Cold Brew Coffee - What Is It And Why Is It ? - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at - 327609

Swampy's Kitchen

Cold Brew Coffee - What is it and Why is it ? 
May 22, 2014 12:37 pm 
Updated: May 29, 2014 8:14 am
A few weeks ago I was quickly running through WHOLE FOODS to pick up some Golden Beets and Blue & Red Potatoes for my birthday dinner (don’t bother, I’m old) when I saw a sign for COLD BREW COFFEE out of the corner of my eye. I’m a coffee drinker and I like iced coffee so without a second thought I grabbed a bottle (2 for $6 – better be good) and went through checkout. I jumped in my car, opened the bottle, started to drive out of the lot and took my first sip.

Now according to the many articles, blogs and social media postings I have since read, it would seem that the general thought on Cold Brew Coffee is that the process delivers a naturally sweeter & less acidic cup of coffee than a cup that has come into contact with hot water. It’s almost like a coffee extract in that it is really meant to be cut with water, ice or cream. I can tell you, it needs something because that first sip left a whole lot of WTF in my mouth. It really wasn’t what I expected at all.

The process of making Cold Brew Coffee seems to be along the same lines as making Sun Tea. Put the coffee grounds & water into a large pitcher, cover and let sit for 12-24 hours. Strain it thoroughly and enjoy. What could be easier ? It almost sounds like the stuff we have at the office but that pot, that sits for 12 to 24 hours, is almost always on the back burner and barely has enough coffee in it to cover the bottom of the pot so maybe they aren’t alike at all.

Now since I have made more pitchers of Sun Tea in this lifetime than I can remember, I am going to see if I can take this same technological “know-how” and make a pitcher of my own Cold Brew Coffee using my own coffee beans this weekend. Which then begs the question, Has anyone else made Cold Brew Coffee and is anyone out there a convert ?

Happy Steeping and please pass the half & half.
May 22, 2014 12:49 pm
your first sip description literally made me laugh out loud.....interesting concept...i love coffee too. will have to wait and see how others respond. :-)
May 22, 2014 12:52 pm
Hi njmom - it really seems like a coffee extract and not what I was expecting at all. I am interested to see the responses too. Have a great night.
May 22, 2014 1:06 pm
Good luck! Maybe the home brewed version is better than the manufactured stuff.
May 22, 2014 1:07 pm
I'm not a coffee drinker at all, but I love the smell of it for some reason. I even worked at a coffee manufacturer for a while, thank goodness I didn't have to actually drink it to test it :)
May 22, 2014 1:14 pm
Hi sassyoldlady - that's the thing, no brewing means no aroma filling the house. I would think you would have to stick your nose deep into the pitcher to get a whiff. Have a great night and thanks for stopping by
May 22, 2014 1:32 pm
Yes, it is concentrated, and you mix it with either hot or cold water. I was just looking at this last week: The reviews are interesting, haven't decided if I want to try it yet. If I do I'll do a home made version first to see if I like it.
May 22, 2014 1:33 pm
Never thought of making sun coffee. Let us know how it turns out. I love coffee and drink it every morning. Not sure about the cold stuff. My druthers would be, coffee hot and beer cold.
May 22, 2014 1:35 pm
Hmmm, do you mix the concentrate with water or drink as is???
May 22, 2014 1:48 pm
Hi Celeste - the Toddy System is actually featured on Wikipedia when you search Cold Brew Coffee. I'm going to try a homemade pitcher before I start investing any money in yet another kitchen gadget. As for coffee concentrate, I think some of the stuff on leave on the burner boils down to concentrate and I do love my espresso but I really think that this needs to be cut somewhat but I'll do it with either ice cubes or cream. Have a great night.
May 22, 2014 1:51 pm
Hey bd - None of the articles or recipes I saw actually said to put iit in the sun. In fact, most said use very cold water. We haven't turned on the A/C in our house yet so I guess room temp will warm it up a little. Personally I love a hot cup of coffee. The Kahuna Sized Mug I guzzle on the way to the train every morning keeps it piping hot for the whole 15 minute drive too. Have a great night.
May 22, 2014 2:03 pm
hi doug. i made some cold brew for the first time last summer. i love it. this is the recipe i followed. the picture of the "perfect iced coffee" reeled me in! LOL i adjusted the recipe to only make a litre/quart...
May 22, 2014 2:12 pm
Hi weeble - you are the 2nd person to tell me about Pioneer Woman and I will say I saw another recipe/review online that referenced her version as well. Guess I better check out her link. Thanks for sharing. Have a great night.
May 22, 2014 2:20 pm
I really don't give a flip about coffee. I prefer cow-juice in the morning, and of course sweet tea. I'm curious too about the results. I agree with is better cold.
May 22, 2014 2:25 pm
Hi gderr - I started drinking coffee when I gave up drinking booze. I liked free beer whether it was warm or cold. Have a great night.
May 22, 2014 2:49 pm
I made three stabs at cold brewed coffee last summer and I wasn't impressed. My first complaint was the sheer amount of ground coffee I needed to use. 1 3/4 cups coarse ground coffee to 3 1/2 cups of water. Some recipes call for a bit more some a bit less. After it steeps for 12-24 hours it still has to chill and then it must be diluted. Well I never did hit on the right ratio of concentrate to diluting fluid. I make ice coffee as soon as the weather shows any sign of getting warm and I will stick with my old method of brewing a slightly stronger pot of my regular coffee and letting it cool. Could the bottled stuff from WF have been the concentrate?
May 22, 2014 3:38 pm
Hi BSM - It was actually Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee. It was meant for drinking from the bottle. I have always made ice coffee by using a double strong espresso and way too much ice myself but you know me, I have to try everything once. Have a great night
May 22, 2014 4:50 pm
DM: I have a coworker who is a fan of the cold brew coffee. I'm not a die-hard coffee drinker, so I never tried it. Good luck!
May 22, 2014 5:17 pm
I love the smell of fresh brewed coffee, and really miss my morning cup. Never had clod brewed coffee but interested in how yours turns out. When do you get the red apple?
May 22, 2014 6:48 pm
Doug, here's the way I fix cold brew coffee. And, yes, I am from the South - - -
May 23, 2014 3:35 am
I used to use "Coffee & Chicory Essence" to make good coffee cheesecakes and ice cream desserts. Cold Brew Coffee works in its place. Can't find the Essence anymore. It was good because it didn't add extra sweetness to the dessert.
May 23, 2014 5:33 am
Interesting! I don't drink coffee but don't tell anyone, I'm a Southerner too, but I'm also a Democrat so that may be my problem... I've disgraced my family. ;-) Check out that website that Paula suggested. My sister would call that "southern engineering" so there is no need to purchase anything special. Heck, just rig up yer own. Also, check out that "Skim, Whole, 2%, whatever cranks your tractor." Now, that's some southern coffee.
May 23, 2014 7:19 am
Good morning Bikerfamily - thanks and I will be letting everyone know how good or bad it might be. Have a great weekend.
May 23, 2014 7:20 am
Good morning Manella - I think the aroma filling the house is what I will miss the most. Getting the permanent tops in soon and the lowers soon after. The apple should be bitten by the end of the year (I hope). Have a great weekend
May 23, 2014 7:21 am
Thanks Paula - I am getting a lot of great ideas that I will screw up in Hell's Kitchen kind of way. Have a great weekend.
May 23, 2014 7:23 am
Hi mommom - I drink Community Coffee New Orleans Blend (Coffee & Chicory) every morning. I wonder if that would work ? Thanks and have a great weekend.
May 23, 2014 7:31 am
Good morning Melanie - I may sit on the right side of the aisle but I am more than happy to offer some cold brew coffee to my friends on the left. I also believe in the basics over "Fancy Schmancy" and heavy cream in ice coffee is what cranks my tractor. Have a great weekend.
May 23, 2014 8:47 am
You mentioned Pioneer Woman..not sure if you meant you were just now getting acquainted with her..or maybe just her coffee receipt. She's high on my list of down to earth, wonderful culinary to The Chew, on ABC..1pm M-F..EDT. I live for that show...leaves me muy happy each day.
May 23, 2014 12:19 pm
I'm late to this thread. But I actually got a recipe published on this site for Cold-Brewed Coffee. I love it and always vow to have some one hand. I do dilute it with hot water, but you can make it as strong as you like.
May 23, 2014 2:34 pm
Hi Judy Lew - I am well acquainted with Pioneer Woman, I guess I was somewhat surprised (when I shouldn't have been) that so many would reference her when it come to this particular recipe. It actually makes sense given her lifestyle. I', at work when The Chew is on but I will say that I have had the pleasure of being present in Kitchen Stadium for 2 Michael Symon Battles. Have a great weekend.
May 23, 2014 2:36 pm
Good afternoon Cazuela and I am honored you stopped by. It was your recipe that I linked to this blog originally over on Facebook at The Gruntled Gourmand and again yesterday in The Buzz. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe and thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.
May 23, 2014 5:33 pm
I worked dog watch (11pm - 7 am) for many years and drank tons of coffee to stay awake. After several years of that I started getting an "acid" stomach. Someone introduced me to cold brew coffee and the acid stomach went away. After a few months of that I went back to regular brewed coffee but kept the cold brewer around for whenever it came back. Whenever I heard someone complaining of acid stomach problems I would tell them about cold brew coffee. They would try it and it would work for them. Also, besides the low acid I liked the fact I could make myself a powerful cup of coffee if I didn't have time for a couple of cups.
May 23, 2014 6:50 pm
I make cold brew all the time- but I don't drink it straight! I always add flavored creamer- make it like a dd cold caramel latte...yum! So hooked.
May 24, 2014 4:50 am
The link that Paula gave ( answers all your questions and gives clear directions. The one thing I might add that the blog there does not address is to pay attention to the water you use. Sometimes our tap water seems to have a lot of chlorine in it, which would affect the coffee. Keep in mind, "cold brewed" refers to the method of brewing, and not necessariiy the way you drink it. It's a concentrated coffee to use to make a hot OR cold drink.
May 24, 2014 2:05 pm
I love it. Brew it in a press pot and serve it over ice with frothed soy milk!
May 24, 2014 2:38 pm
I make my concentrate in a French press. I like it strong, so 1 cup of grounds to 2 cups of water. Stir, then I let it sit overnight. I sweeten with either simple syrup (sugar doesn't dissolve easily in cold liquids) or Torani syrup and milk. One batch of concentrate will make 4 or 5 iced coffees. The flavor of a cold brew is NOTHING like using old hot brewed coffee over ice, cold brew for iced coffee is the way to go!
May 24, 2014 4:44 pm
Cat made some cold brewed coffee at the roundup, last year. She used a French Press. It was an excellent flavor and very smooth. My only problem with it was that she failed to make enough for me and she either didn't hear or completely ignore my grumbling and whining for more. Godd to hear from you, Doug!
May 25, 2014 6:31 pm
Yes...cold brew is brewing 24 hours ....making the best iced coffee! Not a novice:-)
May 26, 2014 1:03 pm
Normally, I don't visit your blogs cause you are you. But Mike is right, if you love your coffee and your tummy doesn't cold brewed is the way to go.
May 26, 2014 2:40 pm
making cold brew is on my "to-do" list... I've never had it but it sounds interesting. Check out this blog, it makes a concentrate that needs to be diluted.
May 26, 2014 4:25 pm
Good evening Dadburnit - sounds like sound reasoning to try it & drink it. I made some myself yesterday and it is stiff but didn't burn. Thanks for stopping by.
May 26, 2014 4:26 pm
Good evening Roblovesleo - drinking it straight I have learned is not my idea of culinary fun but we did make ice cream with it today. Thanks for stopping by.
May 26, 2014 4:30 pm
Good evening coffeybunny - I made mine 2 cups of whole beans then I ground them and mixed them with about 4.5 to 5 cups of cold spring water. 24 hours later I had a very wicked brew that was very tasty with splenda, half & half and some ice. Thanks for stopping by
May 26, 2014 4:32 pm
Hi Indiana Peggy - I made sure to use the very cold Poland Spring Water we had and made it in a crystal pitcher for clarity. Of course then I put it all into a plastic allrecipes water bottle so there goes the purity....thanks for stopping by
May 26, 2014 4:32 pm
Hi lorenb - frothed milk ? Hmmmmm....thanks for the idea and for stopping by
May 26, 2014 4:34 pm
Hi Mike - it has been a while - I got to get back into the kitchen. I have a feeling i'll be keeping some on hand quite often now for an extra boost of caffeine or flavor. Have a great night.
May 26, 2014 4:35 pm
Hi Cat Hill - Thanks I think. Glad you made the exception. Hope you had a nice weekend.
May 26, 2014 4:37 pm
Thanks jayeltee - it was on my list too - read that blog along with others and made some this weekend. Made ice coffee & iced cream with and have some left over. Have a great night.
May 27, 2014 7:37 am
As usual, I'm a bit late to the party! Hope your Memorial Day weekend was a great one, Doug. I haven't tried the cold-brewed coffee, but I've heard good things about it. I love the smell of coffee brewing, and I know I'd miss that but may try the cold-brewed this summer for a change and use for iced coffee. I'm glad I wasn't drinking coffee when I read your comments after your first sip from the bottle, however, as hot coffee spewed from the nostrils wouldn't not be a pleasant coffee experience! Funny, funny. Coffee must have some cream for me. I use a very small amount of sweetener and could forgo it if necessary, but I cannot do without the cream!
May 27, 2014 10:45 am
Good afternoon wisweetp - you are never late and always fashionably on time. I made an iced coffee with it yesterday just using ice cube, half & half and splenda - quite good. In fact we then whipped out the ice cream maker and made coffee ice cream with it too. Takes a lot of beans but it seems to be worth it in the long run. I actually used an unopened bag of beans from Guatemala I had been given. Have a great week.
May 28, 2014 7:29 pm
Cold and coffee don't even belong in the same sentence let alone the same cup!!!! I have never understood that! Don't even get me started on coffee flavored ice cream---ICK! Great blog!
May 29, 2014 8:14 am
Good morning Shannon - I normally do drink my coffee so fast that it barely gets to lukewarm but I do love coffee ice cream and this Cold Brew Coffee did up the flavor level a bit. Great to see you again and thanks for stopping by.
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Doug Matthews

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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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