Cold brew coffee techniques

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

Posted on May 9th 2016 by Maddie

Nothing like a nice icy cold… you probably thought I was going to say beer, but at least I’ve got your attention. Now, imagine your favourite Kicking Horse® Coffee blend as a Cold Brew which you could make at home and enjoy for weeks.

Cold Brew Coffee or sometimes referred to as Cold Press Coffee is not to be confused with iced coffee and blended drinks. We’re not just adding ice to coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee requires a different extraction method. You are using cold filtered water, coarsely ground coffee and a much longer steep time to prepare Cold Brew. It’s actually incredibly simple.

There are some companies, like Toddy, which have created their very own Cold Brew equipment for brewing commercially and at home. 

In this entry, we are going to go over a few methods for brewing that don’t require any new equipment.

The easiest way to brew Cold Brew at home is to stick with your trusty French Press and follow these steps.

Here's How:

  1. Grind up your beans! Here at the Horse we recommend a four to one ratio with your water and coffee. I used four cups of cold filtered water to one cup of coarsely ground 454 Horse Power®.
  2. Add the grinds to your French Press.
  3. Using cold filtered water make sure coffee is fully saturated.
  4. Put the plunger aside for later and place in the fridge for twelve to fourteen hours. Don’t forget to cover your French Press to avoid absorbing any other aromas.
  5. Following, plunge the French Press just as you would normally.

 

 

Feeling Creative?

Another option for Cold Brewing equipment is using a standard mason jar and some sort of filter. You should be able to find all you need at home. The beauty of Cold Brew is you really don’t need anything fancy, just time.

  1. Stick with a coarse grind. Using a coarser grind will make the filtration process easier and your coffee taste far less bitter. Grinding too fine can heat up the grounds, which can negatively affect your cup. 
  2. Stir the grinds in the water making sure they are fully saturated. Put the lid on your mason jar, stick it in the fridge and forget about it for twelve to fourteen hours.
  3. After that you are ready to filter the coffee. Recommended filtration methods include, old shirts, mesh or fine colander, pour over cloth filters, paper coffee filters, nylon stockings, cheese cloth… Possibilities are endless.

Prize Winning Filtration Method

What gets the prize for best filtration in our books? Don’t even mix your coffee straight with water. Instead construct a homemade tea bag to infuse the coffee.

We used a double filtration method. First we tied up our coffee in a paper filter. Then we put the wrapped coffee in a nut bag, the kind you use when making almond milk at home. Plop it in the Mason jar and you’re good to go. 

The result is a very clean bright cup of Cold Brew coffee.

What happens if you filter it too soon?

Since we are not using hot water for extraction we’re relying on the time the coffee is saturated. Remember our discussion on extracting caffeine?

All the coffee flavour, all the dissolved solids are going to influence our cup.

So, in that sense any premature filtration may result in lack of flavour and a weaker cup.

More or Less Caffeine in Cold Brew Coffee?

The internet seems to vary about whether Cold Brew contains more caffeine or not. Valid question for sure. But, remember caffeine is water soluble. We know that all the caffeine will inevitably be extracted during the lengthy Cold Brew process. The question then becomes how much coffee we are using relative to our water.

Since with Cold Brew we generally use more coffee than conventional hot methods, we will therefore see more caffeine. This is why many people use Cold Brew as a concentrate to be mixed with ice and cream, made into a frap-a-something.

Benefits

  • Less acidic. Cold Brew coffee naturally seems sweeter because of its lower acid level. Not to be confused with acidity, which was explained in our learning to taste entry.
  • Using cold water as opposed to hot makes the extraction process much slower and actually more selective. The flavour of the coffee is extracted, but bitter compounds are left behind.
    • This can also explain why Cold Brew contains less acid than when you use hot water. Hot water not only extracts quite quickly, but also cooks as it extracts, causing a change in chemical structure.
  • One of the benefits of cold brewing is that the chemical process doesn’t change, since the temperature doesn’t. You could drink your Cold Brew today and then in a few days and it should taste the same. Granted you keep it covered. We don’t want it absorbing any funkiness from the fridge.
  • Cold Brews can last up to two weeks in the fridge. Imagine just opening the fridge and pouring a glass of iced cold Kicking Horse® Coffee…
  • Even though it may take more coffee to make, you will probably discover that none of it goes to waste.
  • Makes for a very smooth cup which highlights each of our blends various flavour profiles.

A little bit of cream and you’re looking at a lovely post-meal option. Highly recommended is our very own 454 Horse Power® blend. Yum.