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Flavor of the Week: Cold Brew Coffee

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Have you heard of this coffee trend? It wasn’t until someone on Facebook boasted of the ease and delicious flavor of cold brew that I had to try it myself. Now that I have, I am overwhelmingly impressed.

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Are you a coffee drinker? I am not, actually. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love the taste, but coffee is a little too caffeinated for me. I can only handle caffeine in small doses, so I rarely enjoy a cup of Joe and often settle for a less caffeinated tea. Occasionally I’ll take a cup of decaf java, but if we’re all being honest it does not taste the same. Plus, I heard the process they use to decaffeinate coffee leaves less than desirable chemicals in the drink we consume, namely formaldehyde.

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With cold brew being a more recent fad there haven’t been enough studies done on it to determine the level of caffeine in each cup. I have good reason to believe that there is less caffeine in cold brew than of that found in hot brew coffee,  however I limit my consumption of it all the same.

Here’s why I’m naming this my flavor of the week and I can’t help but brag on cold brew coffee!

  1. Great taste. One person described it as “nectar of the gods.” I now see what she was referring to. There is a lot more sweet and a lot less bitter in cold brew coffee, it leaves a smoother finish and is oh so yummy! You just have to try it to see for yourself!
  2. Old Beans? No Problem! If you’re like me and love to have coffee in the house for the occasional drink or to treat visitors, you probably have a bag of coffee that is older than recommended for brewing–hot brewing that is. While hot brewing will show the age of your beans, cold brewing will not!
  3. Long Storage. Cold brewed coffee will last in the fridge for up to 30 days. Go ahead make a full pot and don’t worry if you don’t use it all today, unlike hot brew it won’t grow bitter 30 minutes after it’s brewed. This means there will always be coffee in the fridge for the expected or unexpected visitor.
  4. No special equipment needed. There will always be special equipment marketed for everything under the sun, but realistically, special equipment won’t make your life any easier when brewing coffee cold–it’s already as simple as can be! The biggest trick with cold brew is filtering the coffee after it’s brewed for 12-24 hours. I use a simple kitchen funnel (that I use for hundreds of other kitchen tasks) and disposable small coffee filters (I have heard others suggest just a kitchen towel, or cheese cloth could work as well). This means we could throw out our coffee pot and have one less appliance in the kitchen, woohoo! I am actually considering doing this…
  5. Hot or Cold? Both are great! Do you prefer your coffee hot or cold? Cold brew does well at any temperature. That’s right, just because you brewed it cold doesn’t mean that it can’t stand to be served warm and toasty. I like my coffee to match the weather, in the winter I want it warm and in the summer I want it cold. I like that cold brew is so versatile.
  6. Add in any flavor. Unlike hot brew coffee, cold brew coffee is a concentrate. This means it needs to be diluted, but it doesn’t need to be diluted with water. You can dilute it with your favorite milk or creamer without it getting watered down.

Have I convinced you to try it yet? Here’s the recipe I use:

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Cold Brew Coffee (concentrate)

Step 1:
  • 2 Glass Jars
  • 1/2c coffee grounds
  • 2c water, cold or room temperature

Pour the coffee grounds and water into a glass jar. Let sit overnight 12-24 hours, I like the result of a 24 hour brew time with the above proportions. Once brewed to desired length of time filter coffee into clean glass jar and store in refrigerator up to 30 days (that is,  if you can resist drinking it all up right away).

*If you are a caffeine lover I suggest using 1 part coffee, 3 parts water instead (use 1/2 cup less water in the recipe above).

**Double, triple, or even quadruple this recipe to have a week or two of daily Joe on hand.

A photo by frank mckenna. unsplash.com/photos/jODz47eM1w8
Step 2:
  • 2oz Cold Brew (concentrate)
  • 2oz Whole Milk

The cold brew is always a concentrate, so it needs to be diluted slightly. I probably put in closer to 3-4oz of milk, so it’s up to your taste preferences. What you add in is also up to you, there are endless options! I love whole milk. Warm days I take my coffee cold with an ice cube in it, because the clink of the ice in my glass sounds fancy-pants. In the coming cold weather I plan to take my drink warm.

What’s your favorite coffee add-in?

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