In our previous article we talked about the scorching heat that’s about to come down on us this summer and how to keep cool at home. One of the tips we came up with was to replace your piping hot morning coffee with a nice, refreshing cold brew coffee.
A lot of people may be wondering why we need to even come up with a recipe for cold brew coffee when they can simply just put ice cubes in a cup of coffee and presto, you have iced coffee! Well, it’s not as simple as it seems. Putting ice cubes in a normally brewed cup of coffee will indeed give you a colder coffee especially when the temperature of the ice cubes overcomes the hot water the coffee was placed in but it has some less desirable effects on your cup.
Ice works by immersing itself and dissolving cold-water molecules into whatever liquid it is placed in. Pay close attention to the word dissolve, because that means when you put ice cubes into your coffee it gets watered down with the ice cubes you put in. The end result of this will not be iced coffee, instead you’ll have cold brown water with hints of coffee. It doesn’t have the same effect as regular coffee nor does it have the taste and aroma of coffee.
The proper way to get the ideal iced coffee would be to brew it in water that has normal or room temperature. This method takes a little bit longer but it creates a smoother and stronger cup of coffee that blends in perfectly when you put ice into it. The normal brewing time using the cold brew process can be from 12 to 16 hours but the wait has some advantages. Cold brew coffee no longer has the high level of acidity found in normal coffee because the molecules from the coffee granules have been fully extracted. With lesser acid in the coffee, the true flavors of the selected coffee bean variant comes out and frolics on your taste buds in true coffee perfection.
Normally the process requires certain equipment and machinery to create a cold brew coffee but in this article, I will teach you how to do this at home using a French Press. Here are some of the things you need to get started on your cold brew coffee:
Coffee Press – 30oz is desirable
Coffee Beans – Arabica Coffee that is medium roasted is preferred for this method
Filtered Water – This should not be cold, just room temperature
Do your measurements. For the cold brew method, the ideal measurement is 1 part coffee for 8 parts water. So for 1oz of coffee beans you’ll put in 8oz of water. For your 30oz press that means 3.5oz of coffee beans for 28oz of coffee.
Grind up the coffee beans in the grinder. Set it to the coarsest setting, which is the same as what you would have for a French Press. If you do not have a burr grinder at home, you can have the coffee ground up at the grocery or coffee shop you bought it from. Make sure you store the coffee grinds in a cool, dry place which is far from moisture and your container is airtight.
Put the ground coffee into the coffee press.
Pour in the filtered room temperature water. Press down on the granules that may have floated to the top so that they get immersed with the water. There’s no need to stir up the press because the colloidal solution will balance out during the long immersion process. DO NOT press down the plunger.
Make sure the press is fully covered. Now you have to wait for 12 to 16 hours for the magic of immersion to take effect. Some people like to put their cold brew in the fridge but I would advise to keep it on your kitchen counter to keep the temperature constant. A helpful tip would be to do this the previous evening so you have your cold brew ready by the morning. Put a little sticky note indicating the time the press needs to be plunged.
Press down on the plunger after that long wait. The longer you brew your coffee the more extracted the caffeine will be and the more vibrant the flavor. I personally like mine brewing for 16 full hours. You may encounter some resistance considering there is more coffee packed in there but don’t force it down or you will get coffee splashed all over you and your long wait would have been for naught.
Pour into a cup, I would recommend 1/3 of your normal cup and then the rest can be ice. Make sure you do this ahead of time because if you expect to drink your coffee immediately you will get impatient and will slurp up some pretty strong coffee.
Now remember to pour all the contents out of the press because the coffee will continue to brew in there and will over-extract itself causing a very bitter tasting brew. Put it in a carafe and refrigerate it. Another tip is to turn it into ice cubes and put those ice cubes in some warm milk later for some refreshingly good pleasure. Enjoy your nice, refreshing cold brew coffee!