There are a number of conversational ’third rails’ like, religion, politics, labor unions, etc., and I usually sidestep them. I wouldn’t be surprised if coffee is another. So, let me say up front, I am not trying to change anyone’s coffee drinking habits. I just wanted to tell you about my own.
As regular readers know, I often back projects on the two crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter and Indiegogo like my Torch helmet and my HYDRA Smart Water Bottle, both for bike riding.
Now I would like to tell you about BOD’s BodyBrew a new cold brewing coffee system that I backed.
For the record, the extent of my ‘backing’ of this product was under $100 and my ‘reward’ limited to one of the coffee makers. I am not trying to sell you one and I get no royalties or further payments from BOD. That’s how crowdfunding works.
So, what is cold brewed coffee? It is coffee brewed by substituting time for heat. In other words, you pour cold water over it and come back 12-24 hours later and you have a batch of coffee liquor with which to brew coffee.
The nourishing gourmet says, “You leave coffee in water for 12 hours or more, and then you strain it. You now have a coffee concentrate that will last at least a week. What more can you ask for?
“The advantages of cold brewing coffee, as I see it, are as follows.
1. It is simple and easy to do.
2. It is less acidic, which many people find helpful on the stomach.
3. There is less caffeine per cup when cold brewed.
4. The cold-brew method is less bitter, which promotes a smooth flavor.
5. The cold-brew method allows a different flavor profile to appear. Without as much bitterness, the fruity, chocolate, vanilla or other undertones are allowed to shine. So, even if you like a good cup of drip coffee, cold brewed coffee can give you a wonderful variation.”
My cold brew box lists: Heart friendly – 82% less cafestrol than French press and espresso. Stomach friendly – 69% less total acid than drip coffee. Smile friendly – 58% less tannic acid than drip coffee.
Healthy living made simple says, “Deceptively simple, cold water brewing extracts the delicious flavor compounds (and some of the caffeine) from coffee beans, but leaves behind myriad bitter oils and biting fatty acids, including undesirable elements such as ketones, esters and amides.
“These are the same bitter acids and fatty oils that surface to the top of your hot cup of coffee, and give hot-brewed coffee that familiar ‘bite’ (thus the reason that some 8 out of 10 people attempt to soften the acidic taste by adding milk or cream to their coffee).”
That part about the bitter acids that I have been hiding behind cream and sugar was the first thing I noticed in my cold brewed cup. It was so smooth that the regular amount of cream and sugar really diluted the taste. So, when I started drinking cold-brewed coffee, I had to do a bit of experimenting. How much of the coffee concentrate to use for a cup. And, how much is a cup? We Americans have ‘cups’ of coffee as big as 16 and 24 ounces. When I covered the coffee market in London, I learned that the coffee industry considers a ‘cup’ of coffee to be six ounces. There are manufacturers, however, who differ. Mr. Coffee says, eight and a half ounces.
So, I decided that my cup would be eight ounces like a regular cup in the cookbooks. Then I needed to decide how much of my coffee concentrate to use. I started with one ounce and worked up to about 1.7-2.0 ounces.
The same kind of tweaking came when I added my cream and sugar. I know, that is not how purists drink it, but I started drinking coffee when I was around five and the adults gave me a ‘cup’ of coffee with a lot of milk and sugar in it. I have been drinking a variation on that for the past 70 years.
The foregoing may sound like a lot of trouble to go to to try out a new kind of coffee brew. Well, it is, but I think it has been worth it. I am a giant fan of cappuccino and have a hard time passing a Starbucks or any good coffee shop without buying one. Yesterday, I was at a place with a Starbucks and ordered a cappuccino to go for my drive home. I was amazed that after a week of drinking cold-brewed coffee I was very aware of the bitterness in the cappuccino. This amazed me as cappuccino consists of about one-third milk and has always tasted utterly smooth to me.
As a retired newsman, I have drunk a lot of coffee in my day. About 25 years ago I ran across an article in the New York Times on caffeine headaches that scared me straight. I have drunk only decaf ever since. So, don’t worry that I am jamming my system with a lot of that drug. I’m not.
I would be interested in hearing any war stories from readers who may have tried cold-brewing their coffee. I passed a Starbucks yesterday and to my surprise they had a sign offering cold-brewed coffee. That seems a new item … at least to me.
4 responses to “What About Cold-Brewed Coffee?”
Very interesting Tony, thanks for introducing me to cold brew. I will definately try this out myself.
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Let me know what you think. I enjoy it very much.
You definitely have my interest. i love strong coffee but not bitter and drink a lot of espresso (only lunch) so i’ll be anxious to see if the cold brew has that great coffee aroma. if Starbucks has it i’ll give it a shot (no pun intended)…
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I got it at Starbucks, but they served it cold. I love the way it tastes hot.