Cold brew coffee has been around for hundreds of years, but it’s only recently become popular in the Western World. That’s why it’s not a type of coffee that everyone is familiar with yet. If cold brew coffee is a new term for you, or you’ve heard of it but haven’t officially tried it, we’re here to answer all your questions about what exactly this new coffee sensation is.
There are a ton of reasons why you should indulge in the cold brew coffee trend. You can read all about why you need to try cold brew coffee on our blog. For now, let’s get started with all your cold brew coffee questions.
IS COLD BREW COFFEE THE SAME AS ICED COFFEE?
Cold brew coffee and iced coffee are different. Iced coffee involves brewing coffee beans with boiling water. The brew is poured over ice, and usually topped with some sort of milk, cream, or other liquid to add more flavor. For cold brew coffee, the ground coffee beans are placed in room temperature water and left to soak for 12-24 hours. This creates a highly-caffeinated coffee concentrate, which is diluted with either cold or hot water.
DOES THE TYPE OF ROAST MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Every roast brings out its own unique flavor profile that is not as strong in hot-brewed coffee. For example, Cold Brew Club’s signature brew, Ascension, is created with beans grown on farms at high altitude in Guatemala. This unique climate gives characteristics to the brew that can only be tasted when steeped and served as a cold brew beverage. Every roast will have its own distinct flavor like this.
DOES THE GRIND SIZE MATTER?
Your grinds for making cold brew coffee should be coarse. Coffee that is finely ground tends to be more bitter. For cold brew, if you use finely ground beans, the concentrate will be extra bitter since the coffee steeps for around 12 hours.
HOW DO YOU DRINK COLD BREW COFFEE?
Just because you steep cold brew with cold or room temperature water doesn’t mean you have to drink it that way. Here are a few ways you can enjoy your cold brew once you’ve steeped your beans:
- Iced Cold Brew Coffee: dilute your concentrate with cold water and ice
- Iced Cold Brew Latte: dilute your concentrate with milk and ice
- Hot Cold Brew Coffee: dilute your concentration with hot water
- Cold Brew Soda: mix with a flavor syrup, ice, and soda water
You can also check out one of our signature recipes, "Up and at 'Em" for a boozy cold brew drink.
HOW LONG DOES COLD BREW COFFEE LAST AFTER YOU MAKE IT?
Your homemade cold brew concentrate can last for 7-10 days, but it must be kept refrigerated. If you’re looking for a brew concentrate to last longer, Cold Brew Club’s monthly concentrate is good for up to 90 days in your refrigerator.
CAN COLD BREW COFFEE BE DECAF?
Cold brew coffee can be steeped with decaf beans. Follow the same steeping process as you would with any other type of coffee bean. Decaf cold brew coffee concentrate can also be enjoyed over ice and cold water, hot water, or any way you prefer it. There’s really no difference other than the lack of caffeine!
WHAT DO YOU MIX WITH COLD BREW COFFEE?
Your cold brew coffee concentrate will need to be mixed with some type of liquid. People use cold water, hot water, milk, cream, or surgery flavor additives (like vanilla or caramel). How you enjoy your cold brew coffee depends on your preference, just make sure you add something to dilute the concentrate. With Cold Brew Club’s concentrate, you can mix in whatever you prefer to taste.
DO YOU NEED SPECIAL COFFEE FOR COLD BREW?
Cold brew coffee can be made with any kind of coffee bean. So you don’t technically need a special bean to make your own. However, keep in mind that every bean has a distinct flavor profile, and those flavors are heightened more in cold brew coffee than hot-brewed coffee. Read about the type of flavor you’ll get from the coffee beans to choose a flavor you’ll enjoy. Just don’t use beans that are old!
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU STEEP YOUR COLD BREW TOO LONG?
It would be very difficult to over-steep your cold brew. In fact, some people steep it for 24 hours straight! The only way you could ruin your brew by steeping it too long is if the beans go moldy or stale. It would take a long time for this to happen, so if you leave your beans steeping for a few extra hours, your brew will be fine.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Now that we’ve answered some of your top questions about cold brew coffee and what it is, you can learn more about cold brew coffee and Cold Brew Club’s processes on their website. If you’re ready to give cold brew a try, check out our subscription program.