While coffee definitely helps in elevating my mood everyday, sometimes the same usual coffee recipe gets a tad too boring for me. I do not always prefer drinking the regular shot of espresso or Americano that is easily available everywhere.
Sometimes, especially on sunny days, I prefer a cooler drink to chill with. And this is when my special recipe for a cold coffee brew comes in handy!
What type of coffee beans should you use?
To make a cold brew, you will not be boiling your coffee grinds in water or milk. Since the grinds will not be heated, it is necessary to use low acid coffee beans which will not release a lot of catechols, caffeine or hydroxytryptamides which can increase the secretion of gastric juices in your stomach and cause irritation.
Also, make sure that you use only lightly roasted coffee beans. High roasted coffee beans will release stronger and more bitter aromas and flavour. For cold brew, you need a very subtle flavour.
It is even better if you get green coffee beans yourself and lightly roast them until they crackle for the first time. They will turn a light shade of brown and you can then cool them before grinding.
What is the recipe for a delicious cold brew?
The process of making a cold brew is easy and quick. Here I have provided the instructions in a step by step format, but if you need extra help to figure out how to make it, you can watch some videos on youtube as well.
There are different ways to make cold brew, and I usually prefer using a coffee sock or French press to do the job.
Using Coffee Sock
In this process, take a 2-quart mason jar and pour 3 and a half cups of water in it. Take a coffee sock, which you can easily make using cotton or hemp cloth (these are really easy to find in the local market and quite inexpensive as well) and then pour the coffee grinds into it. I usually use 1 and a half cups of coffee beans for this brew.
I then put the coffee sock inside the mason jar, immerse it in water and screw the lid on top. This will keep the coffee sock afloat in the water, allowing the coffee grinds to come in full contact with the water. I leave it overnight in the fridge, and the next day I pull out the coffee sock after the water has absorbed all the oils and flavours of the coffee grinds.
You can also put the coffee grinds inside a paper filter before placing it in the coffee sock. This way, you will not need to double filter the brew.
Using the French Press
This is my second favourite process of making a cold brew. For this, I grind 1 cup of coffee beans and put it in a French Press with 4 cups of water in it. I leave the French Press in the fridge for one day (it can take that long for the oils from the grinds to mix well with the water) and then I press the concoction to strain the liquid out.
Make sure you are using coarse grinds for this method because it will prevent the stronger aromas and oils from mixing too much in the water.
I have not used the Toddy method myself, but my friend swears by it! It is quite effective, and is one of the earliest methods used to make cold brews. You can buy the brewing container in the market, and it might cost you a bit. However, it is a good investment and quite easy to operate. This video shows the Toddy method:
If you want to enjoy your cold brew with milk, first freeze the coffee brew in ice cubes tray first. Later, pour them into a glass of cold milk, and the coffee cubes will slowly melt, enriching the taste of the drink even more! It is much more effective to make cold brew this way instead of making hot brew and then sticking it into the fridge to cool.
When you cool down hot coffee, it oxidises and loses all its rich flavours. The trick is to make it at room temperature or put it in the fridge, which will prevent the coffee from oxidising. The cold brew is perfect as a cool summer drink, but is also good for sensitive stomachs.