Packaged in fine-looking bottles and sold at hip coffee shops, cold brew coffee could be the trendiest drink you could consume these days.
Although it’s called cold brew coffee, it’s not the same as ice coffee. That’s because ice coffee is made by brewing coffee grounds in hot water, the cold water or milk is added later.
Cold brew coffee is actually made by steeping coffee grounds in water at room temperature or lower. The extraction process is really slow compared to when coffee is brewed at higher temperatures. So, for a cold brew, the grounds need to be allowed to steep for an extended period of time; 12 to 24 hours may be considered a norm.
Some components found in the coffee grounds are more soluble in higher temperatures. Therefore, cold brew coffee has a taste that’s distinctively different from conventionally brewed coffee. Compared to a hot brew, cold brew coffee is smoother, sweeter and less acidic. The caffeine content on the other hand can vary according to how it’s served.
Mostly cold brews are used as concentrates. And while the brewing process for cold brew coffee requires lower temperatures, once brewed it can be served either hot or cold. To serve it hot, the coffee concentrate can be diluted with water and the resultant mixture can be heated over the stove or in the microwave. To serve it cold, the coffee concentrate can simply be poured over ice or added to cold milk.
During the times before electricity, the cold brew method allowed people to enjoy coffee without having to go through the hassle of building a fire. It’s said that the method originated in Japan and the Japanese were brewing it this way even in the 1600s. Cold brews are also reported to have been popular with French troops in Algeria in 1840, and civil war soldiers in America.
Want to hop on the cold brew wagon? We’ve been seeing handsomely packaged cold brew bottles here in Male’ from places such as The Civil Coffee Society, Modus Operandi, and Meraki Coffee Roasters.