Maybe the Cold Brew word won’t catch your eye, but it’s recently becoming a trend and gaining more and more followers among consumers. Cold Brew Coffee is how we call cold extraction, or what is the same: to prepare a coffee without hot water.
The Cold Brew technique allows us to enjoy authentic espresso coffee at room temperature, respecting the qualities and characteristics of this preparation. It has nothing to do with iced coffee. Nor is it a matter of making a regular espresso and then letting it cool (because in this way, the coffee loses its properties). It is our technique with exact steps.
What is Cold Brew? Well, it’s effortless: infuse the coffee cold. No heat is applied to the coffee at any time; that’s why it doesn’t require electric coffee makers to prepare it. But it allows it to infuse in cold water or at room temperature for long enough for the liquid to absorb the aromas, colours and flavours of the coffee itself.
What Is cold brew coffee like?
The Cold Brew arises as an alternative to the traditional coffee with ice. Trendy in summer, but with certain disadvantages opposite to the conventional preparation of the espresso (more acid flavour, the ice in the long run melts and water the coffee).
In this way, the cold brew coffee has a softer flavour and -they say- is more respectful of the original raw material that is used in the infusion. It happens because, during the process, the ground coffee releases far fewer oils and acids than if prepared with hot water.
It must be made clear that Cold Brew has nothing to do with traditional coffee. It is a different brewing technique, and therefore coffee tastes different. It can even be cooled or heated afterwards — everyone who drinks it as they wish. What defines Cold Brew is not the temperature at which the coffee is tasted, but it is infused with cold water.
Who invented the cold brew coffee?
This method of elaboration became popular in the United States (particularly in New York) during the year 2016, to the point that numerous companies elaborate and distribute this type of coffee commercially at present. However, Cold Brew coffee exists and has been consumed for a long time.
Most of these brands have a strong artisan character, although to make cold coffee, nothing better than to study the process and make it yourself at home. It is effortless, and the purity of the process is thus preserved (one of whose dogmas, as we have said, is maximum respect for the fundamental properties of the coffee).
How to prepare cold brew coffee?
If you want to know how to prepare coffee in the cold, you only need to read the following guidelines and have at home a good coffee with medium-thick grinding. The ideal thickness depends on the coffee maker or the method you use to infuse the coffee in the cold. The perfect ratio is 100 grams of coffee per litre of water, although you know that it goes for tastes. However, water makes sure that it is mineral or of high quality.
In cold coffee machines, the system is always the same. There is an upper chamber where the cold water is poured (even with ice cubes!) and a small lower compartment (equivalent to the filter of conventional coffee machines) where the ground coffee is.
The water drips very slowly (much slower than in a conventional drip coffee maker). It goes through the coffee until it is deposited, already converted into drinkable coffee, in a specific compartment located at the base of the coffee maker.
To give you an idea, the ideal drip frequency in a Cold Brew is one drop every second. The function of the filter or mesh, which also exists in cold coffee machines, is not to filter the coffee but to distribute the water evenly over the entire surface of the ground coffee so that everything is infused equally.
In this type of Cold Brew coffee machine, the filter is placed on top of the coffee, not underneath.
Are there cold brewers?
There are several ways to prepare coffee cold, and each of them will have different nuances in the final result. To begin with, you can make cold coffee with a plunger coffee maker (or French press) or with a siphon coffee maker, but the best thing is to use a cold coffee maker designed explicitly for this purpose.
The majority of these machines come from the Japanese firm Hario, although the most sold, especially in the United States, is the Cold Bruer coffee machine. They are called cold drip coffee makers because their operation is similar to the traditional filter or drip coffee machines.
Here is a complete list of all of them:
There is nothing special about using them, as long as you understand and respect the basic concepts of this elaboration. These are coffee machines with zero technology, specially designed for several hours of infusion. For example, the Cold Bruer incorporates a small device to adjust the speed of the drip. The lower the speed, the more concentrated the resulting cold coffee will be.
For more detail, we’re going to see some specific ColdBrew tutorials on these machines. If you want to know how to use the Hario Cold Brew Coffee Pot Mizudashi, take a look at this video: