Cold-brew coffee

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Solomani, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. Solomani macrumors 68030

    Solomani

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    #1
    So I keep seeing this new 'fad' cold brew coffee. It's in Starbucks for sure, but I've been seeing a lot of micro-brew boutique brands popping up in places like Whole Foods (yes I know, a shameful admission that I shop there).

    As a fan of creamy sugared lattes, I've been reluctant to try it. Are the cold brew coffees always dark, non-cream? Are you supposed to add your own sugar/sweetener to taste?

    Will the Starbucks barista give me a dirty look if I order a venti cold brew, and then request to add some hazelnut creamer on top??

    Or is it always bitter just like straight black (hot) coffee and I'm just supposed to get used to the bitterness acquired taste?
     
  2. decafjava macrumors 68000

    decafjava

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    #2
    First time I've heard of it. Not sure what to think. I know and enjoy "normal" iced coffee but only when it is very hot.
     
  3. Solomani thread starter macrumors 68030

    Solomani

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    #3
    No worries. This is the first year I've heard that it exists. Apparently, it's been the rage in Japan long before it hit the US West Coast. Kinda like sushi.

    http://lp.starbucks.com/coldbrew

    http://www.peets.com/coldbrew.html


    P.S. — I'm now learning that cold-brew means just that. It's brewed cold. No heat or steam used. Which makes this different from the bottled iced coffees (like Starbucks) which have been sold in US groceries for years.

    Hmm, just found out there's a local Peet's near me. Gonna check this thing out this week.
     
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4
    Let us know how you find it.

    While I love my coffee, and can barely function without my first cup in the morning, iced coffee and 'cold brew' coffee are experiences as yet unknown to me. Still, while my preference is for hot coffee, I'll be interested to learn how you find these when you manage to track one down.
     
  5. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #5
    Might give this a try. I only drink iced coffee and that's once every six months.
     
  6. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #6
    It would seem that outside of a press it wouldn't word out very well
     
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #7
    And how does it work inside a French Press? I would have thought that you needed heat for the coffee and water to cohabit successfully in the pot.
     
  8. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #8
    I think it would need more time for bean water cohabitation and a press would allow that.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    Ah, I see. Fair enough.
     
  10. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #10
    I think I'm going to give a try now, I keep a press in my office and I'm sure we have some coffee around
     
  11. Solomani thread starter macrumors 68030

    Solomani

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    #11
    Just so we're all clear, cold-brewed coffee is not the same as "iced coffee" tho. Cold-brewed coffee does not use heat, steam or any boiling of the coffee or water whatsoever. I'm intrigued to see (taste) the difference.
     
  12. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #12
    So, in essence, 'cold brew' coffee is simply cold water added to ground coffee? If you make this isn a French Press you simply add cold water, not hot water?

    When I am making coffee in a French Press (and, at home, I have a rather lovely Le Creuset French press), I pour a little, a few tablespoons worth - of almost boiling - water first on to the grounds, let it sit for around a minute, stir, and then add the rest of the water to the pot, whereupon I let it brew for around four to five minutes at which point I depress the plunger.

    I confess that using cold water to make coffee intrigues me. I await with interest reports on this experiment.
     
  13. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #13
    I've had a few and it's actually nice. I've not had Starbucks as I always find there coffee bitter. A local coffee stall does it. If your adding sugar it's better to add powdered sweetener as sugar dosnt dissolve correctly.

    To make it at home find your favourite ground coffee and soak it in cold water (fridge is best) for a day or so.

    Few tips. If you want to add sugar boil a cup of water and add your sugar then chill it before adding the coffee.

    Also a nice bottled water is better than just using tap water.
     
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #14
    Agree with you about Starbuck's coffee; it is over-priced, stale, incinerated, burnt and bitter. I like the ambience of some of their cafés, but their actual coffee leaves an awful lot to be desired.

    Thank you, @Gav2k; those are interesting instructions, especially the thoughtful prompts about sugar usage (and yes, sugar does not dissolve in cold water). Likewise, the advice about the use of bottled water makes a fair bit of sense. However, reading your instructions, it does seem that the preparation of this coffee takes rather a long time….
     
  15. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #15
    No longer than making a decent ice tea really. But honestly if you like the taste it's easy enough to make up some batches. Once you've hit the 20-24 hour mark you just pour through a normal coffee filter and bottle it.

    Do not leave it in an open jug once brewed as it'll change in taste rapidly. It's good for 3-5 days depending on how cold your fridge is and if it has sugar in or not.
     
  16. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #16
    That's what I did but I also gave it a stir then let is seep for 25 minutes. It tastes more delicate than with hot water but not bad.
     
  17. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

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    #17
    Is cold brew coffe served cold, hot, or either? To the group, does it taste better in any significant way? I've enjoyed ice coffee for years.
     
  18. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

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    #18
    Cold brew iced coffee is much, much less bitter than hot coffee that's merely thrown in the fridge and tossed over some ice cubes. You actually get flavors and nuance out of cold brew.

    It's dead simple to make at home if you have a French Press. I add maybe 25% more grounds to the press than I would if I were making hot coffee, pour in your cold water, stir well, put the lid on your press, and stick it in your refrigerator overnight. In the morning, push down the plunger. You will get a concentrated cold brew. Pour the concentrate into a pitcher and dilute with cold water to your liking. I usually go for a bit more cold water than iced coffee concentrate, but it can be pretty close to 1:1.

    Yes, you can sweeten and milk it up to your heart's content. Yes, simple syrup is the preferred way to sweeten it — it's easy to make that at home, as well. I drink it black with a couple of ice cubes.

    I became an iced coffee addict when I was still living in SF, thanks to Blue Bottle and their numerous varieties of cold brewed iced coffee they've offered at their various outlets for many years. (If you want to thank/blame any particular roaster for the cold brew trend, it's Blue Bottle.) Moving to New York, with all the heat and humidity in summer, I drink iced coffee exclusively between mid-May and mid-October. The real sign of the change of season is when I switch between iced and hot coffee.
     
  19. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    Location:
    Austin, USA
    #19
    It's usually cold. You can buy it, which is silly because it's as easy to make as regular coffee (except you make it in decently large batches and it takes 12 hours). It's fine, but generally concentrated.
     
  20. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

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    #20
    I assume it's a container of coffee grounds sitting in cold water for 12 hours. I make a double pot of (hot) coffee, throw it in a plastic container and store it in the fridge to be consumed either cold or reheated. :)
     
  21. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

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    #21
    I think even hot coffee that's been cooled and reheated can be too bitter. However, I have been known to microwave a cup of coffee that's been sitting on the counter all day if I need a good kick in the pants to get through the afternoon. That scenario is one of the few where I'll entertain adding some milk to take the edge off.
     
  22. haxrnick, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

    haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

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    #22
    Been doing this for a while now at home with my Hario. Some of the best and smoothest coffee I've ever had. Way more potent than brewing hot then adding all the ice which dilutes it.
     
  23. Huntn, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

    Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

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    #23
    I don't notice an edge. Possibly I suffer from unrefined taste buds or I don't know what a truly smooth cup of coffee is. ;)
     
  24. Gav2k, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

    Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #24
    I've never bothered with a French press as I find the coffee becomes very very strong but if your diluting it then I suppose it makes sense. I'll stick to steeping then filtering as it suits my taste perfectly.

    Have you tried dissolving sugar over syrup? I sometimes add a little caramel syrup but sugar dosnt mask the subtle coffee taste.
     
  25. 748s macrumors 6502a

    748s

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    #25
    Had a cold brew nitro at Stumptown roasters NYC recently. Tasted like a mild guinness[​IMG].Was good!
     

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