Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard of a hot coffee trend called cold brew. (We do enjoy the puns!) You’ve likely seen various bottles in the refrigerated section of your local grocer or convenience store. But, do you know how easy it is to make your own at home? Not unlike tea, coffee has so much more to offer than just a hot drink to warm you on chilly mornings. Now, some of you die-hard coffee drinkers may be thinking that coffee is meant to be a hot drink, and any variation of that is just not real coffee. But hear me out.
While the origins of cold brew may be up for debate, there is no denying the dramatic rise in popularity in the last few years. Many different factors have contributed to its skyrocketing popularity: it speeds up the morning routine; there are potential health benefits; it can yield a smoother, sweeter coffee, winning over some non-coffee drinkers; and the brew method can allow for more undertones to shine. Some sources also claim that the cooler temperature of the water allows more of the caffeine to remain in cold brew.
First thing’s first, though. What exactly is cold brew? It’s not just coffee poured over ice. There are a few variations. You know coffee nerds can’t leave well enough alone, but this is the basic method most people use. The coffee is “brewed” using room temperature, filtered water to steep very coarse coffee grounds for 12-24 hours. This concentrate is then strained and refrigerated, and can be enjoyed, ideally, for up to a week.
Because no heat is used to expedite the extraction process, the flavor is gently coaxed from the grinds. Heat is the element that brings out the acidity of coffee, so cold brew is blessedly lacking that attribute. The result is a coffee that is smoother, sweeter, rounder, and reportedly easier on sensitive stomachs. Many a customer has confided to us that they had never been “a coffee person” until they had their first sip of cold brew. They attribute these characteristics to their conversion.
Coffee nerds, on the other hand, claim that the extraction process allows more innate characteristics to come forward, that a coffee brewed via traditional methods may taste almost completely different than that same coffee brewed via cold brew method. Our very own cold brew enthusiast, Ian weighed in on this note:
"The use of cool water equals a bit of a malty flavor and a cleaner, lighter body, but takes more time to extract. Whereas room temperature water produces a cup that is brighter in flavor, has more body, and is brewed in less time."
Whichever camp you’re in, cold brew is a convenient, efficient, and super tasty way to enjoy coffee, especially in Texas during summer! There is almost no end to any number of cold brew systems on the market, but really, nothing fancy is needed to craft your own cold brew at home. All you need is a vessel in which to steep the coffee, a way to strain the coffee, and a final vessel to hold the coffee. It really is that easy.
Give these coffees a try when you come to visit us. We’ll even grind it properly for the best extraction!
- BALI NOIR—2/3 Bali, 1/3 Midnight Kiss Natural French
- NEOPOLITAN—1/2 Brazil Chapada LTD, 1/4 Kenya Peaberry or Kenya AA, 1/4 New Guinea Peaberry
- ALL THE BERRIES— 1/4 Brazil Chapada LTD, 1/4 Bali, 1/4 Ethiopia Harrar, 1/4 Ethiopia Gedeb LTD
Of course, you can also get some great cold brew with any of our decafs or flavored coffees as well!