In contrast, cold brew coffee takes a considerable amount of time to prepare because it uses time, not heat, to extract all the caffeinated goodness from the coffee grounds. The ground must be steep for at least 12 hours and sometimes up to 24 hours.
Because it's made without heat, cold brew captures understated flavors, resulting in a more complex but richer flavor than iced coffee. It usually has a smooth mouthfeel and almost chocolate taste without bright notes of sourness.
Cold brew coffee, as the name suggests, is the process of steeping coffee grounds at room temperature or cold water for an extended period of time. The result of this process is very different from what you would get by simply adding ice to hot brewed coffee. The lack of calories prevents many of the solubles in coffee from fully dissolving, resulting in coffee with lower acidity, higher smoothness, more sweetness, and often little or no bitterness. Longer brew times and higher coffee-to-water ratios are necessary to allow the water more time to extract these solubles from the coffee grounds.
HOW TO COLD BREW
1. Find a suitable container to brew your coffee. We recommend cold brew on the go, but anything from French press to iced teapots will do!
2. Choose a coffee you love!
3. Begin with fresh coffee grounds and filtered water.
- Coffee should be ground in the coarsest setting.
- You will need a 1:8 coffee to water ratio. (For example, to make a quart, use 4 ounces of coffee to 32 ounces of water.)
4. Put the ground coffee in the container.
- Cold Brew on the Go already has a filter assembly that you can put coffee grounds in. If you don't have a filter, don't worry - we'll get to it later - just pour the coffee grounds directly into the bottom of your favorite brewer.
5. Pour pre-measured room temperature or cooler water on the ground.
6. Cover and steep in the refrigerator for 12-18 hours, remember that the longer you brew, the stronger the coffee.
7. After the preferred steeping time, remove the filter and discard the coffee grounds. If you use a brewing container without a filter system, you will need to filter out the coffee grounds. A coffee filter for regular brew coffee works great!
8. Hooray, your cold brew is ready! Be careful though, this coffee has 2-3 times more caffeine than regular coffee.
- Grind the coffee as coarsely as possible, it should look like breadcrumbs.
- If the grind is too fine, the coffee will be over-extracted and produce a rough, cloudy coffee with a bad taste.
- The final product of cold brew coffee can be considered an "extract" and diluted to have more of the flavor and caffeine content of regular brew coffee.
Naturally processed coffee adds a wonderful sweetness to your cold brew, just like added sugar.