Spring is coming up, and soon it’ll be too warm to pick up a hot cup of Joe from your favorite coffee shop. Before you start freaking out, there is a solution: cold-brewed coffee.
Though it’s not a new process, cold-brewed coffee is rather obscure in comparison to hot coffee. Only within the past three years or so has it became popular, but what exactly is it?
Cold-brewed coffee should not be mistaken for iced coffee. Iced coffee is brewed regularly and poured over a glass of ice. Cold-brewed coffee uses room-temperature or cold water and needs a minimum of 12 hours to brew — 24 hours if you want it brewed to perfection. In this process, the coffee brew is never exposed to heat. After the brewing process, you’ll basically be drinking day-old coffee, but this coffee comes with some added benefits that regular coffee doesn’t.
Cold-brewed coffee always comes out with less acidity than coffee made using the average brewing process. This only occurs because the brewing process is set at a lower temperature and isn’t able to extract the acidic substances inside coffee beans.
Cold-brewed coffee is also a greater source of antioxidants. As is, coffee beans contain loads of antioxidants, which are sensitive to heat. The higher the temperature, the more antioxidants coffee loses. Therefore, if you cold-brew your coffee, you won’t lose so many antioxidants.
On the down-side, cold-brewed coffee is not for the impatient or for a morning rush. Anyone who makes this will have to wait until the next day to drink it. If you would like to drink a cup of cold-brewed coffee, here’s what you should do: Start the process as soon as you get home, then walk away, sleep, wake up in the morning, and drink. It may be a long process, but at least it’s something that you can pour and go by the time morning comes. The only other down-side is the flat taste. Because the brewing process forces you to leave the coffee exposed to the air, the coffee is allowed to oxidize, which can make it go bitter and flat.
Written by: Bryce Ethridge