Cold Brew Crazy!–Part 2
Last week we discussed the differences between cold brew and iced coffee. This week we're going to talk about the most important part: How to make your own!
Selecting a coffee roast
The first part of any coffee brewing process is selecting the right roast. Cold brew is no different! Selecting a roast for cold brew is a little different than drip or press brewing. Cold brewing results in lower acidity in the coffee at the cost of also losing more complex flavors. This means that very delicate light roasts can end up tasting muddy. By the same token, a roast that may seem too acidic as a press or drip brew may taste great as a cold brew!
Some coffees, such as Kickapoo's Icebreaker or Dogwood's Zamboni are specifically roasted for cold brew. You can also try brewing coffee as a pourover, another brew method that results in lower acidity, to see if you'll enjoy a roast as a cold brew.
There a number of ways to actually brew your cold brew. We love to use custom made cold brewers like the Toddy Cold Brew System or the Osaka Mount Fuji Cold Brew Dripper. Both of these systems make cold brewing an easy process.
If you want to take a more DIY approach, you can make cold brew using presses and pitchers as well. No matter what you're using, the first step is the grind. You'll want to use a 1:8 ratio of coffee to water for cold brewing, so keep this in mind as you grind your beans. You'll also want to use a coarser grind setting, like you would for a pourover.
Time to brew
Depending on your choice of brew method, your next steps will be different. When using a press or pitcher, you'll combine your grounds with water in the container and stir. This is similar to using a Toddy system, except that there are some additional steps for setting up and they recommend that you don't stir (check out the link above for more in the Toddy Cold Brew System). In an Osaka or other drip brew system, you'll typically put grounds in the filter, just like any other drip brewer.
Once you've added your coffee and your water, you'll want to let your brewer do it's thing! In the case of immersion brewers and presses you'll let the mixture sit on the counter for 8-16 hours, depending on method. You can also place the brew in the refrigerator, though it will take longer due to the lower temperature.
After letting the coffee sit overnight, it'll be time to strain. It's generally OK if you go a little long on brew time, as this won't affect taste. To strain the coffee, you'll either use a filter to strain out the grounds (immersion), or plunge your press (when using a French or other press). In the case of a specialized cold brewer like a Toddy, follow the instructions provided (the Toddy and the Osaka both drip strain as they brew).
Once you've strained the coffee it'll be ready to drink! depending on brew method and coffee:water ratio, you may need to dilute your brew. You can do this to taste with water.
Thanks for joining us for some tips on ways to make (cold brew) coffee you'll love!