For many coffee drinkers, summer is cold brew season. Of course, there are also those who consider every season cold brew season. Whichever camp you fall into, it’s hard to deny just how refreshing a cold brew is on a hot summer’s day.
But what exactly makes cold brew so special? If you’ve ever had a cup of regular coffee that’s gone cold, you know how unpleasant it is. The reason cold brew tastes so much better is because it’s not just a cup of coffee that’s been refrigerated. It requires a slightly different approach and a lot of patience.
How Cold Brew is Made
Like any coffee brewing, creating cold brew is a science and an art all in one. Rather than running hot water through ground coffee beans, cold brew is made by … well, brewing grounds in cold water. The grounds used in cold brew are typically more coarse than standard coffee. Additionally, the brewing process takes much longer.
It takes roughly 12 hours or more to make a batch of cold brew. This is partly why cold brew typically costs a bit more than standard coffee. However, the wait and added cost are worth it. The cold brewing process produces an end product that’s smoother, sweeter and less acidic than coffee brewed with hot water.
Also, due to the extended brew time, cold brew typically has more caffeine. There really aren’t any downsides.
What’s the Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?
Though they might sound similar, iced coffee and cold brew are different products with noticeably different flavor profiles. Iced coffee is made with traditionally brewed coffee that’s cooled and then poured over ice. However, this process dilutes the coffee. To compensate, the coffee is brewed twice as strong as a normal cup of coffee would be.
Iced coffee doesn’t have the smooth, silkiness of cold brew. However, some people prefer it for that reason.
Enjoying Delicious, Sustainable Cold Brew This Summer
Looking to enjoy a cup of cold brew this summer? We recommend visiting a local third wave coffee shop. Not only will a third wave coffee shop use higher quality beans (and therefore taste better), but they’re a part of a more sustainable coffee economy. That means better wages for coffee farmers, support for environmental initiatives and more transparency on where your coffee comes from.
With third wave coffee, everyone wins.