So, you think you know cold brew. It’s just coffee left to steep in cold water overnight up to an entire day. While that’s what cold brew means, there are specific factors that make or break its taste and quality. Cold brewing may seem simple enough, but there’s a proper way to do it to make sure that you get the most out of your favorite coffee variant. Depending on how you do your cold brew, it can be sweet or acidic and light or intense.
Below are the four factors that you can control to achieve your ideal coffee taste and intensity.
Did you know that your grind setting affects the taste of your coffee? When you grind your beans too fine, it will give off a more bitter taste that comes with a sandier texture or mouthfeel. This is fine with the usual hot brew, but for cold brew, you want to keep your coffee coarsely ground. This allows for sweet, clean, and juicy flavor.
Amount of Coffee
The amount of coffee you’ll brew will largely depend on how you are planning to serve it — with milk, in long drinks, on the rocks, or straight from the glass. The amount of coffee also affects the mouthfeel. There’s no wrong way to do coffee dosage, but to give you an idea, 60 to 80 grams of coffee gives a light and refreshing taste. It’s also enough for as-is drinking. If you’re adding other ingredients such as milk, then you might want to go over 80 grams. You can even go as much as 120 grams for a more intense taste. Don’t worry; it will still offer a smooth mouthfeel like that in espresso.
True enough, it’s called cold brew, but how cold should you go? If you like your brew to end up sweet, you can start by brewing at a slightly high temperature. The hot bloom will bring out the sweetness. Then, leave your brew in room temperature. If you prefer your coffee a bit on the acidic side, put it in the fridge.
Extraction or Brewing Time
The length of the extraction time affects the coffee’s aftertaste. If you’re using a darker and more developed roast, carefully considering extraction time becomes all the more critical. Brewing for eight to 16 hours results in a light and juicy aftertaste, with minimal bitterness. Meanwhile, brewing from 16 up to 30 hours will give you a richer, deeper, and sweeter brew. However, the longer you brew, the drier the aftertaste.
Since it may take up to an entire day (or more) to make a cold brew, you can try different brewing methods to see which works best for you. If you’re serving it to others, list down the techniques you’ll use and describe the resulting taste, so that you can offer more options. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different coffee variants and amounts, temperature, and seeping time until you find the recipes that best suits your taste.
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