Coffee's universality grants it the advantage of being an all-season drink. Whether you want it cold or hot, sweet or strong, dark or creamy, not even weather can stop you from enjoying a good cup of coffee. Cold-brew is a favorite, not only because it's a refreshing way to energize you during warmer months, but its sweet, mild flavor makes it a perfect addition for recipes that need coffee flavor.
How To Make The Perfect Cold Brew
Cold Brew can be made in 2 ways:
- Ice Drip
These two methods produce different flavors and are brewed in different ways, but the result is always cold brew heaven.
Another one to consider is the Japanese Iced Method, which isn't technically cold brew and it isn't iced coffee either, but often, its fast brewing process makes it the next best alternative.
How To Make Cold Brew: Immersion
The immersion method is a simple yet lengthy way to make a cold brew. These are the things you need to do:
- Step 1 - Combine water and coffee grounds in your chosen container. The ideal ratio should be 1 ounce of coarsely ground coffee for every 1 cup of water.
- Step 2 - Allow it to sit for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. Some users say it should at least be 18 hours, which means you'll need to do some planning for a cold brew.
- Step 3 - Strain the coffee grounds using coffee filters, cheesecloths, or a coffee sock. Coffee socks may not sound appetizing, but they are effective filters and tools for immersion.
Pros and Cons
- The immersion method is simple to do, as long as you have the right coffee and water ratio. The equipment is also very affordable. Some people even use something as simple as mason jars to make cold brew.
- It yields a mild flavor with low acidity because of the coarse grounds and the long steep time.
- It has a consistent flavor that is easy to replicate, making it ideal for use in recipes and cocktails with coffee.
- It is not as flavorful as the ice drip method since it yields a more consistent taste.
- It takes a while to make. The ideal time for immersion cold brew is at least 18 hours. Some people peg it at 12-16, which means it needs advanced planning to enjoy a cup of cold brew.
- It has a gritty feel and taste if it is poorly filtered.
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How To Make Cold Brew: Ice Drip
The ice drip coffee method is a visually pleasing sight. The sight of coffee dripping from glass towers is mesmerizing for coffee lovers, yet the process remains simple. And depending on the type of ice drip machine you use, these are the steps to follow:
- Step 1 - Pour coffee ground into the funnel, ensuring the surface is level.
- Step 2 - Position the drip valve and add the fresh iced water. You will want to avoid distilled and ionized water since they give the coffee a flat taste.
- Step 3 - Adjust the top section's tightness or its mechanism to adjust the drip rate to a second or lower.
The iced drip method doesn't take as long as the immersion method, but it still takes close to a day at 6 to 12 hours.
Pros and Cons
- It produces a wide range of flavors because you can adjust the extraction time.
- It is aesthetically pleasing, and visually appealing. The glass containers allow you to witness the brewing process, which is relaxing for coffee lovers.
- It captures the flavor, making it the perfect option for a light yet flavorful brew.
- A slow drip cold brew maker can be pricey and fragile. It needs more attention than the immersion method.
- It takes at least 6 hours, which means you still need good planning for this method.
- It has a complex process that requires more detailed management, like its drip rate, which changes as water slowly empties the top portion.
The perfect cold brew coffee is no secret, and as long as you have the right equipment, ratio, and ingredients, you're off to a good start. After all, you'll never go wrong with a brew invested with time and care.