Cold Brew Coffee
There seems to be a bit of a craze sweeping the coffee drinking world: cold brew. This leads us to ask, what’s the big deal? Well, to answer that question, we need to understand how cold brew is different from our standard cup of hot coffee. There is a fairly common misconception that cold brew and iced coffee are the same things. Iced coffee, popular in the summer as an alternative to hot coffee, is typically espresso that is brewed to standard strength and then allowed to cool before being put in the fridge to be used in these iced drinks. Cold brew, on the other hand, is made by allowing grounds to soak in room temperature water for 24+ hours.
There are a few significant differences in these two brew methods. The standard ‘hot-brew’ method allows us to brew a whole pot of coffee in as little as 5 minutes. In this, we are able to extract the flavours from the bean quickly but the heat changes the character of the flavour and makes it taste more bitter and acidic. The cold brew extracts a ‘smoother’ flavour and has less acidity and typically has more ‘fruitiness.’ Depending on how it is brewed, cold brew can be much stronger than standard brewing and is often watered down to taste. When it comes in cans it’s always water but if you order it in a coffee shop, it may be diluted with milk or cream instead. We could argue that one is better than the other but that is really something to allow all of you to decide.
One thing we have been seeing more recently is cold brew appearing craft beer bars. The flavour and smoothness of this beverage lend itself really well to being nitrogenated. The most recognizable beverage that is always nitrogenated is Guinness. Adding nitrogen to a beverage makes it somehow taste even smoother and gives it that iconic creamy thick ‘head.’
We think the best, and most enjoyable way, to taste the differences in these is to try them side by side. We hope you’ll keep trying all kinds of coffee!