There are few drinks as rich, silky, and just downright cool as a cold brew! Cold-brew is not only tasty but it is super fun and super easy to make. It can be prepared a few different ways and like any brew styles, the fun lies in how you brew to your own specifications!
The history of the cold brew is equally as fascinating. As the story goes, cold brew was first developed in the 1600-1700s in Holland. This is also the origins of Dutch Brew, but the general principles are more or less the same. The impetus behind developing cold brew came from the Dutch sailors wanting some caffeinated goodness on their long voyages around the world. Of course, hot coffee is a difficult resource to not only brew but also keep on a 17th-century wooden caravel!
So, the sailors decided to brew coffee with cold water, which allowed it to be kept for weeks at a time. It was also a bit easier to brew on a moving ship. The interesting thing too is the perfection of this art did not begin and end with the Dutch sailors but was actually adopted and perfected in Japan.
Japan was under Tokugawa rule at this time and was in a state of semi-isolation. The only foreigners allowed into Japan to trade were Joseon Korea, Ming China, and the Dutch. The Dutch introduced cold brewing to the Japanese who not only preserved this method but perfected it. Centuries later, as Kyoto Japan was emerging as a hidden and illustrious coffee Mecca, cold and Dutch brew both made their renewed debut.
But now let's see how cold brew can be brewed at home. And we have some good news, cold brew can be prepared with decaf coffee to make a delicious and chilly treat.
What you will need:
- 2 mason jars with their lids
- Cheesecloth or a stainless steel mesh
- Your chosen coffee bean (decaf coffee works great!)
- Filtered or purified water
Grind your decaf coffee beans to a medium-coarse grind. When in doubt go for a coarser grind because if you grind too finely your coffee will come out silty.
Add your grinds to one of your jars. Add your water and stir the whole mixture. The ideal basic mixture for cold brew is 1 parts coffee for 5 parts water, but feel free to strengthen or weaken your coffee by adding more coffee or more water depending.
Seal your jar and put it in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. The longer it brews for the stronger and thicker your final brew will be.
Remove your jar and place your cheesecloth or strainer over the mouth of your other jar. Carefully pour in the brew and seal your second jar. This is your cold brew concentrate, and you can enjoy it straight or decant it if it is too strong. You can also keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
A Cold Take
Cold-brew is fun to brew and leads to a silky, rich, thick, creamy, and delicious mode of decaf coffee. Because your brew is prepared with cold instead of hot water you can expect a brew that is free from bitterness and acidity. You can also enjoy cold brew throughout the week, making it a great drink for busy mornings where brew times can be a bit too time-consuming. Feel free to use your favorite decaf coffee to make some extraordinary cold brew today!