hours.

  5. Take out.

  6. Place sieve on top of a second, empty pitcher.

  7. Place paper filter on top of the sieve.

  8. Pour the coffee so that it goes through the filter, sieve, then into the pitcher.

  9. Add sweetener and serve. Ice should be added to each glass individually to avoid watering down the coffee.


As you can see, making cold brew at home is not as difficult as you might think. Of course, these materials are far from being ideal and there are many other inventions that have improved on this century-old method of making cold brew, such as the Asobu Cold Brew Coffee Maker.


Difference between cold brew and iced coffee

Apparently, Japan loves cold coffee. They love it so much that not only can they boast of being the first ones to make cold brew coffee, but they are also the ones who came up with what is now the most popular way to make iced coffee.


However alike these two may sound, the difference is quite big: cold brew is, as we pointed out, coffee that is steeped in cold water for long periods of time.

Iced coffee, on the contrary, is brewed normally with hot water: It is placed on top of a glass or a decanter full of ice, so that it cools down instantly after extraction. But because the way of extracting flavor is different, these two coffees are fundamentally different.



Benefits of cold brew coffee

The reasons for drinking cold coffee are not only a matter of personal preference. Thanks to science, we now know that cold brew coffee has some advantages over hot coffee. Here are some of the most important ones:


  • Cold brew coffee is easier on your stomach. It is no mystery that coffee is an acidic drink, and those who suffer from stomach-related conditions should moderate their intake. Cold brew is slightly less acidic than regular coffee; That combined with the fact that you don’t have to drink it hot makes it the perfect drink for those who suffer from gastritis, acid reflux, and so on.

  • It’s healthier for your heart. The coffee bean holds many oils within. While some of these oils are benign, it does contain some that have been found to increase the risk of heart disease, among others. Brewing coffee at room temperature prevents these oils from leaving the bean, therefore never making their way into your coffee cup.

  • Aids weight loss. Studies have shown that caffeine alone can help you lose weight if taken regularly and moderately. Cold brew is a great way to consume caffeine, since it contains slightly more caffeine than regular coffee and can be consumed on the go without fearing it going cold and losing flavor, since cold brew coffee tastes great both cold and at room temperature.


Yet cold brew’s biggest advantage is the fact that you can brew huge quantities of coffee in one sitting without fearing over extracting and ending up with coffee that is either too bitter or too watery. As long as you stick to the proper coffee-to-water ratio, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious, sweet, cold cup of coffee.



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