Cold brew coffee is a type of coffee that is made by steeping ground coffee at room temperature or cold water between 12 to 24 hours. There is a difference between using cold water and hot water in making coffee. Cold brew coffee is less acidic compared to coffee prepared using hot water.
Cold brew coffee is different from iced coffee. Iced coffee is any type of coffee you drink with ice. Cold brew coffee can be served as iced coffee. You can prepare coffee using hot water, put ice on it, and drink it as iced coffee. It is a cold drink, but it is not a cold brew coffee. The cold in cold brew coffee is in the preparation and making of the coffee, not how it is taken.
Cold Brew Coffee Trivia
- Cold brew coffee has been around since the 1600s, as a result of the interaction of Dutch traders and the Japanese in Kyoto making cold brew tea.
- The keg is synonymous with beer, but in 2012, a version of cold brew coffee was also served in a keg, known as nitro cold brew: coffee infused with nitrogen.
- Americans celebrate National Coffee Day on September 29.
Cold Brew Coffee Buying Guide
You can order cold brew coffee in restaurants, coffee shops, and tea houses that have it on the menu. You can also source your cold brew coffee from local artisanal coffee brewers producing small batches of bottled cold brew coffee, or go to the supermarket or grocery for ready-to-drink cold brew produced by major coffee manufacturing companies, like Nescafe.
If you are thinking of making your cold brew coffee at home, make sure to buy coarse grind coffee. This is the ideal grind for making cold brew coffee. If you buy finely ground coffee grains, you will have a more bitter cold brew coffee.
If you are ordering at a restaurant, ask about the strength of the caffeine in their cold brew, especially if they are using cold brew coffee concentrate, so that you can choose to either water down the coffee with water and ice, or ask to be served with a high-caffeine cold brew coffee. The caffeine strength of a cold brew coffee depends on the coffee-water ratio when the coffee grounds were steeped. Very fine coffee grounds will result in over-extraction which could potentially ruin the taste of the coffee.
Cold Brew Coffee Production & Farming in Texas
Coffee is a favorite drink in the US, although the degree of the love affair of man and coffee may vary from state to state. In Texas, coffee is a popular beverage. A 2013 article from CNBC names Austin as 10th overall in the list of most caffeinated cities in the US. A 2016 ranking of the best cities in terms of coffee had Austin at 28, Plano at 29, El Paso at 91, and Laredo at 100. This could be the reason why an Austin-based newspaper claimed in 2018 that Texas is “a coffee lover’s nightmare”, although things seem to be improving recently because, in 2019, a survey of the most coffee-friendly states in the US had Austin at 20 and San Antonio at 53.
Among the products sold by coffee businesses operating in Texas today is cold brew coffee. Businesses like Texas Coffee Traders offer cold brew coffee refills while coffee shops like Cuvee Coffee Bar have cold brew coffee on the menu. Businesses like Texas Grind Coffee Co. offer nitro cold brew.
The response of customers to cold brew coffee helps explain the growth of cold brew coffee not just in Texas but in the US as a whole. In 2018, an article by My San Antonio produced in collaboration with Speciality Coffee Association reported that in 2017, orders for cold brew coffee outpaced orders for iced coffee and that orders for cold brew coffee in the US are 42% higher than orders for iced coffee.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:
Normally, a cold brew coffee only has two ingredients: water and coffee. But according to the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI), there is the potential hazard of cold brew coffee to contain “mycotoxins, pesticide residues, acrylamide, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons” not because it was added during the process but as a result of the drying and roasting process of coffee beans.
Another unwanted presence in cold brew coffee according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are pathogens that put the consumer at risk for potential foodborne illnesses if the preparation of the brew is unsanitary.
Ever since man started making cold brew coffee as a result of the interaction of Dutch traders and Japanese cold tea brewers in Kyoto, the goal has always been to be able to stock coffee concentrate that could be diluted in hot water for a quick coffee drink. When cold brew coffee made its way to Europe, America, and Asia, more people relied on cold brew coffee for instant coffee.
Because cold brew coffee is a new and refreshing way to drink coffee, it has long gained popularity worldwide, as far back as the 1840s among the French soldiers in Algeria to the American Civil War soldiers. You can find cold brew coffee whether you are in Cuba or England, in India or Vietnam, or a Latin American country.
Cold brew coffee is sold in different packaging. Some companies use glass bottles, while others use cartons with resealable caps similar to what is used for milk and fruit juices. You can also buy cold brew coffee in bag-in-box or BIB with a tap. This is a container made from cardboard that holds a barrier bag or bladder inside, similar to how box wines are packaged and sold.
Enjoying Cold Brew Coffee
Many coffee drinkers embraced cold brew coffee because it offers a lot of positive things. For those who love coffee but struggle with the effects of coffee being an acidic drink, cold brew coffee is an excellent alternative. For those who love the sweetness in their coffee drink, drinking cold brew coffee is better because it is sweeter compared to coffee steeped in hot water. Like iced coffee, cold brew coffee is a great drink to have during hot, summer days.
Keep your cold brew coffee refrigerated. Do not store this for longer than two weeks maximum, this should have been consumed by that time. If not, throw it away because by this time, molds will start to develop and your cold brew coffee is now unsafe to drink.
Make cold brew coffee at home
It sounds like a complicated task reserved for experienced baristas, and seeing cold brew coffee machines or cold brew coffee makers on the internet will make you think this drink is not easy to make. You can’t be further from the truth: it is easy to make cold brew coffee. If you haven’t tried it yet, let us help you. Fair warning: this might get you hooked on cold brew coffee, in which case, we can’t blame you.
Yield: This recipe makes 4 to 5 cups of cold brew coffee.
- 140 grams of coarse grind coffee
- 1 liter of room temperature water or cold water
- 1.8 or 2-liter jar with lid, preferably two jars
- Reusable cold coffee brew bag or conical fine-mesh sieve (or pour-over coffee dripper with coffee filter paper.
Step 1. Fill the jar with 1 liter of room temperature water or cold water.
Step 2. Put the coarse coffee grounds in the jar. Mix well.
Step 3. Close the jar using the lid and store it in the refrigerator for 14-18 hours. You can store it for longer but remember that it only gets more bitter the longer you steep the coffee grounds.
Step 4. Pour the contents of the jar into another jar, using any method of straining enough to catch the coffee grounds. The goal is to make sure all coffee grounds are removed and separated from the coffee.
Step 5. Chill the cold brew coffee and serve with ice, milk, or any preferred flavoring.