Cold brew coffee is popping up everywhere, poised to be a top food trend in the new year. You may have seen it on the menu of your favourite coffeehouse or in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store, but what exactly is cold brew coffee, and why are people raving about it?
Cold brew coffee is commonly confused with iced coffee, but the name comes from how it’s brewed rather than how it’s served. Cold brew coffee is slowly steeped in cold water using coarsely ground coffee beans. While you can brew a pot of traditional hot coffee in a few minutes, cold brew takes hours — 12 or more — to achieve the signature result.
When you taste a high-quality cup of cold brew coffee, the difference is apparent. Coffee made using the cold brew method has a smoother, naturally sweeter result that tastes less acidic than traditional hot-brewed coffee. The reason for this is the solubility of the organic acids inherent in coffee are extracted at higher brewing temperatures. The organic acids (like citric, malic, formic, quinic and acetic) are a signature aspect of hot-brewed coffee’s flavour and aroma yet only dissolve in hot water. The cold brew method doesn’t extract the bright flavours associated with these acids but extracts the rich chocolate and caramel notes that result in the rich and smooth beverage with a difference that you can taste.
Cold brew at home
Cold brewing from scratch at home can be quite the task, but that doesn’t mean you must choose between expensive coffeehouse cold brew and the messy, time-consuming process of cold brewing at home. The smooth, rich taste of cold brew can be savoured by itself all year long.
Become a home barista
Feeling creative? You don’t need professional barista experience to craft a satisfying coffee creation. While delicious without anything added, cold brew liquid pods is also a great base for many coffee recipes, whether you want to create something rich, sweet or a little bit spicy. For example, this recipe for Hot salted caramel coffee will warm you up, no matter how low the temperatures dip outside.
Hot Salted Caramel Coffee
1/2 cup water
2 cold brew liquid pods
4 tablespoons whole milk
1 and 1/2 tablespoons salted caramel syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla syrup
Caramel sauce to drizzle
Coarse sea salt to sprinkle
In a large mug, combine water, cold brew liquid pods, milk and both syrups. Stir well and microwave for 30 to 40 seconds. (Or combine in a saucepan over medium low heat for 4 to 8 minutes and pour into a large mug.) Top with whipped topping. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Sprinkle with sea salt.
You can substitute almond milk or low-fat evaporated milk and low-fat whipped topping for the whole milk and whipped topping for a healthier alternative.
To serve cold
In a tall glass, combine water, cold brew liquid pods, milk and both syrups. Stir well. Top with ice. Top with whipped topping. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Sprinkle with sea salt.