For many people, coffee is a God-given drink. It wakes you up in the morning and lets you handle your workload painlessly for the whole day. Coffee has the power to energize you by putting hard tasks first and completing all to-do lists with grace.
The truth is most coffee drinkers are satisfied enough with a casual cup of coffee that they can make at home in their coffee makers. But, if you want to level up your coffee recipes and attempt something better, you need no hesitant to try "Cold Brew Coffee."
What Exactly Is Cold Brew Coffee?
If you haven't kept up with the latest coffee trend, you might question what cold brew coffee is. Many assume it is the same as iced coffee, but in fact, it is completely different!
Typically, iced coffee is made from hot filtered coffee cooled down and then poured over ice. Meanwhile to make cold brew coffee, you don't need hot water. Just steep your favorite ground coffee in room-temperature water, leave it for up to 24 hours, then filter out the ground.
Brewing coffee with this method, you will receive a perfect cup of joe full of robust sensation, smooth flavor, and less acidity. This particular drink is perfectly fine for all coffee enthusiasts.
What Type Of Beans To Use For Cold Brew?
People favor beans for the cold brew method differently. But sometimes, their good-to-go beans may not be the best fit to make cold brew. So, once you get to know the origins of the beans, you will get a more palatable coffee extraction.
For some reason, choosing the right beans can be complicated if you don't know the basics. Here are the main criteria worth considering:
- Types of beans
- Growing environment
- Bean picking process
- Roasted levels
- Coffee beans storage
How to Choose Roast Type For Cold Brew?
Besides the background of the beans, you should go for the right roast level. In fact, it really depends on individual inclination. There is no perfect roast type to make cold brew coffee, and you can pick light roast, medium roast, or dark roast as you wish.
Many drinkers, however, prefer dark roasts, and apparently, it makes sense. The reason is dark roast coffee tends to be bitter, bolder, and richer in flavors. Some taste nutty, chocolaty, earthy, or maybe a bit syrupy, and this is how it plays a prominent role.
Another reason is dark roasts are more likely affordable compared to other roasts.
More importantly, if you choose lighter roast, you will need more time for extraction to get the most desirable essence.
How To Select Ground Coffee For Cold Brew?
Using the most delicate beans and roast types might not guarantee that you will receive the most delicious coffee from cold brewing. In other words, If the grind size isn't prudent, you can't experience the coffee savor at its finest. No wonder it is imperative to pay attention to coffee grind size.
Long story short, coarsely ground coffee should be your most optimal selection. When rubbing it with your fingers, this grind size appears like beach sand. The water can saturate the surface of the beans easily with these coarse grounds, allowing full extraction and producing the sweetest taste buds for all drinkers.
In reality, if you use fine ground coffee, it will be too dense to dilute the water, which could overly affect the extraction, making the coffee taste a lot unpleasant.
But what about the freshness of coffee?
In cold brew, you can use the beans that last more than a few weeks, and the coffee still tastes rich, sweet, and fresh. That's because the cold brew method technically won't extract all the aromatics. No matter how fresh the coffee is, the aromatic level is more or less the same.
Should You Buy Pre-Ground Or Grind Your Coffee Beans?
Over time, coffee brewing techniques have evolved dramatically. This is for the sake of drinkers' ongoing demand to enjoy the most pleasurable drinks available.
At the same time, the idea of buying pre-ground or grinding your own coffee beans is all about getting the best taste of coffee. Still, these two options have their own pros and cons. To debate whether pre-ground or grinding your own is better, let's look at the findings below.
The Advantage of Pre-Ground Coffee
Pre-ground coffee is well-known for its greatest accessibility, and it is the top choice for drinkers who don't want to play around with grinders. With pre-ground coffee, you just need your coffee maker ready, get the ground coffee in, let the machine operate, and there you have it.
Besides, you can purchase a large amount of ground coffee and then have it whenever you need it. But if you want to get the maximum aftertaste from your beans, you may buy only a required amount of ground coffee.
The Disadvantage Of Pre-Ground Coffee
Ground coffee, as convenient as it is, has several disadvantages. One of the most substantial drawback is that you will not receive the freshest coffee. Did you know that when the beans are processed, they lose around 60% of their scent in just 15 minutes?
Meanwhile, coffee beans' oils are very reactive; they may absorb scents from the environment, which isn't always good for brewing.
Another factor to consider when using pre-ground coffee is moisture. Coffee oils are water-soluble, which is a plus for preparing coffee. But, if moisture interacts with the air where the coffee is stored, it will rapidly reduce those precious oils from the coffee.
The Advantage of Grinding Your Own Beans
In terms of flavor, grinding your own coffee will offer you the best sensation ever, especially when you set up the right grinders. The right grinders will produce consistent and even grind size, allowing you to extract the most delicious hint from your beans.
A burr grinder or a mill grinder is the ultimate solution for grinding, and they will give you consistent results every time - blade grinders will leave you with uneven grinds that aren't ideal for coffee brewing.
In addition, ensure that the grinder you purchase allows you to select the grind size option. Ground coffee for cold brew should be medium to coarse, and a fine grind will extract too much oil, resulting in a bitter and stronger taste. But, if the ground coffee is too coarse, your coffee will be under extract and tastes weak as well.
The Disadvantage Of Grinding Your Own Coffee
The sad part of grinding your coffee is it is costly. That's because whole beans are more expensive than ground coffee. Also, retailers won't be able to conceal poor-quality beans.
Moreover, it would help if you consumed the beans as soon as possible. Freshly roasted beans have a maximum shelf life of two to three weeks only, and to get the maximum flavor, you must consume it within that time frame.
What's more, grinding your own beans isn't a smart idea as it could be messy and time-consuming. Not only must you clean the grinder after grinding your coffee, but you can only grind a little amount at a time. You don't want to grind your coffee for the entire week; instead, you want to grind it as needed so that the tastes and smells are at their best.
So, Which Is The Best Coffee?
Simply put, it is up to you whether you want to make your cold brew coffee from pre-ground or grind your coffee. That being said, if you value convenience, the pre-ground may be the ideal option for you.
After all, if preparing cold brew coffee isn't a fast procedure in the first place, why not take it a step further and grind your beans for the best flavor?
Best Recommendation For Cold Brew Coffee
Take these recommendations if you want the finest cold brew coffee:
- Use coarsely ground coffee. If you haven't reached the taste, you desire, gradually improve your grinding techniques until you get the flavor you opt for.
- Stick to filtered water. It will give you a fresher flavor compared to tap water.
- Reserve at least 12 hours for the grounds to steep. Normally, the coarser the ground is, the longer it will take to steep the coffee. Some people believe that if you steep the ground for too long, it will become bitter. Hence, you may modify the duration as needed depending on the grind size.
- Preserve cold brew in the fridge. You can keep it up to 2 weeks after brewing.
- Turn cold brew coffee into iced coffee cubes for other coffee recipes. After long patience of making cold brew, never attempt to waste it.
5 Simple Steps To Make Cold Brew
After going through details of what cold brew coffee is, here is the most basic recipe to make authentic cold brew coffee:
- Grind the beans to a coarse size. Use 1 cup of beans on the highest grinding option.
- Place the ground coffee into a 4-cup of filtered coffee in a container, then cover with the lid.
- Patience is the key at this step. Leave the container for around 12 hours at room temperature. Actually, you can put it in the fridge, but it may produce weaker coffee.
- Strain the grounds to ensure that there is no sediment left in your coffee.
- Transfer coffee into a new container. Keep your coffee in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you'd like, you can mix your cold brew with milk or water before serving. By adding other ingredients, you can make the recipe a bit fancier.
The Bottom Line
Coffee connoisseurs are constantly on top of the coffee evolution. As such, cold brew coffee is one of the best coffee trends that doesn't make us groan with its bizarreness. The greatest part about this tendency is that you don't have to go to a fancy coffee shop to enjoy it. With your all-time favorite ground coffee and little patience, you can effortlessly make cold brew coffee at home. And if your life depends on coffee, cold brew is your excellent alternative.