No matter where you’re headed this Summer, this refreshing Cold Brew recipe will be the perfect road companion - it’ll keep you refreshed, energized, and save you from having to drink gas station coffee! (oh no, no, no!)
First things first... what exactly is Cold Brew? The name practically gives it away... it’s coffee brewed at cold temperatures, over extended periods of time. It is actually distinct from hot-brewed or pour-over coffee served over ice - which is Iced Coffee! In fact, what makes Cold Brew special is that cold brewing over long periods of time favors the extraction of specific components, while hot brewing methods tend to extract all soluble components. This is mainly due to the different solubility rates of different components at different temperatures. Caffeine, for example, is only slightly soluble (~1-2 g/100 mL) in cold water, yet highly soluble in hot water (~65 g/100 mL). Naturally occurring phenolic acids are also more soluble in hot water, which often means a much lower astringency on cold brews! (i.e. a smoother cup)
Now that you understand some Cold Brew chemistry... it’s time to have some fun making it! Here’s our step-by-step Cold Brew recipe (you can make this one in a 4-cup French Press, or adapt it to a larger batch if you have a Cold Brew maker!):
1. Grind 4 oz of coffee in a coarse setting (i.e. same setting as French Press). Central and South American beans are always great choices for cold brewing! Make sure your beans are fresh (but not too fresh - wait at least 3-4 days from the roasting date) for the best experience.
2. Place your ground coffee at the bottom of your French Press (or inside a built-in filter, cloth or paper filter on your Cold Brew maker). Pour 4 cups (32 oz) of spring water, and mix with a spoon, ensuring all your grounds are wet.
3. Steep for 18-22 hours under refrigeration (do shorter times for a more delicate flavor, longer times for a stronger flavor - never exceed 24 hours, as you may extract longer, bitter components). Plunge your French Press and transfer to a storage or serving container, or remove the filter with the grounds from your Cold Brew maker. Your concentrate is ready!
4. Keep refrigerated and serve over ice, or add any sweeteners, milk or flavors as desired. You can pack the concentrate with ice to keep it cool during short trips. Keep it in a cooler and re-fill your insulated cup on long trips! We doubt you’ll have any leftovers, but if you do… you can make coffee ice cubes! Happy cold brewing and safe travels!
Lisbeth Pacheco, Ph.D. | Chief Coffee & Impact Seeker
Ethos Coffee Roasters
FB & IG @ethosroasters