About Cold Brew
⌘ We ♥︎ Cold Brew
⌘ Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
⌘ Cold Dripper & Ice Brew
⌘ About the caffeine content
We ♥︎ Cold Brew
Although we mostly work at an espresso machine, we are also really excited about filter coffee in all of its forms - in context of the 3rd wave coffee movement in the barista scene, where we try to go back from all of these Starbucks-like, high calorie milk and sirup drinks to the roots: simple but good filter coffee.
Coffee Cherries secret favorite kind of coffee, which we drink at home nearly every day is not espresso. It is cold brew coffee.
Now you may ask: cold brew - isn´t that a contradictory term itself? And more over: Why should I drink cold coffee at all? That is a legitimate question. Everybody has once sipped on a coffee which has gone cold during a business meeting or whatever. And mostly this taste is horrible.
But let us show you that cold brewed coffee is very distinct from that and a totally different experience.
Another contradictory thing most people never think about is that heat, besides of humidity, light and air, is one of the meanest foes to coffee. Coffee is a natural product and contains about 800 to 1000 aromas and other ingredients. Heat destroys a huge amount of the aromas and at the same time releases many unwanted substances, like acids. But despite of this, nearly all of the coffee consumed was made with hot or even cooking water.
Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
So the first benefit of cold brew coffee is: no aromas get destroyed by heat because there is no heat added. And because the coffee was never exposed to heat, its chemical structure has not been modified. The taste does not chance afterwards, aromas stay constant.
Secondly, as already mentioned, high temperatures also enable the release of undesirable flavor elements like fatty acids and bitter oils that you can see on the top of your hot coffee. They give hot-brewed coffee that familiar 'bite'. By the use of cold water, more of the delicious flavor compounds from the coffee beans will be extracted. Therefore, cold brew is friendly to the stomach because it contains 70% less of those components which are soluble only at a high temperature. So it is ideal for people who have a sensitive stomach, are concerned about acid wear and teeth staining as well.
The cold brew process creates a perfectly balanced, mild and smooth cup of coffee. The produced extract is nonperishable for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Also it is a really really refreshing drink - not only in summer.
At all, it is just an easy way to produce really good and tasteful coffee, and, once it is prepared, it´s easy to consume by just adding water. The clue is that you can also drink your cold brew hot. Another contradiction, you may think, but worth a try. Just add hot, non cooking water to your prepared concentrate.
Cold dripper & ice brew
If you ever wanted to feel like a chemist à la breaking bad, there is another way to produce cold extracted coffee, this one is also known as Dutch Coffee: use one of these more or less expensive, laboratory like looking instruments - a cold dripper.
The notion of the extraction process is that one drop of water drips out of the valve every few seconds and rinses slowly through the coffee powder. That means: The longer the extraction process lasts, the richer and more versatile the taste. Depending on the amount of water and coffee, the procedure lasts at least a few hours.
If your head restricts the link between cold water for making coffee or if you just want to keep on experimenting, I have another thing for you to try out: Ice brew in contrast to cold brew. Here, you do use hot water, but you will get a cold coffee as well.
What you need is a Chemex, for example, with filter of course, about 50 grams of medium ground coffee, 300 ml of hot water, (about 90 degrees) and 300 grams of ice cubes which you put inside the Chemex. Prepare your filter coffee as usual. As it rinses on the ice cubes, it will instantly cool down.
With this procedure, you will get the typical coffee taste, but the bitterness and bitter aftertaste will be reduced due to the direct cooling.
about the caffeine content
Well, we would love to present you this fact in an easy way but, to be honest, all we can say about that topic is that nobody seems to know exactly or, rather to say, no general statement about that can be made. Although some articles report about 10% less caffeine in cold brewed than in hot brewed coffee, they do not really explain why or how.
Fact is, the lower the water temperature, the lower the extraction rate and thereby the less soluble solids are extracted. That is why cold brew requires such a long brew time. Caffeine is a soluble solid, and, as brew temperatures go down, the extraction efficiency will be reduced. In general this would mean that hot-brewed coffee contained more caffeine. But the actual key is the consumer himself and how he dilutes his cold brew extract. If he likes a stronger taste, he will tend to dilute it less and get a really huge amount of caffeine in just one cup. So if you feel over-caffeinated after your cup of cold brew, start to consider your mixing ratio.
Hopefully, this article could awake your interest in this exciting field of alternative brewing techniques!
*Dieser Artikel beruht auf einem Vortrag, den Larissa im Februar 2016 im Rahmen der ambiente auf der Frankfurter Messe präsentierte.