Ah Perth. We love you for your warmth and sunshine. But sometimes 35Cº by 8am is just a bit much.
After a night wrestling with sweaty sheets, a caffeine kick is most certainly in order… but a hot coffee might be enough to send you running back to the shower.
So what’s a fiend to do? Grab a Dare from the servo on the way to work? Or worse, a Red Bull?
How about trying a delicious, homemade cold brew?
Sometimes called cold press coffee, cold brew is made by soaking ground coffee in cold filtered water. It shouldn’t be confused with cold drip, a Japanese technique where the coffee is extracted with gravity using special cylinders.
Cold brew coffee is incredibly simple to make at home without any special equipment. Basically all you need is some high quality coffee beans (you know we can hook you up) a grinder, mason jar, some sort of filter, and time (12 to 14 hours for steeping).
The result is a very smooth cup that brilliantly highlights the flavor profile of your coffee. The use of cold water instead of hot makes the extraction process much slower and more selective, resulting in less bitterness and acid so the taste seems naturally sweeter.
Since the temperature doesn’t change during the cold brew process, there is no change in the chemical structure of the coffee (hot water not only extracts quite quickly, but also cooks at the same time). This means the flavor profile is retained, not only after extraction but for up to two weeks in the fridge if properly covered. So while you might need a bit of patience to steep it, it can be made ahead of time, ready to go whenever you need an ice-cold coffee hit.
There will generally be more caffeine in cold brew, as the ratio of coffee to water is higher than with hot water methods. This makes it ideal for the true fiends out there, or as a concentrate to mix with ice, milk, cream, ice cream or in cocktails.
You can even use it in place of espresso in an espresso martini (check out some killer recipes, or submit your own here and get a free bag of coffee!). We’re not sure what it’s called when you sub out the espresso for cold brew, except for freaking awesome…
So how can you make this stuff??
- Grind one cup of your favourite Black Matter beans to a medium-course grind. Using a coarser grind will make the filtration process easier and your coffee taste far less bitter. Grinding too fine can heat up the grounds and negatively affect your cup.
- Mix in a jar with 3 cups of cold, filtered water, making sure the grounds are completely covered.
- Put the lid on the jar, and in the fridge it goes.
- After 12-14 hours, filter the coffee however you like – cloth or paper filters, mesh or fine colander, cheesecloth, nut milk bag, nylon stockings… Just don’t cheat and filter any sooner or your coffee will be weak and lacking in flavor.
- Serve and enjoy, sticking any leftovers in the fridge for later!
Ridiculously easy, right?
There are a couple of other ways you can do it too, if you have the stuff at home.
You could try the double filtration method, where you basically construct a homemade tea bag. Tie up your coffee grounds in a paper filter, then wrap in a nut milk bag. Pop straight in the jar with your cold filtered water, and 12-14 fridge hours later, voila! Bright, clean, cold, pre-filtered deliciousness!
Or, own a French Press? Place your coarsely ground coffee in the Press, then add three parts cold water instead of hot. Cover the top of the plunger and put in the fridge for – you got it -12 to 14 hours. Then plunge as normal!
Have you made your own cold brew at home? How do you like to drink it?