Cold Brew Espresso - What Is It And How To Make It

Cold Brew Espresso – What Is It And How To Make It

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 18:52

In this article I talk in detail about cold brew espresso, a tasty and unique beverage that is so easy to make. Very easy to make and with no specialist equipment.

At the end of the article I mention a more authentic cold espresso and a better way of making a cold espresso, but it does require specialist equipment.

Keep reading for more info.

What Is A Cold Brew Espresso?

Cold brew espresso, also often referred to as espresso cold brew is a concentrated coffee beverage, a cold brew concentrate to be exact that is made with a 1:1 coffee to water ratio and espresso beans.

The brewing method involves the use of cold water to extract the low temperature compounds and is best extracted while in your fridge due to the long extraction time which can be from 16 hours to 24 hours or more.

The result is a smoother, well-rounded coffee that is well-balanced and less acidic.

Despite the name, an espresso machine is not needed to make a cold brew espresso.

What Is A Cold Brew Espresso
A Cold Brew Espresso Is A Concentrated Cold Brew

Read: Espresso concentrate

Can Espresso Be Cold Brewed?

Yes, an espresso can be cold-brewed by making a very focused cold brew concentrate using a 1:1 coffee to water ratio and your favorite coffee beans and cold water.

However, this is more like a cold brew coffee than a cold espresso.

A true espresso brewed cold is called a cold-pressed espresso which requires the use of a manual pump espresso machine and a long pre-infusion time of 2 to 3 minutes.

A cold-pressed espresso is a true espresso brewed cold as it uses the same grind size (or finer), the same amount of pressure required to pull it and is much more like an espresso in terms of appearance and the rich thick crema on top.

How To Make Cold Brew Espresso

Making a cold brew espresso is easy, very easy and is no different to making a regular cold brew coffee. Instead of making a regular cold brew with a 1:8 coffee to water ratio we are making a special concentrate with a 1:1 ratio.

Technically you can make a 1:2 concentrate, but that eliminates to a large degree enjoying a hot version by adding an equal amount or twice as much hot water to the coffee concentrate.

Ingredients Needed

Just two ingredients are needed for this beverage.

  • 8 ounces (240 grams) of coarsely ground coffee. Use espresso beans.
  • 8 ounces (240 ml) of ice-cold water.

The better the quality of your beans and water, the better your coffee will be. Coffee is, after all, 98% water. Mineral water is best; at the minimum use filtered water. At Latte Love Brew we encourage you to use the chef’s principle of using the best ingredients.

How To Make Cold Brew Espresso
Making Cold Brew Espresso Is Easy

Method

This is one of the easiest coffee beverages to make. With your freshly ground coffee, add them to an airtight glass container. A mason jar is perfect to use.

Add your ice-cold water and give your container a good shake and then put your container in the fridge. The brewing time can range from 16 hours to 24 hours or more.

Brewing in your fridge increases the brewing time. The benefit of brewing in your fridge is a better extraction of the low temperature compounds.

Taste test after 16 hours, if your brew doesn’t taste perfect put it back in your fridge and taste test again after 2 or 3 hours.

When it is ready and tasting perfect for you, filter out your coffee grounds.

What Is The Best Way To Filter Cold Brew Espresso?

After you have taste tested your brew and found it to taste amazing and perfect for you, you must filter your cold brew espresso.

If you forget or fail to complete this important step, your coffee grounds will continue to extract, and you will end up with coffee that is very bitter and undrinkable.

There is a lot of debate regarding which filter to use as there are many different types of filter.

The type of filter that you use will affect the flavor and your cold brew espresso will taste less like an authentic cold espresso depending on what type of filter you used.

A paper filter will filter out all the coffee oils and produce a clean and crisp tasting coffee.

A metal filter, much more authentic, will result in a fuller flavor as it filters out none of the coffee oils.

A cotton cloth filter will produce a cup of coffee that is in between a paper and metal filter as it filters out some of the coffee oils but not all.

I strongly advise that you use a metal filter for this beverage to get the more authentic taste.

What Is The Best Way To Filter Cold Brew Espresso
A Metal Filter Is Best

How To Store Your Cold Brew Espresso

It is best to store your cold brew espresso in your fridge. Due to being a concentrate it will stay fresh for 7 to 10 days.

It is best that you store your beverage in an airtight container. Reducing the exposure to oxygen will help to maintain the flavor of your beverage and maintain freshness.

If you are a wine lover, using your wine pump will help to preserve your beverage and keep the rich great taste for a little longer.

How To Serve Cold Brew Espresso

You can serve your cold brew espresso as it is and serve a 20 ml (⅔ Oz) and enjoy a cold brew ristretto.

Or you can serve 20 ml (⅔ oz) and add 10 ml (⅓ Oz) of water and enjoy an authentic cold brew espresso.

The water that you add can be hot or cold.

You can also add 30 ml (1 Oz) to a tall glass and add 8 Oz of hot water; this will give you a hot cold brew coffee.

You can use your concentrate to make iced coffee, iced latte, iced Americano and other cold coffee beverages and not only a cold brew espresso.

How To Make A Cold Pressed Espresso

Making a cold pressed espresso is also easy. You need a manual lever espresso machine, finely ground coffee and a larger dose than what you would normally use.

If you normally use 20 grams for a shot of espresso, use at least 23 grams. You can use as much as 30 grams as the long pre-infusion makes the coffee puck more permeable.

Add cold water to the water chamber and pull down on the level slowly, very slowly. When you see tiny droplets of espresso coming out, hold the lever in place exactly where it is for 2 to 3 minutes before you build up the pressure to the full 9 bars (130 PSI).

Pull down to extract your cold pressed espresso.

Once extracted, you can enjoy your cold-pressed as it is or as the base for an iced latte, iced cappuccino, iced Americano and so on.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Brew Espresso

Yes, there are three ways of enjoying an espresso cold. One is to make an espresso cold brew by steeping ground coffee in cold water and storing the brewing container in your fridge while it is extracting.

A second way is to make a cold pressed espresso. This requires a special machine to get it right, a manual pump espresso machine, also known as a manual level espresso maker and cold water. This is a true cold-brewed espresso where the brewing process replicates the method used for brewing hot espresso shots.

The third and final way to make and enjoy a cold espresso is to make an iced espresso. An iced espresso is a hot espresso that has ice added. It may or may not be shaken, depending on your own personal taste.

Yes, espresso beans are dark roasted, typically a French roast and bring a great taste to your cold brew coffee. Cold brew works best with medium–dark roasts and above and tastes much better.

Iced espresso is intense, more intense and full of flavor than other iced coffee beverages. A cold espresso is more mellow, less bitter, less intense and well-rounded, balanced and less acidic than a regular espresso be it iced or brewed with hot water.

Try it!

Cold brew espresso should steep for 16 hours to 24 hours or more. Check after 16 hours for taste and then every couple of hours after that until you get the taste that you love and enjoy.

What Is A Cold Espresso Called?

A cold espresso is an espresso that is made in one of two ways: 

  • Brewed from a focused espresso cold brew concentrate.
  • Made in the same way as a hot espresso but is a cold-pressed espresso using a manual espresso machine

A cold espresso infers the shot was produced using a low temperature method and this differs from an iced espresso which only infers that an espresso is made, a regular espresso with ice added to the hot espresso to make it cold. 

Shaking your shot of espresso with ice cools it down quickly and makes the texture lighter and creates light microbubble aerated froth on top. The slight dilution takes the edge off the acidic nature.

Final Thoughts – Cold Brew Espresso 

Cold brew espresso is easy to make but has the annoying need to be made a day or so in advance or the need for great patience due to the long brewing time. 

If you love cold lattes, cappuccinos and Americanos during the hot summer days, then it is  a good drink to make. 

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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