Cold brew coffee is one of the hottest trends in coffee right now and for great reason: It’s super delicious, has a smooth texture with an almost chocolatey flavor, and can be enjoyed in any season.
We’re going to let you in on how we make our cold brew… and show you how you can make it at home! But first…
Here’s the difference between iced coffee and cold brew
Iced coffee takes hot coffee and pours it over ice. Cold brew is made, well, cold. Each method results in a different flavor. (And that’s why, when you order it at SCC, we’ll double-check to make sure that what you ordered is what you really want.) Both are tasty, but different.
Cold brew is a fantastic drink all year-round– not just during the summer! That said, iced coffee has a place in my heart (and certainly our menu), too. And if you’re a caffeine fiend, you should know that cold brew has less caffeine than hot coffee. If you’re looking for a caffeine jolt, an iced coffee is the way to go. Additionally, iced coffee will have the vibrant acidity that is a hallmark of our house coffee. Since cold brew has a very low acidity someone who is seeking that effervescent taste might prefer an iced coffee.
Now that’s cleared up, let’s get makin’!
To make our cold brew we take our Kenya AA coffee (which is roasted to medium-dark), gently mix it with water that is purified to a specific water quality, and let it sit 24 hours in a 38-degree Fahrenheit refrigerator. The result is an amazingly smooth and low acidic coffee perfect for any occasion. I love bringing it to picnics or dinners at a friend’s place.
Here’s what you need to make cold brew at home
1) High quality coffee beans, medium-dark roasted, coarsely ground (We recommend our Kenya AA beans, which you can pick up at our flagship shop or order here)
2) Two food-grade liquid containers (a pitcher and a Tupperware container will work well)
3) A fine strainer or a french press
We use a large amount of coffee grounds for our cold brew and make 2 gallons at a time. For your cold brew at home keep in mind this simple ratio for whatever amount you make: 1.75 ounces (50 grams) – or roughly 4 heaping tablespoons – of coffee beans to 16 ounces of water
Pro tip: Put an extra 2 ounces of water for every increment of the above ratio. As the grounds are in contact with the water, they will absorb some of it, so instead of adding water to the cold brew after it’s created, add it now so as to not “water down” the beverage.
Make sure the containers are airtight (put plastic wrap over the top of the French Press instead of steeping the grounds in with the filter) and let sit in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours. Strain with the strainer or french press filter and pour into your favorite mug.
Pro tip: The water quality and quality of the beans are extremely important. We recommend using filtered water when making cold brew. For coffee, use a high quality, freshly roasted bean. We recommend darker roasts but not too dark – too dark and you’ll get an undesirable, bitter taste.
Looking for great coffee beans? Stop into Swatara Coffee Co. or shop our Kenya AA here. Let us know you’ll be using it for cold brew and we’ll grind it on a course setting. Many of us have hectic schedules that don’t always allow us the luxury of time to go through this process, but don’t fret! We have amazing cold brew ready for you (and whatever the day’s throwing at you). See you soon!