At some point, we’ve all had the thought, “Damn, how delicious would it be to feel that incredible coffee flavour, with some ice cubes to refresh a hot Aussie afternoon.” However, in reality, once you start getting into the rabbit hole of the chemistry behind brewing your coffee, you begin to wonder, “But aren’t I diluting my coffee with ice?”.
What if I told you that we could teach you how to make a balanced, sweet and perfect drink for a hot season… And what if I told you the secret was cold water, what would you think? Read more to find out.
Brewing coffee with cold water. Is that possible?
Before we get into it, we need to discuss water temperature’s impact on your final brew. I mean, as little as 1-degree Celcius can make a massive difference to the extraction of acids, oils, and caffeine. Essentially temperature is an accelerant of extraction, so the hotter the water, the faster it will extract the properties.
Cold-brewed coffee allows for a much slower extraction, by which fewer oils are extracted. Oils are the culprits for bitterness, so brewing your coffee with a cold-brewed method diminishes the bitterness and enhances those sweet fruity notes to the final cup.
Cold Brew vs Cold Drip.
First, we must define what Cold Brew and Cold Drip are. For this, we must understand two brewing methods: Immersion and Percolation. Cold-brewed coffee uses the immersion method of brewing, while Cold-drip uses percolation.
Immersion is when the coffee particles are “fully immersed” in water. This brewing method allows the total surface area of the coffee to have permanent contact with water during the brewing process.
On the other hand, percolation consists of the slow flow of a fluid through a porous material. What does this mean? It means that our coffee will be receiving small amounts of water constantly until a complete extraction is made.
Cold Brew or Cold Drip: Which is better?
Now that we are clear on the differences in the brewing method, you’re now left asking, “Which one is better?”
When brewing cold brew or cold drip, no matter the brewing method, they both take multiple hours to brew (6-14hours), and it’s crazy to think that coffee that takes so long to brew could be under-extracted. But Cold Drip can be prone to under-extraction. This is due to the combined forces of extracting coffee with cold water and the Cold Drip percolation method itself. The percolation method means that an already slower extraction of coffee is met with a slow flow of water that has less contact time with water to allow for extraction, resulting in a much lighter cup.
On the other hand, Cold Brew has multiple advantages, ranging from the easiness to prepare it right through to the well-balanced nature of the drink. Although we ensure that all the beans are immersed in cold water through the immersion technique. This technique allows for a more even extraction of acids, oils, and caffeine. The end result is a well-balanced, evenly extracted, full-bodied, juicy sweet drink…. a great partner for the Aussie summer!
TIP: If you don’t want to dilute your coffee, use some extra cold brew and pop it into your ice cube tray. Voila, coffee ice cubes!
What coffee should I use for making Cold Brew?
For starters, we always suggest that you begin the process with great coffee that will yield great results. At Beyond, great coffee means freshly roasted specialty coffee. After all, coffee is a fresh product, and there’s only so much you can do with stale coffee! So, let’s leave that super stale coffee on the supermarket shelves and set our aim for freshly roasted specialty coffee; there’s a huge difference, and your taste buds will thank us later! You can find a whole heap of single-origin coffees that have a vast taste difference on our online store here ->.
What equipment do I need?
All you need is ground coffee (not instant – as this is already brewed coffee), cold water, filters and something to hold it all together (large cup, pitcher, french press, toddy). Without a doubt, brands such as Hario, Toddy, or Primula have excellent apparatus’s to prepare a great cold brew.
Or our Beyond Coffee brew bags can get you started straight away with nothing more than a cup and cold water.
How to make Cold Brew
Simple! Grab your coffee, grind it up (usually coarsely), pop the coffee in your pitcher, add the water, and mix it a little (agitate). After this, take the mixture to the refrigerator to brew. We suggest a brewing time of 10-14 hours to obtain a delicious drink.
If you don’t have the equipment, don’t worry; we’ve thought of that too. Our Beyond Coffee’ Brew Bags is an all-in-one solution that yields excellent results for Cold brew coffee. We recommend 30g of single-origin specialty coffee – (2 x brew bags: 300ml of water – the 10:1 ratio), and you’ll have a spectacular coffee if you use a brewing time of 12 to 14 hours.
So you’ve already got the equipment? Easy! We can get you started with a bag of our freshly roasted specialty coffee from micro-lots. Our roast profiles work super well for brewing cold brews. So why not check out our range of single-origins that are roasted to order.
Understand Brewing Ratios
If you’re not familiar with a ‘brew ratio’, here’s a quick primer. A brew ratio is a way to compare the weight of the amount of ground coffee to the amount of water you use to brew the coffee. We use ratios because you can easily adjust the exact amount of coffee & water you use to match the size of the brewer you’re using.
For example, a ratio of 1:15 is 1 part ground coffee to 15 parts water. So, if you use 50g of coffee, you multiply that number by 15 to get 750g water (or 750ml, if you prefer to measure it that way).
Ok, with that out of the way, here are the ratios we think work best for cold brew. But, of course, the right choice for you depends on how you plan to drink it and the type of flavours you prefer.
INSERT FIGURE TODDY
Concentrate – 1:5 Ratio (Use if you’re diluting with milk or water)
The traditional way to cold brew is to make a concentrate that you can then dilute with water or milk (or other liquids) to make the finished product. For those playing along at home, this is usually a recipe of around 1 part coffee to 5 parts water (or 200g of coffee per litre of water).
Brewing a concentrate has the advantage of being versatile. Not only is it ideal for mixing with milk, but it can also be used as an ingredient in other items – Such as cocktails, frappes and even in cooking. However, it can be intense! So if you want something ready to drink, we’ve got you covered!
Ready to drink 1:10
The alternate is to make a ready-to-drink product straight out of the brewer – 1 part coffee to 15 parts water (67g of coffee per litre of water). The finished brew using this recipe has similarities to filter coffee in taste and texture, highlighting more of the nuances found in more delicate coffees.
This works great if you’re only planning to serve it black or with small amounts of milk – however it doesn’t allow many other serving options. Also, if you’re used to drinking heavy, espresso-based coffees, you might find the body (mouthfeel) too light for your tastes utilising this recipe.
The Ultimate Beyond Coffee Cold Brew Recipe: Step by step guide
What you need
- 60 grams of Coffee (4 x Beyond Brew-Bags)
- 600 ml Water
Yes, we are using the 1:10 ratio. So you can change this up or down if you need like making more or less. E.g. 30gram to 300ml or 100grams to 1L
Brewing with Beyond Brew-Bags
- Grab a cup or pitcher you wish to brew into.
- Put the 4 x Beyond Coffee Brew bags into the pitcher or cup.
- Pour 600ml cold water over the brew bags, ensuring that all coffee grounds are saturated.
- Pop it in the fridge for 10-14 hours
- Congratulations! The next day you’ll be greeted with delicious cold-brewed coffee. So grab a cup, serve it up and drink! It’s that simple.
- Don’t forget! Beyond Coffee brew bags are compostable, so be sure to pop them in the compost and use the grinds in your garden.
Brewing with Toddy
- Wet the filter and insert it into the groove inside the brewer. Don’t forget to insert the plug at the bottom.
- (Optional, but recommended) Add the paper filter bag to the brewer. The brewer will work without this, but it makes cleaning up much more manageable.
- Grind the coffee coarse (between filter & french press/plunger) and add to the brewer
- Pour filtered water over the grounds and wet them as evenly as possible. Stir the coffee to ensure the coffee grounds are fully saturated.
- Cover the brewer and leave to brew at room temperature for 10-14 hours
- The next day, remove the plug and place the toddy on the decanter to drain. Add the airtight lid and store it in the fridge.