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Blog: Chill out with cold brew, even if you like it hot
One of the "coolest" new coffee trends is cold brewed coffee. Cold brew is quickly gaining popularity, with sales jumping 580% between 2011 and 2016, according to the National Coffee Blog.
What is "cold brew," anyway?
Hot brewed coffee uses heat to extract flavor and caffeine from the coffee. In contrast, cold brew uses time, not heat. In cold brewing, grounds are soaked in water for 12 hours or more, creating a coffee "concentrate" that can be used to make hot or cold coffee drinks (that's right, cold brew doesn't necessarily mean cold coffee!).
Benefits of cold brew
Many coffee drinkers prefer cold brew because of its lower acid content (since the grounds aren't subjected to heat), smooth taste, and flexibility. Because cold brew results in a coffee concentrate that is diluted before serving, you can control the concentration of coffee in the final beverage. People who prefer different strengths of coffee can all be served from the same batch.
Cold brew concentrate can be used to make refreshing cold coffee drinks by pouring over ice and adding milk or other flavors, or it can be transformed into a delicious hot cup of coffee by adding hot water. It can also be frozen—more on that below!
How to make cold brew coffee at home
You may have noticed cold brew popping up on the menu at the Berres Brothers Café or your local coffee house, but it's easy and inexpensive to DIY at home.
What you need:
- Something to brew in—a French press, or a large jar/pitcher and coffee filter. There are also ready-made cold brewing systems available at retailers; follow manufacturer's directions.
- Your favorite Berres Brothers coffee beans, coarsely ground (it's very important that beans are coarsely ground).
The result is a super smooth coffee concentrate that can be kept in the fridge up to 2 weeks until you're ready to use it to create your favorite coffee drink. The brewing process yields slightly less concentrate than the amount of water used, since the grounds absorb some liquid.
What to do with the cold brew concentrate
To make a cold coffee drink, add milk or cream to the concentrate, then pour over ice. Most people like a cream/milk to concentrate ratio of about 1:3, 1 part coffee to 3 parts milk.
To make a hot cup of coffee, just add hot water from a kettle. The ratio of hot water to concentrate is about 1:3, or to taste.
Cold brew concentrate can also be frozen in an ice cube tray for longer-term storage. Use the concentrate cubes in an iced coffee drink instead of regular ice to prevent dilution as the ice melts. Or, add several concentrate cubes to hot water for a cup of hot coffee.
Which beans for cold brew?
So, what's the best roast for cold brew? Our personal pick when the cold brew craving hits is Berres Brothers Italian Roast, but any Berres Brothers coffee will work great. Just remember to grind it coarsely.
Let us know what you think!
If you're in the neighborhood, stop in at the Berres Brothers Café and try one of our delicious cold brew coffee drinks. If you try cold brewing one of our coffees at home, we'd love to hear about your experience! Reach out via email, phone or Facebook and share your thoughts.