After last week's episode about healthy coffee, Nancy S. asked me to share the ups and downs about cold brew coffee.
You got it, Nancy!
So on today's #AskWardee, I'm sharing what cold brew coffee is, if it's healthy, and how to brew it.
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The Question: Is Cold Brew Coffee Healthy?
Nancy S. asked:
Thanks for the valuable information on last week's episode about healthy coffee. Can you advise on cold brewed coffee? Up- and down-sides? Thanks : )
Nancy, I'm soooo glad you asked this!
Cold brew coffee is worth discussing, too!
What Is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew coffee is not just regular coffee allowed to cool off.
Nope, it's coffee that you actually brew in cold conditions. You start with cold or room temp water, combine with coarser grind coffee, and allow to “brew” in the refrigerator for 12 hours or more. And then strain and drink.
It has a sweeter, smoother, less bitter flavor than hot brewed coffee. This is because the slow, cold infusion pulls the coffee flavor from the beans, but leaves behind most of the compounds that can make coffee taste bitter and sour.
It's perfect for iced coffee, or to reheat for a warm beverage, too.
It's really quite good!
Is Cold Brew Coffee Healthy?
If you remember the issues we discussed in last week's episode, they still apply here.
Assuming you start with organic, Swiss Water Process decaf Arabica beans… that are recently roasted and ground fresh for your brew… there are only a few differences between hot and cold brew.
One is that cold brew coffee may contain less caffeine, simply because the brewing imparts less of it into the cup. That's a good thing; with decaf that's 99.9% effective, that means your cold brew has virtually no caffeine at all!
Personally, I believe that cold brew coffee can be healthy when you drink it in moderation and use organic, Swiss Water Process decaf Arabica beans that are recently roasted and ground fresh for your brew. 🙂
(Please know that there are still people who shouldn't drink coffee at all… like those healing their guts. Yet, for the rest of us, there is a type of coffee and a way to brew it so that we can drink it in moderation without doing any harm.)
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee
Although you'll have to play around with the ratio, most people suggest starting with a water to coffee ground ratio of 4:1 (or 2:1 if you know you want it strong). This ratio makes a nice coffee concentrate that's perfect for pouring over ice or diluting with cream.
Here are the steps:
- Grind coffee to a coarse grind (much like you'd use for a French press). Best to use a Hario Skurton ceramic hand-crank grinder or this electric Cuisinart burr coffee grinder.
- Put 1 to 2 cups of coffee grounds in a quart size jar.
- Pour cold or room temperature water to fill the jar. Stir. Cap tightly.
- Put in fridge for 12 hours or more.
- Strain liquid/grinds through a coffee filter into a clean container. I use the glass Chemex with a paper filter or an organic cotton cloth filter; so handy to use this pot for both hot and cold coffee!
- Discard the filter and grinds into the compost.
- Rinse the quart jar and pour the now-strained cold brew coffee back into it for storage in the fridge. Keeps for about 2 weeks, but flavor best consumed within a few days to a week.
- Pour some into a cup and enjoy cold with ice, cream, and stevia; or reheat it with a bit of water to dilute it for a hot drink. 🙂
Once you make it a few times, you'll be able to tell whether you want it stronger or weaker and can adjust the amount of grinds accordingly.
The One Downside Of Cold Brew Coffee
There is one fairly significant downside to cold brew coffee over hot brew…
It's more expensive.
This is because, cup for cup, you need more coffee grounds to make cold brew.
I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, I'm just saying have your eyes wide open. 🙂
In fact, I think I will make cold brew more often, especially in the summer, after preparing this episode for you. Not because I want to spend more money, but because I like the idea of having cold coffee on hand in the summer! It seems like a little less work because you don't have to boil water — just combine room temp or cold water with the grinds and let steep.
Update: Linda A. on Facebook shared that she soaks her coffee twice. The second time is more weak, but it helps make cold brew less expensive! Great tip!
More Coffee Info…
Be sure you check out last week's episode: What's The Healthiest Coffee? for more info on the healthiest coffee.
And also, my daughter Haniya wrote this comprehensive post about coffee: “Is Coffee Good For You? + The Truth About Caffeine”. She covered whether it's good for you, how much is ok per day, the best coffee if you choose to drink it, and things like that. I'll summarize the main points here in this episode and you can always go here to the original article for the full scoop.
Any Questions Or Comments?
If you have other questions or comments about your own experience, be sure to leave them in the comments!
- “Is Coffee Good For You? + The Truth About Caffeine”
- What's The Healthiest Coffee? #AskWardee 124
- glass Chemex coffee pot
- Chemex paper filters
- Chemex organic cotton filter
- Hario Skurton ceramic hand-crank grinder
- electric Cuisinart burr coffee grinder
- 15 Natural Energy-Boosting Drinks — No Caffeine Allowed!
- DIY herbal coffee — really, really good stuff!
- FREE Traditional Cooking Video Series
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Do you make cold brew coffee? Please share your tips and thoughts in the comments!
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