Coffee drinks can be served by brewing either hot water or cold water with ground coffee beans. Some drinks also have milk or cream, flavors or sweeteners added with them.
Cold brew is also known as Cold Press or Cold Water Extract. The process of making cold brew involves steeping of ground coffee beans in water for prolonged period. The water can be either hot or cold. Soaking of coffee beans in water is done for extended period of 12 hours. The ground coffee beans are steeped with a paper coffee filter, a sieve made from fine metal. This concentrate is diluted with water or milk and served with ice with some other ingredients like chocolate. In Kyoto style brew, coffee grounds are dripped through water at room temperature for many hours. This slow drip brew is also known as Dutch coffee in Eastern regions of Asia.
The Major Difference
The major difference between hot Brew coffee and cold brew coffee is that the coffee beans never come in contact with the heated water. As a result a slightly different chemical profile is created due to leaching flavour coming from the beans. This is very unconventional and very different from the traditional brewing methods. Coffee beans contains caffeine, fatty acids and oils which are soluble only at very high temperatures. Hence cold brews often have lower caffeine levels and good for acidity related issues. It is approximately 60-70% less acidic then a conventional expresso or drip coffee. However, those who like have a stronger coffee can always increase the coffee to water ratio as per their needs. This may compensate for lower caffeine content in cold brews.
The process of making cold brew from French Press is very much similar to that of making a hot brew. There are 3 major difference between these processes:
- Brewing takes a lot more time for cold brew i.e. 12 hours atleast
- Water used for cold brew is at room temperature instead of hot water
- Coffee to Water ratio is much higher in the range of 7:1
As per some of the researches, cold brews taste best when made with a French Press. So one doesn’t need buy a new system for cold brew. Same French press can be used for making both cold and hot brew. Here is quick guide for making a cold brew with your French Press.
How To Make Cold Coffee With French Press
Choice of Coffee Beans:
Take 2-3 cups of coffee beans and grind them. Fresh ground coffee has clearly a much better taste, aroma and overall experience than pre-ground coffee. The difference is so much evident that even non regular coffee drinkers are able to differentiate. Knowing the importance of freshly ground coffee, go for whole beans instead of pre ground beans. If you don’t have budget to buy burr grinder then you can grind it with a cheaper local blade grinder.
Coffee should be grinded uniformly with pieces large enough so that they do not pass through the mesh filter. However, the grinds should also not be too large so that you miss out on the aroma and awesomeness of the coffee. You need to understand that finer the grind, the stronger the coffee, so if you are strong coffee lover, adjust your mesh and grind size accordingly.
Add water and Stir:
Put the grinds in a French press and 3 cups of water at room temperature. Just ensure that coffee to water ratio is at least 7:1 if not more. Water should be spread uniformly all across so that there is no coffee grind untouched. Stir it well so that entire coffee is immersed in water and all the aromatic flavors and delicious compounds are well extracted. It is recommended to use chopsticks instead of metal spoon for stirring. Metal can create micro cracks in the flask of French press and may even break it up completely. Also ensure that French press filter does not get in contact with brew during steeping as it may overly cool the brew leading to loss of taste.
Keep the plunger on top of the French press. While keeping the plunger straight press it down real slow. Grounds will slip out of the sides if the plunger is not kept vertical. Just use gentle arm pressure to avoid any dust entering the grind.
- Brewing: Now keep the French press in fridge and store it for 12 hours. Patience is the key when it comes to cold brew!
- Now just sit back, relax and enjoy your delicious dark brew.
That’s it! Your delicious cold brew made from French press is ready to serve. Once you are done, do not forget to clean up your French press well or else you will loose on taste in your next coffee cup!