Behind the scenes of every great coffee is years of trial, error, and experience. With so many factors that go into making the perfect brew, it takes time and effort to get the proper process every time. Here at High Brew, we’ve invested in every step of our coffee-making process so that we can provide the best possible cold brew coffee.
From coffee beans to coffee brews, coffee has to go through a number of steps to become the drink we’re all familiar with, and when it comes to cold-brewing, those steps require plenty of practice and patience!
While we can’t give away all of our secrets, we wanted to share our cold brewing process with you so more, and more people can begin their cold brew journey!
In this article, we’ll go through how to make a cold brew coffee and help to avoid some of the most common mistakes people make. That way, whether you’re making cold brew at home or turning your friends onto the magic of cold brew, you can know exactly what’s going on!
So, sit down, pull out your notes, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of cold brewing!
What Is Cold Brew?
First things first, cold brew coffee is different from both regular coffee and iced coffee, though it can often be mistaken for iced coffee. In reality, cold brew is stronger than iced coffee, less acidic than regular coffee, and naturally sweeter than both of them!
To get this magical concoction correct, we follow a 7-step process that takes us from the very first bean to the final drop of coffee in the can. To get things started, we have to look to the farms.
1. The Bean
At High Brew, we know that every good coffee relies on great beans, and great beans depend on the hard work and dedication of coffee farmers. Our beans are sourced directly from the Antioquia region of Columbia, where we have a Direct Trade Partnership with a number of local farms.
Our direct trade partnership helps us give back to our farmers and creates a sustainable relationship between our company and the beans we use. A portion of all of our sales goes to this partnership, which helps fund farms, promote education, and emphasize sustainable farming.
2. The Roast
Once we have the beans, we ensure that they are roasted to perfection every time. For our cold brew, we prefer a light-medium roast. As opposed to some other roasts, a light-medium roast enhances the natural flavors of the bean without bringing out too much of the acidity of bitterness. It’s the perfect balance of rich flavors and a bright finish!
3. The Grind
This next step is one of the most important and is one of the steps that people mess up most often! When you grind your beans or buy ground coffee to make cold brew, you’re looking for a coarse grind level.
You want a coarse grind for two reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, a coarse grind works best for long extraction coffees (like cold brew) because it doesn’t steep in the water as quickly as regular coffee. The finer your grind, the more bitter and over-extracted your cold brew will taste! Secondly, coarse coffee is much easier to filter out at the end of the process!
4. The Soak
The next step on the pathway to cold brew greatness is the soak! Although it might seem odd, we avoid using cold water during this step and use room temperature water instead. The colder the water you use, the longer the process is going to take. Once the ground coffee and water are mixed, it’s time for the long wait.
Use filtered water for the best results!
The next step is the easiest one of them all! Cold brew has a steeping time of roughly 12 hours, but anywhere from 12-15 hours is generally long enough. Just avoid going for too long (24 hours) or for too short (5 hours). We find that brewing overnight usually works best, so we don’t have to be awake for the waiting!
Remember, this step is what brings out the flavor and depth of the coffee! Because it doesn’t use heat, this brewing method doesn’t pull the acids from the coffee beans, making a sweeter, smoother cup of coffee.
Once the waiting period is over, the cold brew is almost done! The next step is to filter out the grounds from the water. For convenience at home, many people use a french press machine to brew cold brew. In the morning, slowly plunge the french press to filter the grounds to the bottom.
Without a french press, any container, like a jug or mason jar, will do. Simply pour the could brew mixture through a paper filter into another container.
7. The Finishing Touches
For the final step, we pour out the cold brew and add any additional touches we want! Depending on the flavor we are making, we will add reduced-fat milk, natural flavoring, or cane sugar. Whatever your taste preference, we have a cold brew for you.
Our cold brewing method is based on years of experimenting, refinement, and tweaking to get just the right flavors. In the end, our work has paid off, with some of the tastiest cold brews we’ve ever made! Naturally, you can make cold brew at home, but why not leave it to the professionals and let us make it for you!
Of course, you can also save yourself some time and effort by picking up some ready-made cold brews from High Brew! Our cold brew coffee is brewed using the same method described above and comes in several tasty flavors (like Bourbon Vanilla and Toasted Coconut).