Oh Summer, Where Art Thou?
Someday in the very near future (fingers crossed) it will be Cold Brew season in Cedar Falls, Iowa. We've had a day here and there, but it's been a disappointing spring for drinks that demand ice cubes.
Eventually it will happen. I'll roll out of bed one morning and instead of reaching for the portafilter handle of the espresso machine, I'll open the fridge, pour a few ounces of Sidecar's super concentrated cold brew over ice and a dash of milk and start my day. It will be a good day.
Cold Brew (or cold press or toddy) is simply another (of many) ways to make great tasting coffee. The big difference, at least how I explain it, is in the solvent used to extract the coffee. With hot brewed methods, hot water and a few minutes are the solvents. In Cold Brew, cold water and many hours (up to 24) are the solvents. Without getting all Bill Nye on you, certain compounds aren't extracted with the cold brew method, resulting in a super smooth, easy drinking, low acid coffee.
My personal take on cold coffee is that if you want something low acid and smooth, start with lower acid coffees, but any good coffee will work. I like the lighter roasted natural processed coffees, found in the Cold Brew Blend (natural Brazil and Ethiopia). It's a little nutty and a little fruity, with the edges sanded off for easy drinking. Add some Hansen's milk and it tastes like your drinking coffee ice cream.
Making Cold Brew Coffee:
Making your own Cold Brew Concentrate is easy, and you don't need much (any) special equipment. (adjust the ratios for larger/smaller batches). Another great way is to use a TODDY cold coffee maker and follow their directions. In lieu of a TODDY, this recipe works very well.
1. Grind 4 oz of Sidecar Cold Brew Blend (ground a little coarser than drip) into a pitcher.
2. Pour 4 1/2 cups of cool filtered water over the ground coffee
3. After about 10 minutes, stir gently and set the pitcher out on the counter, covered
4. Wait (anywhere between 12 and 24 hours)
5. Filter the brew with cheesecloth (a piece of clean t-shirt material works awesome) into another pitcher
6. Enjoy. Start with a ration of about 1 part cold brew to 3 parts water or milk.
Cold Brew will last for up to 4 weeks in your fridge, but it won't last that long. Try serving over ice or warmed. Is a great mixer for cocktails too.