The warmer months whet the appetite for cold coffee beverages. Iced coffee and cold brew both can provide a refreshing caffeinated drink. There is sometimes confusion between iced coffee and cold brew coffee. There is a difference between iced coffee and cold brew coffee.
Iced coffee is coffee that is brewed in the “normal” way, using hot water and then subsequently cooled with ice. It is typically served sweetened and possibly with other flavorings.
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping ground coffee beans in room temperature or colder water. As you might imagine, this requires a longer brew time (perhaps over-night or even longer) and results in a smoother taste.
Is cold brew healthier than ice coffee?
There is increasing evidence that coffee in general is good for your health as it includes beneficial antioxidants. Since cold brew coffee typically tastes smoother, it is more often consumed black—without potentially harmful sugar, etc.
However, there is some concern that cold brewing is less efficient at extracting antioxidants from coffee beans, which might provide a marginal health benefit to hot brewed coffees. But the differences are likely small.
Is cold brew stronger than regular coffee?
Does cold-brew coffee have more caffeine? Typically, cold brewed coffee is brewed with more coffee (vs. water) than hot brewed coffee, so you start with a stronger coffee drink. However, caffeine is water soluble, and hot water will generally be more efficient at extracting the caffeine. The amount of caffeine in your drink is dependent on how you brewed it, the amount of coffee used, and any dilution before consumption.
How long does cold-brew coffee last in the refrigerator?
Since typically cold brew coffee is concentrated, it may be readily stored for later use. Unlike hot brew coffee, cold brew coffee can last 10 to 15 days in the refrigerator.
Can I make cold brew using a French Press?
Here’s an easy recipe for great cold brew coffee made with a French Press:
- Put ground coffee into a French press and add room-temperature water.
- Place plunger lid on top and press the plunger down only 1-2 inches to fully submerge the coffee.
- Do not press the plunger all the way down.
- Let coffee steep at room temperature for 16 to 18 hours.
- Pour the coffee through a coffee filter and transfer to an airtight container in your refrigerator.
- Serve in a glass over ice with equal parts of milk or water.
Want to make coffeehouse cold brew at home?
Do you want the convenience of cold brew that tastes like it came from your favorite coffee house but only takes minutes to make rather than hours or days? You might consider:
Cuisinart DCB-10 Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker
This Cuisinart machine can produce delicious, smooth, and less acidic cold brew coffee in 25-45 minutes (depending on desired strength). A push of a button can cold-brew up to 7 cups of triple-filtered coffee with your choice of 3 strengths.
Traditional cold brewing methods take 12-48 hours to make delicious cold brew coffee. Now you can enjoy your triple-filtered, sediment-free coffeehouse cold brew in minutes.
The carafe can be used to store your cold brew coffee up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Clean-up is a breeze, as all removable parts are dishwasher safe.
Includes Limited 3-year warranty.
Note that this fine machine produces cold brew that is ready to drink but does not produce concentrate.
How to make bulk cold brew coffee?
- Start with the coffee-1 pound coarse grind.
- Place ground coffee in a 3-4-quart open container.
- Add 1 quart of water and stir enough to wet all the grounds. Then add another quart of water.
- Let steep for 24 hours.
- Strain into another container with a wire mesh filter and then filter again using a paper coffee filter.
Now you have about ½ gallon of cold brew concentrate.
You can adjust quantities to fit your needs.
Types of cold-brew coffee
Once you have your cold brew concentrate, what do you do with it? There are many options. Most commonly, the concentrate is either mixed with cold water or with milk in equal quantities. Mixing with milk makes for a richer drink, but it is enjoyable both ways.
- Some drinkers use the concentrate mixed with hot water to make a warm drink.
- Cold brew concentrate also can serve as the base for many other beverages.
- For example, New Orleans Style cold brew coffee calls for mixing ground chicory with the ground coffee for steeping. This beverage is finished by combining the coffee-chicory brew with generous quantities of milk and sweetener.
- You can also try a cold brew martini for a little extra kick.
Nitro cold brew?
Infusing cold brew coffee with nitrogen is a relatively recent invention. The nitrogen gas (“nitro”) introduces many very small bubbles into the coffee, which give it a smoother, less bitter taste and a smooth mouthfeel. The nitro gives the drink a foamy top.
Nitro cold brew has been around for about 10 years and really gained notoriety when Starbucks began offering it in 1500 stores in 2016.
There are now pre-made canned nitro beverages and home machine that allow infusion of nitrogen by the home cold-brew maker.
What do you need to make cold brew coffee?
Cold brew coffee is made with only three ingredients: coarsely ground coffee beans, cold or room temperature water, and time. You can make a better tasting cup of cold brew coffee at home quite easily following one of our recipes above. Of course, you will need to plan ahead because of the need to steep the coffee for at least 25 minutes with an automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker, and 12-24 hours without one, to extract the flavors.