How do you take your coffee?
Do you grab the jar of instant coffee powder that’s been a staple of your kitchen since forever? Your favourite cup is strong, with a large splash of milk and sugar to sweeten. If you prefer the cold version, coffee powder is blended with milk and sugar, sometimes even ice-cream. Well, you’re not alone.
Until recently, that was how the majority of Indians were drinking coffee too. Whether to stay up during late night study sessions, or to wake up in the morning, instant coffee has been a large part of our coffee culture since years. Home-brewed coffee was limited to a few serious coffee aficionados, or those in the South who lived near coffee estates and were lucky enough to get freshly roasted beans.
Now, the coffee landscape in India is really changing. There are a number of micro roasters roasting fresh, single origin beans to order, and few coffee shops even serving up the latest trends in coffee making, like nitro coffee and cold brew. These cups made from freshly roasted beans are far more flavourful and nuanced than instant coffee will ever be. And it need not be limited only to the few gourmet coffee shops that around you – you can experiment at home too.
If you’re looking to make the switch from instant coffee, without investing or committing to fancy coffee equipment, I have the perfect solution for you.
What is cold brew coffee?
It’s the latest trend in brewing coffee. It’s the cooler, hipper cousin of iced coffee, and my current obsession. Also, it is stronger, more flavourful, and can easily be made at home. The most defining characteristic of cold brew is that it’s brewed with cool, filtered water rather than hot. Because of the water temperature, the extraction is slower and takes about 18-24 hours to brew.
Why is it so great if it takes so long?
It has a higher caffeine content, and a smoother, less bitter, sweeter flavour. Because it’s brewed in cool water, the acidity is much lower. It’s a great option for those who can’t stomach coffee too well. Also, the brewing process is EASY. So, even though it takes long, it’s totally worth it.
What else do I need to know?
Cold brew is best known for it’s natural sweetness, and nothing complements it better than a dash of whole milk or cream. Yes, cream!
Convinced yet? Read on to know how to make cold brew coffee at home.
HOW TO MAKE COLD BREW AT HOME
You will need:
- Coarsely ground coffee beans (this is important for non-sludgy coffee because the coarser the grind is, the easier it is to filter it out later)
- Cool, filtered water
- A mason jar or any sort of lidded container
- A fine mesh strainer or muslin cloth to strain
- Put 1 part coffee to 8 parts water in your container and mix with a spoon. Screw on the lid and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. (18 to 24 is recommended).
- Strain the coffee using a fine mesh strainer or muslin cloth to remove the grounds. You might need to do this a few times until most of your grounds have been removed. That’s it!
- This cold brew concentrate can be poured over ice, or consumed with a dash of milk/cream. Try it with almond milk, cashew milk or coconut milk. Sweeten it if you like and add flavoured syrups (think hazelnut, peppermint, etc.)
So next time, instead of making a sorry excuse for coffee that is highly acidic and bitter, or a watery mess by pouring hot coffee on ice, cold brew is the way to go!
What is your favourite way to drink coffee?
*All photos have been licensed for use by Sprig & Vine.