What's the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

Have you ever heard of cold brew coffee? If so, there may be a chance that you’ve sipped on such a drink once or twice. If you haven’t heard of it, you probably will soon, as cold brew is becoming increasingly popular amongst baristas and customers alike.

What is cold brew coffee?

It’s surprising how many people have asked me this question. Some mistakenly assume that cold brew coffee is iced coffee, which it isn’t -

iced coffee is simply regular, hot brewed coffee poured over ice cubes to achieve the chilled feel.

Cold brew coffee on the other hand is made with cold water instead of hot. Traditional hot brewing relies on heat to extract the bold taste from the grinds. Cold brew, however, relies on the process of coffee soaking for many hours to slowly release the flavor. This process can take anywhere between 12 and 24 hours depending on what type of flavor the drinker wishes to achieve. For example, Starbucks claims that they allow their cold brew to soak for 20 hours before serving it to their customers.

Cold brew coffee is best enjoyed on a warm Summer day, which means it’s not very popular right now. But it won't be long until the wet, cold weeks we’ve been experiencing will blow over soon and that we finally get some warm sunshine in which to enjoy some cold brew.

What is the difference compared to warm brew?

There are several reasons cold brew coffee is becoming more popular.

One is because cold brew allows the coffee to naturally soak without the use of heat. Heat quickly forces the flavor out of the beans, causing a more bitter flavor, while the cool water soaking for hours allows the taste to extract without any rush. The reward for this method is a more full, richer enjoyment of your coffee!

Secondly, cold brew is becoming more popular because of how easy and obtainable the brewing system is. You can easily find a recycled jar or larger bottle to use without having to purchase an expensive new brewing system. If you can’t find one, ask a friend, your neighbor, or even your mother. One of them are bound to have something! You can have more fun decorating your cold brew jars as well.

Does cold brew have more caffeine?

Wouldn’t we all love to know that one? Anna Brones, owner of the “Kitchn Blog”, [kitchn misspelled on purpose] says in her article:

“temperature (and amount of coffee) aren’t the only things that will affect your coffee’s caffeine levels. “There are a number of variables, including time, temperature, grind size, flow rate (how fast water flows through grounds), contact time, and coffee type (arabica vs. robusta).

But let’s face it nobodys ‘perfect’ cup of coffee is the same as the next, so we have given a brewing guide to get you started but play around with it and keep us updated on your perfect blend.

How to make your own cold brew

Everyone has their own specialty of coffee they prefer. If the cold brewing flavor is something you like, are interested in trying, or are curious on how to make your own, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are several easy ways to make your own cold brew coffee. You can use a cold-brew coffee filter tube and mason jar for larger batches, or you can simply use a french press if you just need one good cup per day.

First, grind your beans into a semi-fine mixture. Never over-grind, as this can clog your filters. Next, you use two tablespoons of ground coffee for each cup of cold water and stir. Leave overnight at room temperature to soak for at least 12 hours. After that, you can simply remove the filter and enjoy a naturally brewed coffee. The wonderful thing is that you can either sip on it right away, or if you don’t feel like cold brewing every day, you can create a larger batch and store away in the fridge for several cups later. It can easily last up to two weeks without spoiling!

I realize this concept is quite new for some of you, so if you have any questions about cold brew coffee, let me know! I’m happy to try and find the answer! Have you tried cold brewing your coffee? If so, I would love to hear how you make yours and what special recipe and blends you’ve used. Feel free to send me pictures as well. Your recipe may just make it on our next article!
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