There are many questions being asked about cold brew, including what is the best coffee to make cold brew with?, Can you use any coffee for cold brew?, Can you use regular ground coffee for cold brew? And many more!
In this article I will answer all your questions about this brewing method. If you have a question that is not addressed in this article, ask us on our Facebook page, and we will be delighted to answer it for you.
Now, let’s get brewing!
Why Cold Brew?
Cold brew is a fabulous chilled delight during a hot summer or in the tropics without having a bunch of ice cubes slowly melting and diluting your brew, giving you a sloppy, watery coffee. Few things in life are worse than your coffee ending in an off-taste while chatting with friends or working away at your local coffee house.
Sure, iced coffee and cold coffee have their place, but it doesn’t quite have the mellowed out taste of a well-made cold brew.
if you have a busy schedule ahead of you and have no time to brew up a cuppa Joe, you can brew an entire week’s batch in advance and keep it in the fridge. This is just one bonus of the cold brewing method!
Another, if it is what you are looking for, is the caffeine kick and that sweet boost of caffeine in the mornings, then this brewing technique might just be what you are looking for.
Also, if you are anything like I am and simply do not like a hot drink in the morning but have that need to satisfy a caffeine addiction, then a ready-made cold brew coffee is right up your street.
There are downsides, and one big downer is the amount of time it takes to make a single batch, which can be from 12 hours to 24 hours and uses twice as many grounds when compared to hot brewing methods.
Still, cold brew does come with a rather excellent variation, which is the Japanese flash cold brew method.
Read: Full immersion cold brew
What Is The Best Coffee To Make Cold Brew With?
This is quite a difficult question to answer as a lot depends on your own personal taste and preference. There is no particular best coffee for cold brew or any particular cold brew coffee bean that is better than another.
This brewing technique, due to being a low temperature brewing method, does not extract the full flavor or full body flavor of a coffee bean be they single origin speciality beans regardless of their roast profile.
It is in my opinion that you are best not using your speciality beans for making a cold brew coffee unless you are using the rather ingenious Japanese flash cold brew technique, that still may not draw out the flavors in the beans as you are merely using hot water instead of cold water at the beginning and not actually brewing with hot water with this technique.
As far as which roast to use, I have a preference for darker roasts to be used as when steeping your grounds you can pull out the earthy, nutty and chocolate like flavors from them. While some coffee lovers and experts suggest lighter roasts or medium roasted beans I simply feel that these are very light and lack that deep coffee flavor that I like.
Light roasts and medium roast do have a very subtle flavor to them when brewed this way.
Something to keep in mind is that dark roasts require less extraction time when brewing when compared to medium and light roasted beans. This is due to the lighter roasted beans being less damaged, with fewer of the coffee oils coming to the surface during the roasting process.
Can You Use Any Coffee For Cold Brew?
you can use any coffee bean, roast, blend or single origin for cold brew. It is not so much the bean that counts but the grind size of your grounds when you are steeping them overnight.
It is in my own opinion that with dark roast coffee beans you will get a more bold coffee flavor, a more rich flavor than when using lighter roasts.
due to the low brewing temperature, you are best not to use your expensive specialty beans as you will not get all the oils and coffee compounds out of the beans. Avoid using your favorite coffee beans is the general advice given by coffee experts and coffee lovers.
Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee For Cold Brew?
it is best that you use regular middle of the road, not too cheap and not too expensive non-speciality beans that are of a dark roast for a better, fuller, more robust flavor. Since you are brewing with cold water and using a coarse grind, you will find your coffee, as a result, is less bitter.
Do I Have To Use Coarsely Ground Coffee?
Yes, you have to use coarsely ground coffee. The reason you need, literally must use a coarse grind is due to brew time and the surface area of grounds that are in contact with the water. A finer grind gives a much larger contact area with the water, a coarse grind has a smaller contact area.
When you are brewing for such a long period of time with a smaller grind size you will end up over extracting and end up with a very bitter and off tasting coffee as a result. The over extraction is simply pulling out too many of your beans flavors. There is also a high probability of getting dry clumps if not submerged well.
Due to using a cheese cloth or something similar, there is no risk of getting fine grinds in your cold brew coffee.
A coarse grind will simply get you much better results for the water temperature used and the brewing time. Be sure to TAFO – Taste And Find Out every few hours. Once it tastes as you’d like you can remove the grounds and halt the extraction process.
As a side note, as always try not to use pre-ground coffee beans, here at Latte Love Brew we encourage you to always do your grinding and home roasting for more control over all aspects of the process. Above all, grinding and roasting your own beans gives you maximum freshness.
What Happens If You Use Fine Ground Coffee For Cold Brew?
Due to the cold brewing process, when you use finely ground coffee, you will end up with an over-extracted brew with too much of the coffee oils extracted. There is a possibility that you might catch it as a well brewed coffee if you keep an eye on the extraction time and use a much reduced brew time.
Going in the other direction and using a very coarse grind, as large as your coffee grinder permits, you will end up with a weak under brewed cuppa Joe, you can overcome this by extending the brewing time.
What Kind Of Coffee Does Starbucks Use For Cold Brew?
Starbucks uses their Breakfast blend to make their cold brew coffee. The exact beans and their origin in the blend are a trade secret.
What I do know is they use coffee beans from Nariño, Colombia. You can closely resemble and replicate what they serve in their coffee shops by using their pitcher packs that have coffee from this exact area of Colombia.
Closely replicating is the best we can do without knowing the exact blend, grind size, roast, water temperature and brew time.
Cold Brew Coffee To Water Ratio
The cold brew to water ratio commonly used is 1:8. This is 1 part coffee to 8 parts water. You can make stronger ratios of 1:4 and 1:2 for making cold brew concentrate. It is an option that many busy coffee shops use.
It is not something that I like to make as you need to mess around with weighing the coffee poured, and the water added to dilute it.
Making a large 2 liter batch (64 ounce approx) you will need 64/8 = 8 ounces of coffee grounds. For 2 liters it is 2,000 grams (by water weight) / 8 = 250 grams of coffee grounds to be used.
The ratio of 1:8 gives you a nice, smooth, very enjoyable brew.
How Long Should You Brew Cold Brew For?
The ideal brew time for cold brew ranges from 10-12 hours per 32 ounce batch. Brew time, depending on your own personal taste and preference, can take as long as 24 hours.
The longer you leave the grounds steeped, the more of the coffee oils and compounds will get extracted. You will need to keep an eye on your brew and taste it frequently and stop when it gets to your liking.
For lighter roasted coffee beans, you will need to brew them for longer.
I have seen suggestions of brewing at room temperature or next to a sunny window to reduce the brew time. This is a bad idea as the light will damage your brew and brewing in a fridge will help you to store your coffee for slightly longer.
It is cold coffee, it’s called cold brew for a reason! Brew it cold! I brew with water that has just melted, as cold as I can possibly get, and keep it in the fridge while brewing.
How Long Will My Cold Brew Coffee Stay Fresh?
You can store your cold brew for up to one week in your fridge. I prefer to keep mine for 3 days at most and 5 days at a push.
After the 5th day, I noticed a drop in flavor and thus 5 days is the maximum for me.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Coffee To Make Cold Brew With
What kind Of Coffee Should I Use For Cold Brew?
The best coffee to use to make you cold brew with is the best tasting coffee beans that you can find. If you have a favorite coffee bean that is a dark roast (best) or medium-dark (next best) you will get a cold brew coffee that you enjoy. Try a Pea berry or volcanic coffee to make it.
Can You Use Store Bought Coffee For Cold Brew?
Yes, regular coffee beans can make a great tasting cold brew coffee. If you are unfamiliar with the cold brewing process, it is better to start with a run-of-the-mill coffee than using your expensive specialty coffee beans. I advise this for every brewing method that you are new to.
Is Medium Or Dark Roast Better For Cold Brew?
In my opinion, a dark roast is better for a cold brew coffee. If you want to use a medium roast, make sure that it is a medium-dark roast. The reason is you get a better tasting cup of coffee.
Is Starbucks Cold Brew Espresso Or Coffee?
Starbucks does not use their espresso roast or espresso shots for their cold brew. They don’t use their brewed coffee either. Starbucks uses their breakfast blend for their cold brew coffee.
Why Is My Cold Brew Bitter?
If your cold brew coffee is bitter, there are two main reasons why this may be happening:
- Your brewing time was too long and your coffee over extracted and became over extracted.
- Your grind size was too fine. When your grind is too small, your coffee extracts quicker, and you need to adjust to brew time to avert the problem of over extracting your coffee and your coffee becoming too bitter.
Another reason for your cold brew becoming bitter is brewing a large batch and forgetting to remove the coffee grounds. If you forget to remove your coffee grounds, they continue to extract, eventually making your coffee bitter.
How Many Shots Of Espresso Are In A Cold Brew?
Zero! There are no shots of espresso in a cold brew coffee as this coffee beverage is not made with a espresso. It is it’s own unique brewing method and technique.
Frappé-ing It All Up — Best Coffee To Make Cold Brew With
Cold brew is a nice change from your regular coffee. You have probably enjoyed it or seen it served in a mason jar at your local coffee shop and now want to make it at home. The best coffee to make cold brew coffee with are dark roasted coffee beans that are coarsely ground. That, right there, is the best coffee to make cold brew with.
I know regular cold brew coffee drinkers would absolutely agree with that.
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