Coffee Guide: Cold Brew vs. Coffee Concentrate
With all the new types of coffee coming to the scene, it can be confusing to figure out which is which. So what is the difference between cold brew and coffee concentrate?
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew is a type of coffee that is made using a different type of brewing process. So how is cold brew made and what makes it so special?
The biggest difference between cold brew and other coffee making techniques is that rather than hot water, it uses lukewarm or cold water. The use of a lower water temperature to extract coffee grounds prevents some of the coffee soluble from dissolving. As a result, the cold brewing process creates a smooth, less acidic, little bitterness, and sweet tasting coffee. Additionally, cold brew coffee tends to have more caffeine than regular coffee.
How to make Cold Brew
Making cold brew coffee during the warmer weathers can be a great way to easily enjoy a refreshing and less acidic coffee drink. Luckily for you, the process of making cold brew does not require any special techniques and is a very simple process. However, keep in mind that cold brew coffees have long brew times that can range from 2 to 24 hours. Moreover, a higher coffee to water ratio is needed. This is due to lukewarm or cold water needing more time to extract the flavors from ground coffee.
While there is plenty of equipment on the market specially for cold brew, you can easily make it with your own jar, container, or pitcher. You will also need to prepare a 1 to 8 ratio of coffee to water. This means if you use 5 ounces of coffee, you will need 40 ounces of water.
Simply choose your favorite coffee beans and grind them into coffee grounds. Then you will pour those grounds into your chosen brewing container and add in the correct amount of room temperature or cold water. Stir the grounds and water together, cover the container, and let it sit in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours. If you prefer a stronger tasting coffee, you can let it sit longer.
Once you have your preferred coffee extract taste, filter out the coffee grounds using a regular coffee filter. Then you can store this cold brew coffee in a closed container in the fridge to enjoy for the next few days! Keep in mind that this cold brew concentrate should be good for three to five days.
How to Drink Cold Brew
Unlike regular coffee, cold brew is more of a concentrated extract that can contain at least two times as much caffeine.
If you enjoy a strong coffee, you can simply enjoy your cold brew over ice. However, if the caffeine content is too much for your taste, you can have it served over milk and ice or diluted with some water. Additionally, you can customize a cold brew coffee to your preference such as adding in sugar, cream, or even flavored coffee syrups!
Cold Brew Coffee vs. Coffee Concentrate?
Cold brew coffee and coffee concentrates are essentially similar things. This is because the cold brew process creates a type of coffee extract or concentrate.
The name “cold brew” is usually used to describe the unique brewing process that does not use the traditional method of hot water. It is also used to describe a coffee drink created by using the coffee concentrate made from the cold brewing process.
So what is coffee concentrate exactly? Coffee concentrates, in general, can refer to various types of coffee such as coffee extracts, hot coffee concentrates, or cold brew concentrates. Coffee concentrates are also oftentimes sold on their own in liquid form to be diluted with water or milk depending on personal preference. However, this coffee concentrate can be made at home using the cold brew extraction process.
The bottom line is that most of the time, cold brew concentrate and coffee concentrate can be used interchangeably. This is because the cold brew method is used to create coffee concentrate, which is used to make cold brew coffee.