Why You Should Be Drinking Cold Brew Coffee This Summer
If you love iced coffee and crave that “cool me down, pick me up “ experience in the summer heat, I’m going to suggest that this is the summer you play with Cold Brew. Now, we all know that Cold Brew coffee has become somewhat of a phenomenon in these last few years, but there is good reason for it.
So, let’s look at some of the benefits of cold brew, and then I’d like to share a couple of ways to make it.
Cold Brew Basics
Cold Brew coffee uses no heat to extract the flavors from the beans. In place of heat, it uses time, typically 12-24 hours. This means that different compounds are extracted, fewer oils are extracted, and the coffee comes out less bitter, less acidic, and very smooth.
Cold Brews are often made as extracts (high concentration) and diluted to the desired flavor. Depending on your dilution ratio, cold brews can have more caffeine than regular coffee.
There is an increasing amount of data showing that caffeine improves mood, metabolism, and performance in many ways. My always advice though, is to know your body and how it reacts to caffeine. It is different for every person.
Although I haven’t seen 100% convincing data, many people report that cold brew is easier on their stomach, and doesn’t trigger acid reflux in the way that hot coffee can.
Cold Brew can be prepared well in advance and used slowly over a week or so. That is convenient for guests and having that refreshing beverage in the fridge anytime makes life simple. Prep time is about the same as making a cup of coffee and this summer, by changing up your normal coffee routine, you are setting yourself up for some great discoveries.
What Type of Coffee Should I use for my Cold Brew?
If you are expecting your cold brew to taste like your regular hot coffee (when using your favorite coffee) you may be disappointed.
The reason is that the cold extraction method is going to pull out different flavor compounds. As we have said many times, coffee is complex and has over 1,500 individual compounds.
What this means is that some of the flavor notes you may be used to won’t extract and other flavor notes will become more apparent. Typically, we view cold brews as softer, more subtle, and very smooth. So please look at it as a way to enjoy your coffee in a different light.
Also, because cold brews are usually made in high concentrations, you have the option to dilute with cold water, dilute over ice, or dilute with cream and or other flavorings.
Personally, while I am a light roast nuanced coffee kind of guy, I prefer my cold brews in the darker roasts. For example, our Jeni K Dark Roast makes a phenomenal cup of coffee. Also, I am not a flavored coffee drinker (with no offense to those that are), but we did some experiments here on the farm and our Chocolate Mac Nut coffee as a cold brew was really good. Everyone who tried it said so.
In the end, it will come down to your personal preference and how you intend to drink the coffee, but I feel the darker roasts will give you more satisfaction in the cup in cold brew form.
How to Make your Cold Brew
I’d like to share with you two ways to make cold brew and I am interested to see in the comments what type of results you have.
Method I – the most common way to make a cold brew coffee
- – Prepare 32 ounces of quality filtered water (907 grams)
- – Prepare 113 grams of coarsely ground coffee (like bread crumbs)
- – Place grounds in a large pitcher or large French press container (or a large Tupperware container or whatever you have) and add the water. No need to stir.
- – Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 18 hours.
- – Pour this brew through a paper filter into another vessel and voila! You have your cold brew concentrate.
- – Taste it. Try it on ice. Try it with milk. Dilute it with ice water and see where it tastes the best for you.
*Note, cold brew concentrates are high in caffeine from the long soak so please consider this when drinking.
- – Place 2 cups of coarsely ground coffee grinds in a larger pitcher
- – Add 8 cups of cold quality filtered water
- – Place in the fridge for 12-15 hours
- – Make a pot of drip coffee and put it in an ice tray then freeze
- – Filter your cold brew and dilute with cold water to taste
- – When serving, serve over coffee ice cubes with a splash of cream. Delicious.
If you have another method or variation that you would like to share with us, please leave it in the comments below.
For more information also see our previous blog “A Summer of Iced Coffee.”
Wishing you an amazing summer!
Matt Carter is a retired teacher (1989-2018), part-time musician, farmer, and currently manages Greenwell Farm’s Tour and Retail Store Operations.