Cold brew coffee is made by slowly steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in room temperature water for at least six hours (it can be as much as up to 24, but it depends on how strong you want your cold brew it to be, many choose to do it overnight). When the beans are steeped like this it creates a strong coffee concentrate that just needs to be mixed with water and milk to taste.
As the grounds aren’t exposed to hot temperatures, cold brew coffee has a more flavourful, sweeter and less bitter and acidic taste. In a recent study, cold brew coffee was found to be between 50 – 67% less acidic than the average cup of coffee.
It’s a common misbelief that cold brew has to be cold, in actual fact it can be served piping hot too! If you want it cold, simply add cold water, ice and milk (to taste) and for hot you just need to boil water or add hot milk (some will even pop it in the microwave if they’re in a rush).
The earliest version of cold brew was called ‘Kyoto’ and it dates back to Japan in the 1600s. It was an incredibly popular drink in the city, so much so that they eventually made cold brew coffee machines, and made a spectacle out of brewing the beverage in public places. There has been some argument of whether cold brew was invented in Japan, as many believe that it was introduced to the country by Dutch traders that developed the process in order to transport large quantities of strong coffee that could later be reheated or enjoyed cold. Interestingly, there’s been many documented accounts of cold brew coffee being used for war rations too, which makes sense, as the brewing method requires little equipment and requires far less coffee.
Due to the fact it’s a coffee concentrate, many think that cold brew has more caffeine content than the average cup. However, the reality is that because you dilute this concentrate, the caffeine level drops.
No, cold brew isn’t just a fancy name for iced coffee! The key difference between a cold brew and an iced coffee is the latter is brewed hot, then chilled by pouring it over ice, this results in a diluted coffee which many strong brew lovers don’t like.
This is very different from cold brew coffee which involves creating a concentrate by slowly steeping the coffee grounds at room temperature which can then be served hot or cold, depending on how you feel!