The summer drink that is taking over the UK. Cold Brew is a fantastic coffee drink, which is simple and easy to make. This blog post is your one stop shop for instructions on making great Pollards Cold Brew at home. This drink can easily be scaled up if you own your own business too! The best thing about this coffee method is that you don’t need any fancy equipment, just time and a big pitcher. You’ll end up with a smooth, concentrated extract you can dilute with water, ice, or even a little booze.
Cold Brew or Iced Coffee?
Lets address the elephant in the room. Cold brew is very different to iced coffee so don’t get the two confused. The difference is how it is made. Iced coffee is made by chilling hot-brewed coffee by pouring it over ice, whereas cold brew is made entirely chilled with no hot water involved.
The difference in flavour between the two methods is interesting. Iced coffee is a very fast process, but it has to be brewed stronger than standard coffee to make up for the severe dilution caused by the ice. This method tends to produce a more bitter drink, because of the intense and rapid extraction of flavour from the beans by the hot water.
Cold brew, on the other hand, takes a formidable 10—24 hours. However, the far gentler infusion process produces a drink of lower acidity, which is why cold brew coffee is naturally sweeter. It can also be served over ice without such extreme dilution because it’s already cold. For these reasons, cold brewing is generally regarded as the better method for producing cold coffee.
Our favourite method for a chilled coffee drink is, by far, cold brewing. It is a great summer drink and loved by all. It’s a good way to introduce coffee to the inexperienced too because of the mild and sweet flavouring.
There are generally two ways to brew this drink. The artistic drip brew method, or the submersion method. Submersion is cheaper, easier and is best to scale so we will be focusing on this method first. If you want more information on the drip brew method then leave a comment or tell us on social media and we will produce an in depth blog for you.
It seems everyone makes cold brew slightly differently, depending on preference in strength and body. But all recipes are variants of a basic formula: cold water, coarse coffee grounds, and an overnight brew. Changing any of the variables will produce slightly different results e.g. a longer brew or stronger coffee-to-water ratio producing a stronger cup, and a finer grind producing a cloudier drink. So don’t be afraid to experiment the first few times you try cold brew and you’ll find a drink that hits your tastebuds in the right way.
- Set your grinder to a course grind setting, checking a sample before running all the coffee through. You want a course breadcrumb-like consistency to your coffee grounds. (finer grounds will brew stronger and produce a cloudier drink)
Working at roughly a 1:8 ratio of coffee to water. Place the coffee grounds into a sterilised pitcher, cover with the water. Stir to combine. (you can use any large container with a lid)
Cover with plastic wrap and let steep at room temperature, or in the fridge, for at least 10 hours and up to 1 day.
Once brewed, line a fine-mesh strainer with a standard coffee filter and fit it over a medium bowl.
Working in batches, slowly pour the coffee into the filter until all of the liquid has passed through the strainer. (the coffee will pass through in a slow stream; don’t force it through). Stop when you reach the solids at the bottom of the pitcher (don’t pour them in).
Discard the grounds and the contents of the strainer. (please see this blog for alternative uses of coffee grounds)
Wash and dry the pitcher.
Transfer the strained coffee into the pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.
For each cup of cold brew coffee, dilute the concentrate with an equal portion of milk, half-and-half, or water. Sweeten with simple syrup if desired and top with ice.
- You can tweak this recipe to suit your taste so come back and experiment!
Cold brews work well with most Pollards coffee beans, and you can even use older beans if you have some leftover!
Sustainable coffee, we like that.
See previous blogs here!