Cold Brew Coffee: An Idiots Guide To What It Is And How To Make It
The Debrief: Definitely not Britney Spears' drink of choice from 2007.
Last year it was all Harry Styles putting butter in his coffee to make bulletproof coffee and this month everyone's turning back the clock and going hard (again) on cold brew coffee.
How come? Well, it's easy to consume when you're on the run, it's higher in caffiene and, unlike the super sugary iced coffee drinks of yesteryear (hello Frappucinos), it's actually delicious. We spoke to Kieran who is one of the masterminds behind NOMI cold brew coffee to find out what all the fuss is about.
What is cold brew coffee?
Absolutely not the stuff Britney Spears used to roam around LA with, with the domed lid and the whipped cream on top. No, this stuff isn't the sugar, syrupy stuff we associate with iced coffee. Instead, Kieran says, cold brew coffee is a cold coffee that is 'less acidic, less bitter and naturally sweeter' than it's hot counterpart. It's low calorie and, most importantly, haszero sugar.
Can you brew cold brew coffee at home?
Here's a recipe from NOMI to make some...
What you need
2 container (1 ltr or bigger), e.g bowl, or hob
1 Paper Filter, cafeteria style paper filter coffee type works best. Or any paper coffee filter.
1 Measuring jug
Coarsely ground coffee if you can get it. Or regular grind but it will be stronger tasting over the same period of brewing.
Filtered water is best or tap water
What to do
1. Measure out 85g of coffee grind and pour into container
2. Measure out 1 ltr of water into jug and pour contents into container
3. Give it a stir to ensure the coffee grind is evenly spread and there are no dry coffee clumps.
4. Cover or place in the fridge.
5. Leave to steep for 17 hours. If it is too strong or weak. The next time you do it, increase the brew time to increase the strength, or decrease the brew time to make it weaker. Anywhere between 12 - 24 hours produces varying flavour profiles, acidity, tannins and caffeine strength.
6. 10 minutes before the end of steeping period - Place paper filter into sieve. Balance sieve and filter on second empty container.
7. Once steeping period is over - Pour contents of coffee and water through the sieve with filter. Being careful not to over pour.
8. Clean out the old container and repeat last step as many times as you want for greater clarity.
Does cold brew coffee have more caffiene?
Basically, yes. And Kieran's got the science behind it, 'Coffee naturally has lots of caffeine, fatty acids and antioxidants,' He says, mentioning that it actually has more antioxidants than green tea you just can't drink as much because all the caffiene and you don't want to be bouncing off the walls now do you? 'These constituents are highly soluble at higher temperatures,' He continues. 'And by brewing the coffee at low temperatures for a longer period you essentially keep more of the good parts.'
Can cold brew coffee go bad?
Have you ever left a tea bag in a mug with a bit of tea jus leftover at the bottom for a few days? Bad things happen right? Mold, funky white stuff and a general bad smell all emanate from said mug within a matter of days. But how about cold brew coffee? If you make some and you don't want it right away, how long does it last for? According to Kieran it becomes a 'weaker' and will eventually taste stale. However, it can last up to ten day in the fridge untreated. Which should be just fine.
What are the health benefits of cold brew coffee?
Obviously the fact that too much sugar hasn't escaped you. Especially over the last few weeks with the government finally introducing a sugar tax on foods and drinks in the UK. Coffees purchased on the high street often have a dangerous amount of sugar in - some even boast 25 spoonfuls of sugar! Too much refined sugar is bad for your teeth, can cause obesity and diabetes and causes your liver to overwork. In short, if you can give it a miss, do.
Also, as previously mentioned, coldbrew coffee is lower in acidity which means it shouldn't offset your alkaline levels too much and, anything packed full of antioxidants is also excellent; helping to combat the free radicals attacking your body. Kieran says coffee is actually 'one of the largest sources of antioxidants for the average person due to the number of people who drink it, over say something like green tea and the more the good stuff we keep, the better.'
Can I add milk to cold brew coffee?
Yes! Kieran recommends experimenting with 'all kinds of milks, sugars, spices. Whatever flavour floats your boat!' His favourites are cold pressed almond milk and chocolate milk (hello).
Is there particular flavour of coffee that work best for cold brewing coffee?
'The basic answer' Says Kieran, 'Is that the stronger the flavour of the coffee the lesser the brew time but it tends to work best with light to medium roast coffees.' His best picks are African and Central American varieties. In fact, the one they're using at the moment is Guatemalan Huehuetango which has been brewed for 17 hours. Basically Kieran says, 'the darker the roast, lessen the brew time, the stronger the coffee, lessen the brew time and, the more coffee you use, lessen the brew time.'
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