Sweet, sweet coffee – some of us depend on surviving through the working day and others consider ourselves actual connoisseurs. Whether you are a casual drinker or a coffee maker, you can probably distinguish the difference between a good cup and a bad one.
Even if you just need water and coffee beans to make a decent cup of joe, it's pretty easy to make crappy coffee. What makes coffee taste gross? How about when you make it too strong, too weak, use a bad mix, or when you leave the pot sit on the burner for too long. Therefore, office coffee is often the worst. The pot sits for hours, the coffee develops a burnt taste, and you are left with something that is as tasty as the clay.
The key to a large cup of coffee is chemistry. Your cup of java contains organic acids such as malic acid, acetic acid and quinic acid, and it has inorganic acids such as phosphoric acid. Therefore, bad coffee tends to have a bitter, sour taste. So, what's the key to making a good cup of coffee that tastes even better than your favorite coffee bar mix? Try cold brew coffee.
Cold brew coffee has a much nicer flavor because you get the sweet flavors of the tasty acids, but the bad taste of the bitter acids. When some people think of cold coffee, they think of a long and boring process or expensive equipment and accessories. But you don't have to be Starbucks to cool your coffee.
- Grind your beans. You want your beans to be coarse, if the consistency of coherent salt. If you only have finely ground coffee available (like what you would use in your coffee maker), it will extract, resulting in a bitter brew.
- Mix coffee and water. Pour four cups of water into your pot and add your coffee. If you want a regular brew, add 1/2 cup of coffee, giving a 1: 8 ratio of coffee to water. For a stronger bridge, add up to 1 cup of coffee grinders. This is personal preference, but both Blue Bottle and Kicking Horse Coffee suggest a ratio of 1: 4.
- Give your coffee and water mixture a quick stir to help you start brewing.
- Cool your brew for 12 to 15 hours.
- Iron the coffee and water mixture with a fine silicone coated in some cheese cloth.
- To serve, add water or milk to dilute the concentrate. Again, it is personal, but start with a 1: 1 ratio and go away. We added a vanilla bean, 1.5 cup skimmed milk and 1/2 cup sugar.
- Store your cold brew in a closed container in the refrigerator for no more than two or three days. When you add milk, water or other ingredients, this shortens your coffee's durability. If you leave your cold brew as a concentrate, you can store it for about a week before its quality deteriorates.
Tips and Warnings
- Use filtered water for best results. You can also use plain bottled water, but filtered water is your best bet.
- So tempted to remove the brew from the refrigerator before it is ready, wait at least 12 hours. It is well worth the wait.
- Cold brewing coffee sits for extended periods, and it tends to sit in the danger zone temperatures between 39 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful with food safety and sustainability guidelines.
- Cold brew coffee tends to be stronger than traditional hot coffee, so dilute your cold brew if you don't want to bounce off the walls.