What is Cold Brew Coffee?

What is Cold Brew Coffee?


On a long hot summer day, a regular cup of coffee might just be too hot and at least some of us would like a nice cup of cold coffee. But, what exactly is cold brew coffee? Just to be clear we are not talking about ice coffee that is produced by cooling and pouring traditionally brewed coffee over ice. We are talking about an entire process of preparing coffee with cold water. Yes, that’s right, there is a way to prepare tasty coffee without hot water.

Cold brew coffee is the process of steeping grounded coffee beans in cold or lukewarm water over an extended period of time, usually between 12 and 24 hours depending on how strong you want the final product to be. If you are still wondering what is cold brew coffee, perhaps it is best to stop thinking about it as immediately drinkable coffee, but rather as a coffee concentrate that can be used to create coffee based drinks.  The concentrate can be stored in a refrigerator and unlike the coffee prepared by hot-brewing methods cold brew coffee doesn’t become stale over time.

Even though most people don’t know what cold brew coffee is, this method of preparing coffee is centuries old. The process was invented in the 16th century by Dutch merchants who needed a way to move large quantities of coffee easily. The Japanese, who were already familiar with a cold brewing tea method, adopted it from the Dutch and coincidentally Japan was the first country in the world to start the mass production of cold coffee. One of the cold brew coffee methods is even called the Kyoto style.

Hot Brew Coffee VS Cold Brew Coffee

The coffee concentrate, produced by any of the cold brew methods, has a different taste and a different chemical profile than the coffee made by using the hot-brewing methods. Coffee beans contain oils and fatty acids that become soluble at high temperatures, which is the reason why cold brew has lower levels of acidity and lower caffeine levels.

As a result, cold brew coffee doesn’t taste like coffee brewed by hot-brewing methods,  its taste is sweeter and milder  However, a cup of cold brewed coffee may contain higher caffeine levels even though the lesser amount of caffeine is extracted from the coffee beans because a higher coffee to water ratio is often used to produce a strong cup of coffee that defines what cold brew coffee really is.

In the recent years, almost every respectable bar started serving this remarkable drink that offers an alternative to traditional ways of preparing coffee. In addition, there are a number of cold brew coffee based drinks and ice creams that are surely worth a taste.

The best way to find out what is cold brew coffee is to try it and decide whether or not the hype is real for you. Those who like to experiment can easily make cold brew coffee at home, because the process is extremely easy, although it may take some time before you can enjoy the homemade cold brew coffee from the coffee beans you personally selected since the process lasts for at least 12 hours.


June 24, 2017


Cold Brew