Easy Cold Brew Coffee and Iced Coffee At Home
Summer in some parts of the country can be a bummer for coffee lovers. A hot drink just does not entice so invitingly as Iced Lemonade, smoothies, and, the best of show, if you aren’t counting calories: Italian sodas!!
Though Italian sodas are wonderful, even sharing some of the flavorings used in flavored coffee drinks, something is missing. For hardcore coffee lovers, an Italian Soda, with its good looks, cream, sweetness, and refreshing coolness, still lacks the foundational bean.
Some caffeine lovers swallow their pride and make do with substituting iced teas for their caffeine fix. Now, with the sugar and the lemon, an iced tea, in all its many varieties and temptations can be downright satisfying on a hot summer morning or afternoon. But, it’s still not coffee!
You need not fret. The answer exists, from the desert canyon walls of Arizona to the hot urban canyon of New York City. For cool refreshment, sweet allure, coffee flavors, buzz – all can be had in one drink: Iced Coffee!
What Is Iced Coffee?
Most people used think Iced Coffee is only the novelty drink that is sold as McDonald’s McCafe, or Starbuck's branded bottles in the coolers at the WalMart check out lines. The first is probably the most common, this “coffee” drink is alright, if you like coffee flavored snow cones, with more sugar than coffee flavor, but it’s not real coffee. Besides, a look at the ingredients will scare any health-aware consumer from coming within a McCafe mile of the stuff.
So what is cold brew iced coffee? Very simple: the act to infusing coffee in cold water. The coffee does not have heat applied at any time (so it does not require electric coffee makers to prepare), but allows it to be infused in cold water or at room temperature for long enough for the brew to absorb the aromas, colors and flavors of coffee.
Recently there has been awareness by cafés that one can take a normal black coffee, cappuccino, latte, or espresso and put a few ice cubes in it to make a passing Iced Coffee. It’s easy to do at home, after you make your morning pot, to just put the carafe in the fridge and serve it “on the rocks”. For many, that is what Iced Coffee is all about.
Iced Coffee Brewing—Hot Vs. Brew
Many discerning coffee drinkers notice a real taste difference between hot brewed coffee vs cold brewed. The ratios change: about 90% of the flavor elements and the caffeine content are drawn out in the slow steeping process.
The result is a stronger, super-flavor cup, with the normal balance tipping to less bite and acidity. One more thing—different coffee varieties will react differently, so lots of experimentation might be in order before we find our cold reward. Now, it could take a lifetime to find the perfect Iced/cold coffee drink. But the enjoyment is in the quest itself anyway.
How do you make cold brew coffee at Home?
There are many more genuine Iced Coffee drinks for the very serious coffee drinker. No watered down brew for these fans will suffice, real brew is the ticket.
Glass Cold Drip Coffee Makers
Retailers now offer a variety of cold brewers, like the wonderfully awesome, (yet some what expensive) Yama Glass Cold Drip Coffee Makers. Yama makes some of the absolutely most beautiful and and high quality drip coffee brewers....however they do come with a bit of a hefty price tag(as in the unit pictured below is pushing close $300) but with a price like that you are not just getting "trendy marking" the Yama's are very functional, and can brew an excellent coffee.
- Coffee grounds medium coarse grind are placed in the brewer;
- By regulating the dripping water through the valve in the center, coffee is steeped and moves into the carafe at the bottom.
- Ice and water are placed in the top jar of the iced brewer;
- The process takes about three hours.
If you have a taste for cold brew iced coffee, I would say it is probably worth considering buying a cold-brew dipper for home.
3 Of The Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers for Under $50.00
You can find good high quality home brewers that won't cost you much at all (and still have a result that approximates hot cold-brew) It's not required to start out with a Yama. Below we look at 3 really great cold coffee brewers that you can get for less then you would think. And trust us $50 +/- any of them will be your best bet and will worth the investment to get yourself enjoying a refreshing cool coffee at home, and whenever you want, all summer long. Any of three of these brewers would make an excellent addition to your brewing line up, but my personal pick for the "best" will have to be the OXO, the construction, as well as the quality of the cold brew it produces is outstanding, not to mention the aesthetics... its countertop presentation is by far my favorite of these cold brew makers. Next,as the 2nd best, I rank the Hario as very close runner up. The Hario Fretta uses the same cone as the classic and timeless original V60 regular drip brewer, and with is coming in under $20 bucks...you really can't beat that value. Hario has been around for years and they know what the are doing when it comes to coffee..hot or cold a V60 will always rise to the top. And last but not least the Toddy T2N Brew System.... Toddy has kept their design pretty simple, paired with a straightforward method of brewing, All you need to do is follow the directions, maybe tweak your brewing process here and there as you see fit, and you will be golden. The brewer itself is great and sturdy and without a doubt belongs in any "best of list" when looking at cold brewers!
These 3 systems offer the added advantage of making coffee that is less acidic (good news for coffee lovers with delicate stomachs).
Hario V60 Fretta Ice Coffee Maker (Approx. $18.00)
The Hario V60 "Fretta" Coffee Maker brews coffee with the same hot V60 cone. The resulting drip coffee falls on ice, which gives us the result of a quick, aromatic and clean cold coffee. In this way we preserve all the qualities of the coffee, emphasizing its natural acidity without bitterness. It can also be used to make hot coffee, by removing the container intended to put the ice.
1. Combines a V60 02 drip cone with heat resistant glass jar
2. Capacity up to 24oz
3. Contains plastic cone V60 02
5. 10 paper filters for cone V60 027
6. Ice container jar contains Coffee storage cover
OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker (Approx.$47.00)
The New York base OXO has developed more than 1,000 products for the home following the paradigm of Universal Design: products ready to use by as many people as possible. This philosophy translates into a very easy to use cold coffee maker: just add the amount of coffee previously ground in the infusion cube, then pour the water slowly using the cap with holes, and finally,
1. The OXO Cold Brew brewing machine as cold coffee is made of acrylic plastic
2. Very functional design with distinctive elements such as the Rainmaker lid to distribute water over ground coffee
3. Metal container
4. Weight 4lb
5. 9.5 x 9.5 x 14.75 in
6. Dishwasher Safe
Toddy T2N Cold Brew System (Approx. $40.00)
Hundreds of coffee shops in the United States and Canada use Toddy's patented system for the production of cold filtered coffee. With the Toddy system, it becomes very easy and simple to for home cold brewing. No need for plugs. Only water, coffee and time. Between 12 and 18 hours of filtration to complete the cycle, and prepare a coffee concentrate that you can then store in the
1. Electricity not required
2. Makes tea—hot and/or cold
3. Brewing container
4. Glass decanter with lid
5. 2 reusable filters (up to two months or 6 uses)
6. instructions and recipes
7. The result of Toddy cold infused coffee is 67% less acid than the hot infusion
8. Coffee can be stored up to 14 days (refrigerated) without losing flavor or freshness.
How Do You Make Cold Brew Coffee Iced Coffee? 4 Quick and Easy Methods
1.) Cold brew.
This is where you take coffee that's ground to a sea-salt consistency and steep it in room-temperature water for 8-12 hours. Then, you scoop out as many grounds as you can and filter the liquid through the medium of your choice. Paper filters work are my preference here, especially if you plan to keep the concentrate around for a while (you won't have particles that continue to steep).
2.) Cold brew with a twist.
Cold brew has minimal acidity and tends to be, if potable, quite boring. You can add interest by beginning the brew with hot water. Pour just enough to wet the coffee it's helpful to stir it a little let it expand for 25-45 seconds, then hew to your brewing ratio by finishing with slightly cool water.
After this, the water should be at room temperature and you follow the basics of cold brew described above.
3.) Hot iced coffee.
Now we're talking. What I'd consider to be the more interesting flavors that coffee has to offer just aren't available when coffee is brewed with cool water. Cold brew is the brewing equivalent of a dark roast...it tends to homogenize coffees and mute acidity.
The standard way to brew hot-iced is to brew at double strength and then immediately cool the coffee with ice. This is often done in a Chemex, use the same dose you'd normally use but only pour half the water you would. The remaining water is available as ice; the hot coffee drips onto the ice and is immediately cooled.
The problem here is that the coffee tends to be underextracted, which isn't a huge deal when you're drinking something cold. You can fine up the grind to compensate but it's just difficult if not impossible to get an optimal brew when you essentially use a double-dose of coffee, especially in a drip method. It's a little bit easier if you're using an immersion method vacuum, Clever.
4.) Normal hot iced coffee.
You can just brew as you normally would and dump everything over ice. But things will usually be rather watery…
Enter normal hot iced coffee that's not watery or off puttingly under extracted. This is what I usually do. I'll use a little bit more coffee than usual maybe 25% more and then immediately cool it using a Boston Shaker that's stuffed with ice. *Just enough shakes to cool the coffee, then I'll pour.
Now You Ready For Cold Brew Coffee At Home!
The approaches above don't require any unusual equipment. However if you find yourself really enjoying an iced latte or coffee, it may be time to look in to a cold brew coffee maker of your own. You don’t have to buy the most expensive or the top of the line “Best cold brew make” on the market. Personally, when it's hot and I need to cool down, I really tone down my finickiness, a tendency that probably belies this little post here…
So this summer, keep cool, keep caffeinated, keep brewing, with Cold Brew!