Cold drink & cult drink: Cold Brew coffee

Written by: Smilla H.



Time to read 5 min

Summer is finally back! Are you also keen on a particularly refreshing caffeine kick for the coming summer days? Cold brew has many refreshing advantages over iced coffee and the like. In this article I'm dedicating myself to this great, iconic cold drink.

Because of the special brewing method, you can get all kinds of flavors out of your coffee beans. This creates particularly intense and sweet aromas. This means full aroma and hardly any bitter substances. Sounds tempting, right?

What can cold brew coffee actually do?

Have you ever heard of cold brew coffee? No? It's a shame, because the cool coffee tastes really great, especially in summer. In this article I would like to explain to you where cold brew comes from and how to make it! Cold brew is basically coffee extracted slowly and leisurely in cold or room temperature water, usually for 12-24 hours. The coffee is then filtered and served either plain or over ice. The slow extraction allows the coffee to develop a pleasantly rounded taste.

What is the difference between cold brew coffee and iced coffee?

In contrast, iced coffee is made by pouring hot coffee over ice to cool it down. This means that your coffee quickly becomes watered down. When brewing, more bitter substances are released from the coffee.

Of course, you can also let your coffee cool slowly and then enjoy it over ice. I'll spare you the chemical process now, but hot coffee that cools slowly usually tastes less smooth. Cold brew coffee does have an advantage in terms of taste. The disadvantage: you need a little patience! So if you want to enjoy a cold coffee unprepared in the summer, then iced coffee is a valid option.

Another method would be so-called “flash chilling”. Here, espresso is not cooled with ice, but rather runs over a cold object - for example a cooled metal ball or plate. In theory you have the best of both worlds here, but frankly we're already drifting into pretty professional territory here.

The history and origins of cold brew coffee

Where does cold brew coffee actually come from? The story is just as interesting as the drink itself! Cold brew has been brewed in Japan for centuries. Yes, you heard right – not a new, hip trendy drink! The Japanese have been preparing coffee this way since around 1600. In the so-called “Kyoto style”, the cold water slowly drips onto the coffee. The method is now often called cold drip.

But how did cold brew coffee come to the West? Well, there are several theories about it, but one is that cold brew coffee became popular in the United States due to Japanese immigrants who brought their traditions and habits with them. Others believe that the method was discovered by coffee enthusiasts in the United States who were looking for new and interesting recipes. No matter how exactly it happened, cold brew coffee is now an important part of coffee culture in many parts of the world.

The best things in life always take a while to come. This also applies to cold brew coffee. Although it takes a little longer to make cold brew coffee, it's really worth the wait. Why? Well, cold brew coffee has some advantages over traditional iced coffee.

We have already talked about some of the differences above. The most important thing about iced coffee is that it doesn't water down your drink. This is exactly what happens when you pour hot coffee over ice.

Another advantage is that you often achieve very good results in terms of taste with a cold brew. You can get chocolaty, smooth coffee every time without much effort. All in all, cold brew tastes very good to most coffee drinkers.

A small downer: You will probably be less able to taste the characteristics of the coffee in a cold brew, such as the growing region or variety. Because of the cold extraction, many components remain in the ground material. So if you are a specialty coffee aficionado, you should also try “flash chilling” or other methods to prepare your iced coffee.

Brew like a professional: the right equipment and the right coffee for cold brew

Maybe you like cold coffee so much that you even want to buy special equipment. This makes brewing your cold brew coffee even easier!
Of course, we also need the right coffee for this special and slow brewing method. We will now clarify what you should consider when buying your coffee for cold brew.

The Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Maker

The Mizudashi Cold Brew coffee maker brings your cold caffeine drink within reach. The high-quality permanent filter ensures a clear coffee result and makes it super easy to use! You leave the rest to the cold brew maker and simply let it steep in the fridge for 12-36 hours.

The Timemore Icicle Cold Brewer

The Timemore Icicle Cold Brewer is the perfect companion for on the go! The brewer not only brews your cold brew coffee, but can also be closed so that you can pack it up at any time. Thanks to its slim shape, low weight and leak-proof lid, the cold brewer fits in the fridge as well as in the backpack when on the go. It has a long filter that absorbs the coffee grounds evenly. With a practical scale for 300, 400 and 500 ml water levels, it is easy to fill.

Which coffee to buy for cold brew coffee?

Of course, not every coffee roast or every bean is suitable as coffee for cold brew coffee. Dark roasts are particularly unsuitable for the long extraction time of cold brew coffee. Because dark roasts have more bitter substances, which take a long time to develop in your coffee.

Suitable coffee for a delicious cold brew is a bean that is also suitable for filter coffee. This means that cold brew coffee with a light to medium roast profile works really well here! A light roasted coffee often has a more prominent acidity and therefore a greater variety of aromas. With a dark roasted coffee, the typical nutty-chocolate aromas and bitter notes predominate. Ultimately, the intensity of the roast definitely determines the taste of your coffee. Sure, so keep your eyes open when you buy coffee for cold brew!

In another post I will explain to you what you should pay attention to when buying your coffee for cold brew!