Cold brew isn’t anything new, however, it’s becoming more and more popular each year (and not just in summer)! It’s accessible everywhere and even comes pre-made – but there’s nothing like brewing your own at home. The joy of a cold brew is you can make a big batch and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks! This can save you time and effort when you want that refreshing cold cup to cool you down and perk you up.
Cold brew tends to be a much stronger coffee experience, with most recipes making a sort of ‘coffee concentrate’.
As with all coffees, there are no rules when it comes to brewing, but it’s good to have a good starting point. We like to take coarsely ground coffee and steep it at a 1:10 ratio of coffee to water. In other words, if you want a litre of cold brew, you’ll need to use 100g of coffee. We told you it’s strong! Read on for our knockout cold brew recipe. Depending on the coffee you use (and how you want it to taste), you might want to play with the grind size, steeping time, or the brewing ratio. Once you’ve got your concentrate, you can add whatever you like – milk, water, sugar etc… or just drink it neat if you prefer!
Cold Brew Chemistry
As we know, roasting green coffee beans is an incredibly complex process – the volatile compounds of a roasted coffee bean are what result in the taste we know and love. Because you’re not brewing with boiling water for cold brew, the resulting taste has less acidity and more of a smooth body.
Side note: if you like the juicy acidity of some coffees, but want them cold – try the Japanese Iced Coffee method instead! Simply brew a V60 (we recommend this recipe), and replace 1/3 of the water in the recipe for ice cubes. Brew your V60, letting it drip down onto the ice, for a quick-chilled coffee! It’s perfect for those who like their cold coffee black; if you like yours with milk, cold brew will probably suit you better.
What about Tea?
Similar to coffee, tea can be cold brewed too! This involves a similar method of using cold or room temperature water instead of boiling water to brew the tea. This also originated in Japan, with the belief that using hot water would burn the tea leaves and destroy the natural health benefits. Not only does cold-brewed tea have less caffeine, but it also carries more antioxidants.
Any tea can be used for cold brewing, bagged or loose. Loose leaf tea will give more flavour but you will need a tea strainer for them. Every tea will taste different cold and this can create a flavour journey on its own! Popular flavours include: Chai, fruit and herbal mixes – why not try your favourite tea cold?
How to make it your own…
Cold-brew is perfect for customization! Cold coffee goes great with foamy milk, flavoured syrups and ice. Sugar doesn’t dissolve well in a cold brew though, so a simple syrup is recommended.
With tea, fruit and herbs are a perfect choice! Fresh fruit can even be muddled into the drink. Think about the flavour combinations of your favourite cocktail, and let your imagination run wild… We think that this Hibiscus tea mixed with summer fruits and mint would make an amazing Pimms-esque cooler!
Recipe: Basic Cold Brew Coffee
- 100g coffee, 1000ml water (1:10 ratio)
- Coarsely Grind your beans – similar to a cafetière grind.
- Combine coffee and water- Add your coffee grounds to the container you’re making your brew and add your water directly on top, stir, and make sure all the coffee is saturated.
- Steep for 12-16 hours: Leave the coffee covered at room temperature or in the fridge.
- Strain your coffee- either through a filter or a cheesecloth.
- Store and serve as desired!
A note from Hannah:
As someone who is still new to the coffee world, I personally find a cold brew sweeter and smoother – this has helped me understand the taste of coffee better and the different flavour profiles that can come from different beans. I also don’t drink a large quantity due to the caffeine, but I love the taste! A cold brew lets me have a bit more control over my portions and still get that kick I’m looking for.
Remember to check out our Instagram for cold brew inspiration and more!
And if you’re feeling inspired to start making your own cold brew – here’s a few tools for the job: