Cold Brew Coffee has grown in popularity over the years as consumers explore different types of brewing methods to satisfy their tastes. There are number of cold brew methods including press and nitro infused. However, I’m going to look at the traditional method today.
We will have a look at a few things today including, cold brew coffee ratio, best grind for cold brew coffee and preferred coffee beans for cold brew.
What’s with Cold Brew Coffee?
Most customers have all had coffee brewed with hot water. Whether its espresso, Stovetop, percolator or french press (also known as plunger coffee). However, many keep asking me, what’s the big deal with cold brew coffee? Do you heat it up? Do you add milk? The questions keep coming.
In short, the cold brew method is another brewing method that uses cold water only, which brings out different characteristics of the coffee. Because the coffee has a longer brewing time and is using cold water, it brings out a lighter, fresh mouth feel and is quite refreshing, especially in the summer months. Typically, people drink it straight out of the bottle or poured over ice. Some prefer to add a splash of cold milk to it, just to take the edge off.
How to brew cold brew coffee.
Firstly we need to establish what type of grind we use for cold brew. Ideally, it is the same grind consistency you would find for a drip filter coffee, which is in between espresso and plunger coffee. The picture here shows it to give you more of an idea.
The ratio of the coffee grind to water is another important matter. Usually this is to taste, however you need to ensure that you do not exceed the water ratio too much as it will take away from the essence of the brew. Typically, in my business I am using 80 grams of coffee to 600ml of water. Some of this water will remain in the grind upon the completion of the brewing process, so you will probably end up with around 570ml.
There are different types of cold brew makers out in the market, but the one you see pictured here is the one I use in store. They all do the same thing, some just look a little more fancy than others! Basically though the water sits in a vessel on the top, the grind sits in another vessel under it and the water passes through over a 5-hour period to the last vessel on the bottom.
With regard to the vessel holding the grind, typically there is a metal filter at the bottom of the vessel. The grind is then poured on top. We then gently, rest a heavy tamper on top just to level it out and ensure it is packed not too tight but also ensuring there are no major air-holes. Once this is done, we add a paper filter on top. The paper filter aids the water to pass through the entire vessel holding the grind, rather than just making a bee-line for the bottom.
Most cold brew makers have a valve on the vessel holding the water. This gives the ability to speed up or slow down the drips.
All you need to do now is let gravity do its work and just keep an eye on the vessel holding the coffee grind to ensure the water does not overflow.
What are the best coffee beans for cold brew?
Although I love a portion of Robusta in my espresso blends, from the experiments I have conducted in brewing units, the best blends to use are 100% Arabica. I typically go for blends that have Guatemalan and Colombian in them as they are quite smooth whilst being full-bodied.
If you wish to brew Single Origin coffees, I again would use if for the first time a Guatemalan or Colombian and then try different ones from there. Another great Single Origin to use in cold brew coffee are Hawaiian beans as they are exceptionally smooth and not over powering. For those that like the real exotics with lots of fruits and great acidity, you would be leaning towards a Costa Rican, PNG or Kenyan AA.
Brewing it at Home?
You don’t have to be a Barista to enjoy making and drinking cold brew coffee. There are many affordable cold brew coffee makers out on the market. Probably the most popular one is the Toddy Cold Brew System. Comes complete with all you require (other than your favourite coffee!) as well as instructions.
Enjoy it anyway you like!
Coffee like wine is very subjective. Ideally is comes down to personal taste. So experiment in the making and consumption of your cold brew. Whether you have it black, on ice, with a splash of milk or even in a recipe in cooking, the versatility of cold brew coffee is endless.