Cold brew has become a summer favorite for many coffee drinkers over the years. Coffee shops have taken the drink to new heights with creative takes on it, like nitrogen infused cold brew, or ‘nitro’ that is served on tap. But just what is ‘cold brew’ anyways? We have had a lot of people ask us why when they brew coffee in their coffee pot and then cool it in their fridge, it tastes nothing like the smooth, tasty cold brew they get at their local coffee shop. It is because cold brew is a specific brewing method that is just what its name suggests - coffee brewed with cold water. The cold brew method uses a slow extraction process, kinda like sun tea. Because you use cold water, it requires a long period to time to extract the flavor out of the coffee (about 16 hours!) as well as a higher ratio of coffee to water.
Many things affect the flavor of the resulting coffee in your cup, including temperature. Heat especially has a big effect on the changing flavor of your coffee. If you let a pot of coffee sit on a hot burner for hours, it will taste burnt because, essentially, it is being over ‘cooked’. If you let your coffee sit and cool for hours, it will taste stale. Starting with cold water to brew your coffee and keeping cool will create a totally different flavor, often described as smooth and low in acidity.
Fast facts about cold brew
- It has almost 50% more caffeine in it than a regular cup of coffee.
- Cold brew is a type of brewing method using only cold water, rather than brewing coffee with hot water and cooling it in the fridge.
- It take 16+ hours to make cold brew.
- Cold brew coffee lasts much longer than hot coffee (hot coffee should be consumed right away, whereas cold brew can be stored in the fridge for a week or two).
Making Cold Brew
RetroRocket’s Star Party is a great coffee to use for cold brew. It is just the right blend of flavors to make the cold brew come out smooth, sweet and slightly fruity. In our opinion, the best home cold brew maker is the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker. It is simple to use and makes a great cold brew. Happy cold brewing!