Like us, we’re sure that you’re starting to feel that Bermuda warmth setting in. So, in preparation for the summer, we want to give you a practical guide to avoiding those steaming hot cups of coffee, but still get the delicious flavours of coffee and the caffeine hit we all know and love. Let’s look at cold brew!
What is cold brew?
Well, as the name suggests, cold brew is coffee which has been steeped in cold water, in the refrigerator for 16-24hrs, strained and enjoyed served over ice. This style of brewing was originally invented by the Japanese in the 1600’s for tea. However, at some point in time, the Dutch discovered this style of brewing and used it to avoid fire on their wooden ships, while still being able to enjoy a delicious coffee hit! Cold brew has been a hit since then and there have been many innovations around cold brewing to make the process easier, better or the coffee tastier when cold brewed. We can thank the big coffee companies, like Blue Bottle, Dunkin’ or Starbucks for making it even more accessible to the wider public.
Does cold brewing change the flavours?
Yes! There are two elements which influence the taste of a cold brew coffee. When we brew with hot water, we unlock the flavours of the coffee much faster – hench the long steep time for cold brew. The downside is that steam from the hot water carries some of the flavour away. So, when we cold brew, we get to keep those flavours in our coffee. Additionally, we don’t extract as much of the bitterness so commonly associated with coffee. Similarly, when we drink a hot coffee, the steam carries those same aromatic compounds to the olfactory, in our nose. This is where we “taste” almost everything, not the tongue. So, when we drink a cold brew, we lose that effect, and we get a more muted flavour profile. It sounds bad, why would we want a muted flavour profile? Well, a muted flavour profile can reveal more than you think. The base notes of the coffee are emphasised over the subtleties and the richer, deeper flavours are not overshadowed. Cold brew allows you to approach tasting a coffee from a different angle and maybe experience something you never experienced from a hot coffee of the same type.
What’s even better is that cold brew is not difficult to make, so here’s a guide to brewing your own cold brew.
How to cold brew
What you'll need
- 120g/4.2oz/1 cup of your favourite coffee.
- 1000g/35oz/4 cups of water
- Coffee grinder
- Cheesecloth/fine strainer
- Coarsely grind the coffee
- Combine the coffee and the water
- Steep overnight – preferably 24hrs.
- Strain the coffee
- Store in the refrigerator for up to a week
It's that simple!