Cold brew 101 – Everything you need to know

Everything you need to know about cold extracted coffee


Cold-brew coffee consumption in the USA has skyrocketed over the last decade. Most coffee drinkers have either heard of or tried cold-brew. A cold extracted coffee drink is refreshing and delicious so It’s easy to understand why it is becoming so popular.

On a warm day, you might not be craving a hot brewed coffee while you stroll through the park. Instead, a smooth and sweet cold extracted coffee would hit the spot. It’s not only a chilled caffeinated beverage but it also comes across as more of a sweet flavor with rich chocolate notes and less acidity.
Acid levels in coffee are directly related to the darkness that the beans are roasted to. The darker the roast, the less acidic the brewed coffee will be. Cold and hot extracted coffee share similar pH levels across all roast types. However, cold brew is typically made with darker roasts and may be more approachable to those who prefer less acidic coffee.

Cold-brew is a simple coffee drink. It is nothing more than coffee that has been steeped in cold water for six to fourteen hours. Yup, that’s it! There is no need for additional sweeteners or flavors in any way: just coffee and water. You can tweak the final product by changing either the coarseness of the grind or the ratio of water to coffee.

Cold extraction takes hours to make, but why?


You may be wondering why cold extracted coffee takes a long time to make. The quick answer is that coffee has many compounds that are soluble at different temperatures. These compounds affect the flavor and aroma of the resulting cup. High-temperature water extracts these compounds much faster than cold water. By adjusting the brew temperature you are able to control the compounds extracted. The lower you set your temperature, the longer it takes to extract.

What are the best coffee beans for cold brew?


The Cold-brew method is best when using beans with primarily nutty or chocolaty flavors. In contrast, fruity and light coffees are better suited for the hot water “pour-over” method of brewing. The best coffee bean origins for making cold brew are generally located at lower altitudes. Coffee grown at a lower altitude is less acidic and more preferable for making cold brew coffee. Low altitude origins include Brazilian, Sumatran, Colombian, Kenyan, and many others.

Make sure to speak to a Northside Coffee barista about the current origins of coffee currently being used in our cold brew. We would love to help you enjoy your cold brew coffee at home just as you would at the Northside Coffee Cafe in downtown Huntsville. Now that we have discussed what cold brew is and how to make it, the obvious next step is to try it at home!

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