One afternoon recently when the sun was actually peeking out for a bit, I got to thinking iced coffee recipes would be a fun idea for a blog posting. As a relatively inexperienced coffee drinker, I turned to the trusty internet to look up some recipes to try and discovered a trend. Many of the recipes suggested “cold brewing” coffee for iced beverages. Rather than using a traditional brewer that heats and drips or percolates to make a stronger batch and pouring over ice, it seems there is a preferred method. Cold brewing requires about the same amount of labor and clean up, but much more time. Using a system of jars and strainers or filters (or even a French press), course ground coffee beans are mixed with room temperature water and left to “brew” on the counter for around 12 hours.
But it’s not just for iced coffee beverages: proponents of the cold brew method say that the process releases the flavor compounds and caffeine similarly, but oils and acids that come through are much less. Coffee cold brewed over night can be consumed just like normal with a bit of time in the microwave or mixing a strong batch with hot water. The ideal result is a smoother cup that is probably more suited to people who don’t prefer especially strong or robust coffee.
I gave this a whirl with the French press method. I used the same amount of grounds as if I were brewing hot and mixed it with filtered tap water. I put the top on and left it until this morning, then pushed the plunger down and poured a cup. I heated it up in the microwave and gave it a try. I’ll admit I was momentarily disappointed on the first sip when it just seemed like a very weak cup of coffee, but as I kept sipping, I realized it was just missing that initial bite and that I actually quite enjoyed it. I ended up adding just a touch of milk and sugar and had some with breakfast. It really did seem smoother than traditionally brewed coffee and I have to say I rather liked the method.
I know a number of people who love coffee but have trouble with heartburn or indigestion when they drink it. I wonder if this is a good fix for them.
When a nice spring day comes around I’ll brew some more and give iced coffee a try tomorrow!
Any cold brewing fans out there? What’s your favorite brewing method?