Brew Great Tasting Cold And Iced Coffee
When the temperature starts to rise outside the last thing you want to do is swallow or even hold a hot caffeinated beverage, and this means you are probably picking a cold cup of coffee to get you going in the morning or as a much needed pick-me-up in the late afternoon. Over the last several years you’ve probably noticed the growing popularity of cold brewed coffee, even more so than iced, along with the fact that it often costs nearly twice as much. While you try to decide if you want to be thrifty and simply choose a cup of iced java, you are also probably wondering why cold brew coffee costs so much.
The main difference is the taste, which is less watered down. Great tasting chilled coffee accomplishes this by being brewed with cold instead of hot water. There is a little more to the process, but with the following tips you will be able to make iced and cold brew coffee at home so you can still enjoy this popular summer beverage without having to pay the expensive price.
To create the cold brew you first steep medium to coarse ground coffee for 12 hours in room temperature water, filtering out any grounds afterwards. It is important that the grounds are never exposed to heat or the flavor can be ruined. Instead of using heat to extract the sugar, oils and caffeine the cold brew process simply requires time. As for iced coffee it is brewed the same as a hot cup, only allowed to cool down so it can be poured over ice without causing it to melt.
It should be noted that simply pouring old coffee over ice will not give you a great tasting cup of Joe. Previously brewed coffee that has been allowed to sit will oxidize. This is what makes the flavor bitter and flat, and to most people unpalatable.
If you are really serious about making a great tasting cup of iced coffee, most baristas recommend following the Japanese method. This involves brewing coffee that will slowly drip onto the ice cubes, which instantly cools the brew. This method will preserve most of the coffee’s rich and robust flavor, along with its acidity and pleasant aroma. It can also be more cost-effective than purchasing a cup of the iced beverage at a local coffee shop, even though the Japanese method does require you to use about 10 percent of the brew than if you were simply drinking it hot. The drip process slowly cools the coffee which results in less ice melting so you won’t have to drink a cup of watery coffee.
Cold brew coffee does require you to plan ahead, and it is a long, slow process that can take up to 24 hours. The final result is a smooth rich flavor with very little acidity, which is good news to coffee lovers with sensitive stomachs. The only downside is that cold brew can leave the coffee tasting a little flat, unlike iced beverages which typically retain a robust flavor. The advantage to this method is that unlike iced coffee which requires you to set up a drip system, the cold brew doesn’t really need any work other than straining when it has finished steeping.