The Complete Guide to Cold Brew Coffee

Making cold brew is great for a few reasons! Not only is it a wonderfully cool and refreshing drink on a hot summer's day, it's also handy to brew in bulk batches and keep in the fridge to share with friends or family in the garden. 

  1. What is cold brew coffee?
  2. What is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?
  3. How is cold brew coffee prepared?
  4. What you’ll need to get brewing
  5. How to make cold brew coffee:
  6. Cold brew coffee FAQs:

    What is cold brew coffee?

    Cold brew coffee is a type of brewing method that involves steeping coffee grounds in water for an extended period of time, usually between 12 - 34 hours.

    This type of brewing differs from other methods we’ve spoken about in the past, as the ground coffee beans never come into contact with hot water.

    The difference in extraction results in a unique flavour profile and taste.

    What is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

    Lots of people mistakenly believe that cold brew is the same as iced coffee, but this is not the case.

    While both of these chilled drinks are wonderfully refreshing, they each boast their own unique characteristics.

    The main difference between cold brew and iced coffee is the way that they’re made:

    • Iced coffee refers to coffee that has been brewed traditionally and then cooled down by being poured over ice.
    • Cold brew, on the other hand, has a longer brewing process which tends to result in a smoother brew. The extended, colder extraction also helps to highlight the sweetness of the coffee. 

    There are so many reasons why people love cold coffee!

    Cold brew continues to grow year on year, with the cold brew coffee market predicted to increase by a huge $1.37 billion from 2020 to 2025.

    The pros of brewing cold coffee include:

    • Smooth flavour with less bitterness and acidity 
    • Versatile brew that mixes well with citrus and fruity flavours
    • Brew in bulk and store in the fridge for days to come
    • Perfect for warmer spring and summer days 
    • Easy to brew, even without specific coffee brewing equipment

    How is cold brew coffee prepared?

    To prepare cold brew coffee, you are going to soak the coffee grounds in water for several hours, usually a period of 12 - 24 hours.

    This preparation time is important because in the absence of heat, the water requires a longer time to extract the caffeine and flavours.

    What you'll need to get brewing:

    • V60 and filter papers or,
    • Cheesecloth / muslin cloth and a sieve 
    • Odd Kin’s speciality coffee 
    • Scales / measuring scoop
    • Tupperware
    • Room temperature water

    How to make cold brew coffee:

    Here at Odd Kin, we use a super simple method to produce a litre of cold brew at a time - this is the recipe we’re going to share with you today. 

    This method of cold brewing tends to round off the acidic or bitter edges of the coffee, leaving a super smooth drink that really brings out any citrus or fruity flavours inherent in the coffee.

    But, to really draw out the flavour try our iced filter recipe.

    Step 1: First, you’re going to need around 100 g of coarsely ground coffee (pretty much as coarse as it gets) for every litre of water you’re using. This 10:1 ratio is used because the brewing process is slower and gentler, we want to draw out as much flavour as we can. 

    Step 2: The next step is simple. All you have to do is pour 1 litre of cold or room temperature water into a large tupperware with the ground coffee, and allow it to steep for up to 24 hours. We generally allow a 12 hour brew for ours, but feel free to experiment. 

    Step 3: Once the batch has brewed, you need to decant the coffee through a strainer. If you have a Hario V60, you can use this with filter papers. Alternatively, you can use a sieve with some muslin or cheesecloth - both do the job!

    Step 4: Strain the coffee into a bottle or container that’s big enough to store the amount of cold coffee you’ve brewed. Then - all you need to do is pop it into the fridge! We find our cold brew keeps for around 5 days. 

    Step 5: Cold brew tastes great over ice. You can drink it black, or with a dash of milk of your choosing, or consider checking out the tasting notes on your coffee and adding fresh fruit you think would compliment it! 

    🍓 🍊

    Top tip from Odd Kin’s Head Roaster: We like the Ethiopia Mensur with some fresh sliced strawberries or the Rancho Dantas with a slice of whatever citrus fruit you have to hand. For a real show stopper, try serving your cold brew with a splash of tonic water, coffee tonic always goes down a treat for us!

    Cold brew coffee FAQs:

    What size should I use for cold brew coffee grounds?

    With this style of brewing, you need to use coarse cold brew coffee grounds. Each coffee particle will be roughly 1 mm in size, with a texture akin to sea salt. 

    We recommend grinding your coffee to order, as whole bean coffee keeps fresher for longer. This can be done with a hand grinder or electric coffee grinder, but if you don’t have one of these, don’t worry we can do it for you!

    All you have to do is choose which bag of Odd Kin’s speciality coffee you want, then select the French Press grind type and add to cart.

    What is the ideal coffee to water ratio for cold brew?

    A cold brew coffee ratio of 1 to 10 works well because the brewing process happens over a longer period of time. This means that for every 100 g of coffee you use you’ll need 1 litre of cold / room temperature water.

    Is cold brew stronger than normal coffee? 

    Generally, cold brew has more caffeine than other types of brews. This is because of the higher ratio of coffee to water being used, which makes it more highly concentrated. 

    What is the best coffee for cold brew?

    The best coffee for cold brew will depend on your flavour preferences!

    It’s always best to use speciality coffee beans for brewing, and for best results we recommend our customers to check out the tasting notes of each roast, then pair their cold brew with a slice of fruit that compliments the flavour profile. Or you can go old school and drink it straight up black!

    While you can use any type of coffee bean for cold brew, what matters more is using the correct, coarse grind size. 

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