What is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew coffee is one of life’s best kept secrets. Brewing coffee with cold water does seem to be a bit of a contradiction, and while preparing it can be a bit tricky, the results can be well worth the effort. Let me remind you that despite popular belief, cold brew is NOT the same as iced coffee. Yes, they're both served cold, but continue reading to know what cold brew actually is.
Recently we brewed using the Yama 6-8 Cup Brown Wood Cold Drip Coffee Maker with Methodical Coffee (located in South Carolina).
Cold brewing with ice can seem a bit intimidating at first if you’re not used to it, but the trick is knowing that the weight of liquid water and the weight of ice is the same. So, if you know the ratios you want, you can either measure out your water ahead of time before you freeze it, or you can do some conversions. FYI, 1 gram converts to 0.0338140225589 fluid ounces... A more useful bit of information would be that 30 grams converts to approximately 1 fluid ounce, so keep that in mind if you want to measure your ice with a scale. I decided to use the ratio of two “scoops” of coffee to three “trays” of ice cubes. See more information on specifications (and pictures) below!
Here are a few different proportions — all using about the same coffee to water ratio — that can serve as a starting point for your brew recipe depending on your preferred system of measurement and your vessel:
- 140 grams (just over 1¼ cups) of coffee per liter of water or
- About 5 Tbsp coffee per 8 oz (1 cup) of water or
- Roughly double the amount of coffee you normally use for the same amount of water
- Do it at night: While this may seem obvious it’s actually really good advice. I wanna say that it was probably 6ish when I started brewing last night. If you didn’t know, a globe full of ice actually melts pretty slowly at air-conditioned room temperature. If you’re as impatient as me, you should start brewing at night. Alternatively you can also use a mixture of ice and cold water to cut down on your extraction time.
- Pre-wet your coffee: This might not be the first thing you think to do but it definitely helps. If you’re using just ice to brew, you’re going to start with just tiny drips of water passing through dry coffee. Most likely what’ll happen is that by the time you’re done brewing, you’ll have a good bit of water suspended in the grounds that never makes it into your carafe. By pre-wetting the grounds just a little bit you can avoid this issue and ensure that you get the most out of your efforts.
- Use a lighter roasted coffee: If you’re looking to extract the more floral or fruity notes of the coffee that you’re brewing, you’re better off using a lighter roast. The darker your coffee the more you taste the roast and the less you taste the coffee itself. In our experience, we achieved good results with lighter roasted coffee.