Cold Brewing Coffee - Ice Coffee | Making Ice Coffee

Jammie McClure

Why Cold Brew? Before discussing the process, you are probably interested in knowing why anyone would want to do this in the first place. For iced coffee, it's really simple to brew hot coffee and then cool it down. That reason alone isn't enough to warrant a whole new brewing concept. Its all about the flavor. By taking heat out of the brewing process, you will end up with a lot more flavor in your coffee. The oils that provide all the taste in coffee are pretty delicate, and the scalding hot water we use to make coffee usually does more harm than good. The reason that it's become the typical brewing method is the speed. A drip coffee maker can have a pot of coffee ready in about 10 minutes, whereas a pot of cold-brewed coffee will take about 3 to 4 hours. The taste of cold brewed coffee is extremely strong but without the tart acidity. It can be so strong in fact, that it is a common practice to actually use it more as a concentrate, and add a little additional water when it comes time to drink. If you are adding ice for an iced drink, that may not be necessary. Cold-brewed coffee doesn't just taste less acidity, it does actually contain far less acid than hot-brewed coffee. This can mean a great deal to a coffee-lover with a sensitive stomach. How to Cold Brew If you want to try cold brewing coffee without any special equipment, you can. In a large jar, add about 1/4 cup of your favorite coffee grounds to 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir well, and let the mixture "steep" in the fridge for at least 3 hours. You can leave it overnight if you want, but it can be pretty strong by then. Pour the mix through cheesecloth or even just a paper coffee filter to strain out the grounds. That's all there is to it. You now have a few cups of cold brewed coffee. It can be used immediately for iced coffee or heated up for a warm cup. You'll have to try it a few times to judge the strength, and whether or not you have to dilute it. For those who prefer a more technical approach, the Toddy cold brew coffee system is the best for your money. It's a dual cannister system. The top half holds the coffee grounds and water, which then steeps for 12 hours. You turn the stopper, and the finished coffee flows down into the bottom half which is a glass carafe for serving. A Toddy can make 9 cups of coffee at a time, much like a typical drip-coffee machine. Not everyone can give up that morning smell of hot coffee brewing, but a cold-brew option may be appealing in the heat of summer. With a jar or two, you can give it a try before you invest in a Toddy (though they aren't very expensive) and see whether or not the taste of cold-brewed coffee is for you

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