Sweet, sweet coffee – some of us depend on it to survive through the work day, and others even consider us connoisseurs. Whether you are a casual drinker or a coffee addict, you can probably tell the difference between a good cup and a bad one.
Although you only need water and coffee beans to make a decent cup of Joe, it's pretty easy to make crappy coffee. What makes coffee tasteless? What if you make it too strong, too weak, use a bad mix, or if you leave the pot sitting on the burner for too long. That's why office coffee is often the worst kind ̵
The key to a big cup of coffee is chemistry. Their Java cup contains organic acids like malic acid, acetic acid and quinic acids, and it has inorganic acids like phosphoric acid. Therefore, bad coffee tends to have a bitter, sour taste. So, what's the key to a great cup of coffee that tastes even better than your favorite coffee-blend? Try cold-brewed coffee.
Cold-brewed coffee has a much more pleasant taste, because you get the sweet aromas from the tasty acids, without the bad taste of bitters. However, when people think of cold-brewed coffee, they think of a long and tedious process or expensive equipment and supplies. But you do not have to be Starbucks to brew your coffee cold. You can make lightly brewed coffee at home, and it only takes about 10 minutes of work and a little knowledge.
What you need
- A fine sieve
- Cheese cloth
- A glass jug or a large mason jar
How to make cold coffee
- Grind your beans. You want your beans to be coarsely ground, like the consistency of kosher salt. If you only have finely ground coffee (as used in your coffee maker), it will be over-extracted resulting in a bitter brew.
- Mix the coffee and the water. Pour four cups of water into your jug and add your coffee. If you want a normal brew, add 1/2 cup of coffee grounds, which gives a coffee to water ratio of 1: 8. For a stronger brew, add up to 1 cup of coffee grounds. This is a personal preference, but both, Blue Bottle and Kicking Horse Coffee, propose a ratio of 1: 4.
- Give your coffee and water mixture a short stir to start brewing.
- Cool your brew for 12 to 15 hours.
- Spread the mixture of coffee and water with a fine sieve covered with a cheesecloth
- Add water or milk to serve to dilute the concentrate. Again, it's personal preference, but start with a 1: 1 ratio and go from there. We added a vanilla pod, 1.5 cups of skim milk and 1/2 cup of sugar.
- Store your cold brew in a sealed container in the refrigerator for no longer than two or three days. Adding milk, water or other ingredients will shorten the shelf life of your coffee. If you leave your cold brew as a concentrate, you can store it for about a week before its quality deteriorates.
Tips and Warnings
- Use filtered water for best results. You can also use regular bottled water, but filtered water is the best solution.
- If you have tried to remove the brew from the fridge before it's done, wait at least 12 hours. It is worth to wait.
- Cold-brewed coffee sits for a long time, and it tends to sit in hazardous areas at temperatures between 39 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the food safety and shelf life guidelines.
- Cold-brewed coffee tends to be stronger than conventional hot coffee, so dilute your cold brew if you do not want to jump off the walls.