Cold-brew Coffee Hack

Like many other people in tech, I drink a lot of coffee and spend far more than I should a month on fresh beans, filter papers and other paraphernalia. Last week I spotted cold brewed coffee on Instagram and had to know more.

Cold-brewed coffee isn't new, it has its roots in Japan where it is known as Kyoto-style coffee. Simply put, coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for 12 hours+ and then enjoyed black, with milk or over ice.

Claimed benefits include:

  • less acidity (easier on the stomach)
  • smoother taste
  • fatty acids and oils remain in-tact
  • added to ice it won't become diluted as quickly as a hot espresso

If you can't wait

I couldn't wait to try it, so I put 50g of beans into my burr grinder and set it to the coarsest setting. I then poured the grounds into a 1L French Press before slowly adding 750ml of room temperature water. I left it two hours and the cupping was a revelation.

I've never served coffee straight from a glass before, so this was quite novel. It's always brewed piping hot with milk or over ice to cool it down. At room temperature there was a new depth of flavour and the brew had a rich aroma. Here I filter the brew with a V60 funnel and paper.

Doing it right

I think two hours is plenty enough for a strong cold-brew, but the likes of Starbucks (who may know better) steep theirs for 20 hours. To do this right and eliminate the additional filtering stage we can purchase a purpose-made cold-brew pot with a fine-mesh reusable filter built-in.

I bought a Hairo 600ml pot for £13.00 which I thought was great value.

Discover new flavours and qualities from your favourite coffees or something new. I'm a big fan of buying fresh beans which are roasted the day before they are shipped. This doesn't come cheap, but once I tried freshly roasted/ground beans anything else tasted stale.

In the UK I've tried these suppliers for beans:

Rave Coffee

Bailies Coffee

Has Bean

Drink up

So no fancy equipment is needed for your first cold-brew or a trip to Starbucks. You don't even have to wait for summer, I've warmed mine up after pouring it out and it still tastes great. Enjoy!

Alex Ellis

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