Renowned for its smooth, clean flavour, cold brew coffee is growing exponentially in worldwide popularity. Changing consumer demands have opened up growth opportunities for the cold brew market. The drink’s availability at big-name coffee houses, including Starbucks, has introduced it to millions of converts.
But what exactly is cold brew coffee, what’s so good about it, and how can you ensure you’ve got the right equipment to do it justice?
Time to concentrate
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in water which is at room temperature. The mixture is left to its own devices for anything up to 24 hours before the resulting concentrate is blended with cold water or milk to produce a delicious, unique drink.
And that’s the essential difference between cold brew and the drink with which it is often confused – iced coffee. Cold-brew uses cold water to make a cold drink, whereas iced coffee is brewed with hot water and then cooled down.
The cold brew process results in a vastly different drink. Coffee grounds go through different chemical processes depending on the heat applied to them. Cold-brew is renowned for its sweet, smooth taste as some of the bitter compounds released by hot water are contained. Most drinkers find they need to add less sugar to it, which is handy if you’re watching your calories.
No burn, no waste
Cold brew coffee is noticeably less acidic than hot brewed coffee. Most people are familiar with some of hot coffee’s less pleasant side effects, such as heartburn or the occasional grumbly tummy. But cold brew is much more in tune with your body’s pH levels and mitigates these problems.
Your concentrate can stay in the fridge for up to two weeks, so you can make up a batch and use enough for one cup at a time. This means no stale coffee hanging around or going to waste, and you can make your brew as strong or as weak as you like.
And there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying cold brew coffee piping hot! Just boil water and stir in your cold brew concentrate and milk. Or pop it in the microwave, whatever’s easiest.
Let’s brew it!
To make the perfect cold brew, your most important ingredient is some coarsely ground coffee beans. If you fancy grinding your own coffee beans, here at Coffee Hit, we have a huge range of grinders for you to choose from, hand or electric. Filtered water is best to guarantee optimal flavour, and a large glass jar is perfect for storage in the fridge.
A great place to start on the cold brew journey is the Toddy Home Cold Brew System. The beauty of the Toddy is just how simple it makes things for you. The perfect cuppa is just a few simple steps away:
Take some coarsely ground coffee beans and filtered water. The Toddy brewing container is designed to hold 340g of coffee and 1600ml of water.
Insert the stopper into the outside bottom of the brewing container. Then dampen the filter and insert it into the inside bottom of the brewing container.
Next, add 200ml of water into the bottom of the Toddy brewing container and 170g of ground coffee. Slowly pour 700ml more of water over the grounds. Then, add the remaining 170g of ground coffee. Finally, wait five minutes and slowly add the last 700ml of water.
Steep your grounds for 12 to 18 hours to create a smooth, rich flavour.
We recommend starting with a ratio of one part coffee concentrate to two to three parts water, milk or non-dairy milk. Enjoy hot or cold!
Cold Brew recipes
Besides having an iced coffee or using your cold brew in a warm cuppa, one of our favourite ways to use it is in a Cold Brew Soda.
Here’s what you need for a bubbly and refreshing alternative:
2oz Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
8oz Soda Water
1oz Flavoured Syrup ( Alternative – crushed mint leaves