What is cold brew coffee?
Cold brew coffee, as the name implies, is a brew method that relies on cold (or room temperature) water to extract the flavorful sugars, oils, and minerals from coffee over a long period of time. “Immersion” style cold brew (as opposed to “slow drip” style) accomplishes this by saturating the coffee grinds in water for hours at a time, which will yield a cold brew “concentrate” to be diluted with water, mixed with milk/cream/sugar, or consumed by its lonesome (not for the faint of heart).
Cold brew has become especially popular in recent years. It’s cold extraction process will leave your brew with less than ⅓ the acidity of traditionally brewed hot coffee, making it smoother to the taste, easier on your stomach, better for your teeth, and granting it a longer shelf life (1-3 weeks, depending on conditions). Immersion coffee tends to yield a fuller bodied brew than “slow drip” and is best suited for accentuating a coffee’s chocolatey and nutty flavors.
What will you need to make cold brew coffee?
There are a huge number of different models available. They all work in the exact same way. A french press will work just as well as any dedicated cold brewer. Buy based on price and size if you want a designated cold brewer
Most brewer models are equipped with built in mesh filters. Buy paper filters to use after brewing if your brewer is not.
To yield a 1:1 concentrate, start with 1 cup (0.25 liters) of coffee and 4 cups (1 liter) of water. Adjust according to the size of your brewer and voracity of your appetite.
Filtered water is ideal
How do you make cold brew coffee?
Grind your coffee on a course setting and place it in the brewer
Pour the filtered water into the brewer. Stir if possible to ensure that the grinds are evenly saturated.
Let the coffee sit for 10 hours at room temperature or 12 hours in the refrigerator. If your coffee tastes too sour, let it sit for longer. If it tastes too bitter, stop the brew sooner.
If you will be storing coffee after it has brewed, be sure to remove the spent grinds so as not to taint the flavor of your coffee.
Dilute the coffee at a 1:1 ratio. Cold brew is ideally served chilled, but many choose to heat their cold brew before serving.
What kind of brewer is best for you?
I would recommend a coffee press to anyone looking to get into cold brew for the first time. Most models are large enough to make concentrate that will last at least a few days, its mesh filter does an excellent job separating the large grind from the brew, and you will save money/cabinet space with a brewer that makes both hot and cold brew coffee.
“Toddy” is a brand name that has become synonymous with cold brew itself, much like the names Kleenex and Frisbee. Their T2N model will yield an exceptionally smooth brew with easy cleanup and disposable paper filters. This model comes with a brewer, filters, and a decanter for storing your coffee after it has brewed.
Gator Coffee Cold Brewer
This is a quality, dedicated cold brewer with a design that is implemented by most cold brewer models. Its mesh filter makes for easy setup, fast cleanup, and a smooth cup of coffee, free of debris. This model in particular is built to last and has an air-tight seal which will keep your coffee fresh for longer.