People across the world agree that coffee is a perfect drink. It’s adaptable to so many drink formats, and it really gets you through the day. However, certain mistakes can arise when making brewed coffee and iced coffee, and the same goes for cold brew. But don’t let this discourage you. Cold brew is easy to make, it’s smooth in taste, and it’ll help you zip around all day long.
What exactly is cold brew, though? Before we can correct any mistakes, we have to understand this drink’s essence. Essentially, cold brew is a coffee drink that comes from steeping coffee grounds in cold/room-temperature water for a while (via Water Street Coffee). No heat is applied to the coffee like in standard brewing procedures, which alters the flavor profile of the final product. This means that cold brew has less bitterness and acidity than standard coffee, and its sweet notes are able to shine through more. Cold brew even has more caffeine than standard coffee!
Ultimately, cold brew is for people that love pure coffee flavor, and it couldn’t be easier to make. According to Water Street Coffee, you simply soak coffee grounds in water in a pitcher — or any kind of vessel — for 12 to 18 hours. They recommend using a 1:8 ratio of grounds to water, and after they’ve soaked, you simply strain out the grounds to be left with a pitcher of perfect cold brew.
This is how long you should be storing your cold brew
Making cold brew can lead to several mistakes, and they’re not always your fault. Rather, they stem from coffee making being a finicky trade to master. We’ve got you covered, though, with the exact practices to avoid when making your own at home.
According to Bon Appétit, there are some smaller things you want to be cognizant of as well as some larger issues. For example, smaller issues include simply being aware of how long you’ve kept your cold brew in the fridge, both when you’re making it and afterward when storing it. Cold brew is good for up to two weeks in the refrigerator once made, but you don’t want to store it much longer than 18 hours when making it. If you go too long, you’ll end up with bitter cold brew.
Mistakes can also be made when deciding which coffee beans you’re going to use and how you’re going to grind them. When making cold brew, you don’t need to opt for the most expensive or the freshest beans. However, you also don’t want to use old beans because that will ruin your flavor. Find a perfect middle ground for a smooth, standard cold brew flavor and experience. Moreover, be wary of your grind. For cold brew, Bon Appétit warns that you want a coarse grind, not one that’s too fine. Fine grounds extract more from the coffee beans than coarse grounds, which can negatively alter your flavor too.
Follow this ratio for perfect cold brew every time
Every mistake when making something like cold brew counts, but some definitely outweigh others. For example, some additional smaller-scale mistakes include drinking your cold brew plain all the time instead of jazzing it up and trying new flavors, or making a small batch instead of a large batch despite cold brew’s ability to last a few weeks in the refrigerator (via The Kitchn). Still, one mistake is worse than these.
In short, you need to make sure your water to coffee ground ratio is correct. This may depend on your specific coffee grounds and even your taste preferences, but that strikes exactly the right point. You need to experiment with the ratio to find what’s perfect for you. Baked Brewed Beautiful recommends a coffee/water ratio of 1:5, or 3/4 cup:4 cups. Important to note here is that some people make cold brew ready to immediately drink, while others make theirs as a concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk. You’ll use less coffee for a ready-to-drink cold brew and more coffee for the concentrate.
The procedure to make cold brew is rather simple, so getting to know your preferences and your coffee grounds is going to be incredibly important in mastering your cold brew.
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