In our first “real” episode we discuss cold brew coffee and try to address the question: What is cold brew coffee?
While discussing the cold brew process and what separates cold brew coffee from hot brewed coffee, we also touch on some of the key differences and some of the benefits of cold brewing vs hot brewing.
Highlights & Takeaways
Draft coffee is the next big trend in coffee.
In cold brewed coffee, heat is replaced with time. Hot water extracts oils and acids from the coffee beans which can contribute to bitterness.
Hot coffee that cools down will never have the same flavor as when it was originally brewed.
Episode 1 Transcript
Hey there! Welcome to the first official episode of the Drips and Draughts podcast. My name is Brendan Hanson and I will be your host today. If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you check out our first episode, well our intro episode, our episode zero. Our intro episode just gives you a little background on who we are and why we are doing this podcast.
What it really comes down to is the fact that we’ve worked with a lot of coffee shops, a lot of new roasters, a lot of new coffee companies who don’t have any experience in draft coffee, nitro coffee or cold brewing coffee even. So, we are putting this podcast together to try to answer questions for a large group of people to try to spread knowledge on draft coffee and serving nitro coffee. But more than anything we are looking to start a conversation with coffee professionals and to share knowledge and share information and really help bring draft coffee to the next level.
So today’s first episode – is going to be pretty broad and pretty general, we are going to address what is cold brew coffee and why cold brew? When serving draft coffee why would you want a cold brew to coffee rather than making hot coffee and putting that hot coffee into the keg cooling that and then serving that on draft. Trust me, I don’t expect this podcast to be the end-all be-all of cold brew versus hot brew or the proper way to cold brew.
Like I said in the beginning, we’re just helping to start a dialogue and start a discussion amongst coffee professionals and coffee lovers as to not necessarily the best methods out there but what are all of the methods. How many different ways can this [cold brewing] be done? How the results can differ in each different method and how can I add more of a story to what’s already going into the glass?
Look at the craft beer boom for example, people go crazy about craft beer, people hunt out craft beers, people wait in line for the release of special craft beers. Why can’t it be the same for coffee? Maybe that’s pushing it a little bit but all I’m trying to say is it’s a really exciting time for craft beverages in general, but especially for coffee.
Coffee is a drink that has traditionally been served hot has now gone to the point where it’s not only served cold it’s been served on draft. It’s been canned and bottled and it’s not just the big coffee companies who are doing this. It’s the small shops, it’s the micro roasters, it’s the local mom and pop coffee shops and I think in large part to the craft beverage movement in general, all of this is becoming sustainable for relatively small companies.
Wow, I’ve gotten away off topic. Just going to show you the amount of questions and comments we’ve received that really just get my mind flowing once I start thinking of cold brewing coffee in draft coffee in general.
So let’s get back to the episode at hand – what is cold brew? Cold brewed coffee isn’t just coffee that’s served cold. That might be a common misconception if you really just grab someone on the street and ask them what cold brewed coffee was. They would probably just tell you it’s an iced coffee, however, it’s not just an iced coffee. Cold brewing coffee is coffee that is brewed at room temperature or below for a period of few hours all the way up to 24 hours, sometimes more and this is the topic that we can properly do in the entire episode on.
Talking about steep in times for the coffee. What’s the shortest amount of time to get full, or at least good extraction. Or what’s the maximum amount of time that you’d need to steep your beans or grounds in order to get good extractions without over extracting. But I think the best way to describe cold brew to somebody who is not familiar with it is just the fact that in cold brewing coffee you are replacing heat with time.
So, rather than pouring hot water over your coffee grounds, you basically putting your coffee grounds into room temperature or cold water and you’re allow them to sit there for an extended period of time.
So what’s the point of cold brewing if it’s going to take you anywhere from say 12 to 24 hours. Why not just make a hot cup of coffee and pour it over ice?
The reason many people cold brew is that you get an entirely different flavor profile. When hot brewing coffee, the heat from the water extracts oils and fatty acids and these are what can give coffee the bitterness that many people describe when they’ve tried a cup of black coffee.
As hot coffee cools, these oils and acids chemically change and as that happens the coffee begins to lose its original and coincidentally its intended flavor.
When hot brew cup of coffee is given a chance to cool down, and then it is then reheated, it’s never going to have the same taste that it originally had.
In my opinion this is one of the most unique things about cold brewing coffee is the fact that when it’s cold brewed you’re not necessarily extracting all of the acids and all of the oils that are extracted when you hot brew coffee.
So what does that mean?
When you’re cold brewing, you’re replacing heat with time. So rather than what running hot water through the grounds, the grounds are going to be steeped in cold water to room temperature water for up to 24 hours. So without the hot water extracting the oils and the acids that give the bitterness that some people describe we’re left with a rich coffee concentrate that is loaded with just deep rich coffee flavor.
I hear a lot of people describe the taste as smooth when compared to a hot brewed cup of coffee and I’d have to agree. The first time that I tasted a cold brewed coffee, I was amazed. It was just smooth and rich. Those were the first two words that come to mind.
So back to the question at hand. Is it worth it to spend the extra time that it takes to cold brew coffee? And overwhelmingly I think the answer is yes. If you just look at the industry right now it seems like everybody is cold brewing.
I’ve talked to numerous shop owners who’ve been cold brewing for ages and making their drink with cold brew for as long as they’ve been operating. Some up to 10, 15 plus years but the fact that we’re now moving into this draft coffee craze and nitro coffee, cold brewing is almost a necessity. And the reason I’d say that is because cold brewed coffee is much more stable meaning that its brewed cold and what you see is what you get.
Whereas with the hot brewed coffee, you’ve obviously got that change in flavor as the coffee cools down. So cold brewing gives you a little more stability out of the coffee. Meaning the flavor is not going to change a whole lot whether it gets hot or cold plus you’re going to get a little bit more shelf life out of it.
Those were both topics that I’m really excited to dive into more, hopefully with some guests talking about the stability of cold brewed coffee versus hot brewed coffee. As well as talking about the shelf life of cold brewed coffee. For instance, what’s a common shelf life for cold brewed coffee? And what’s the maximum shelf life for cold brewed coffee and if there is a maximum is it possible to extend that maximum? Is there a way to preserve the coffee more?
And actually an interesting question I just got the other day was how can I extend the life of my cold brewed coffee without adding any preservatives or any other additives. I have an organic coffee and I want to preserve it but I wanted to do naturally. So if you’ve got questions or comments regarding in any of the topics or questions that we’ve proposed today, send us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org or you could find us on twitter @ColdBrewAvenue. I know we didn’t dive in the draft coffee to much today but if you’ve got any questions pertaining draft coffee or nitro coffee, send a message to Keg Outlet email@example.com or you could find them on twitter @KegOutlet.
Before I end this podcast I’d like to ask for a quick favor, if you’ve read any of our blog post onKeg Outlet or maybe you’ve downloaded and read The Ultimate Guide to Cold Brewed Coffee and Serving Coffee on Draft.
Do us the favor of subscribing to this podcast on iTunes and leaving us a review. And let me just say, I don’t know if this is legal or not but if it’s going to be anything less than a 5 star review email us first, let us know what we can do to make this podcast better. But honestly, up to this point we’ve received such great feedback from everybody on everything that we’ve done from the early blog posts at Keg Outlet to the publishing of our e-book The Ultimate Guide to Cold Brewed Coffee and Serving Coffee on Draft.
Even now the private community that we launched that can find at forum.coldbrewavenue.com. We’ve received such great feedback from everybody. If you like all this things that we’re doing, please let us know. Leave a five star review on iTunes, share the podcast with your friends, make sure you subscribe to it. And if you’re a roaster, a coffee shop owner, a barista, or some other coffee professional join us in the private forums. Check out forum.coldbrewavenue.com.
All right, that’s enough of my little self promotional tirade. I think this going to be wrap it up for this first episode of the podcast. I feel I may have presented more questions than I answered but that’s kind of a purpose of this podcast. Is to present questions and start a discourse among the community. I certainly got a lot of ideas for new episodes as I was doing this one.
- So, some topics pertaining to cool brewing in particular that we might discuss in future episodes.
- The ratio of coffee to water in cool brewing.
- What kind of roast should I use? Light roast, medium roast, dark roast or what if it’d better to use a blend.
- How long does cold brew last? And what’s the best way to extend the shelf life?
And pertaining to our organic brewers, what’s the best way to add shelf life without any preservatives?
Another topic on cold brewing that I’d really like to get in the future episode is whether to bloom or not to bloom when cool brewing. Blooming is just adding hot water for a very brief amount of time and then added in the cold water and allowing it to rest.
- How to cold brew in large volumes?
- Steeping times, how long should I be brewing my coffee? 10 hours, 14 hours, 18 hours, 24 hours. I’ve spoken with quirky baristas that says you have to go for 13.3 hours and maybe that’s the exact amount of time that you should do that.
- Does extend in steeping time change the flavor or it just makes the brew more concentrated?
So as you can see we have a ton of ideas for different topics. We will be covering some pretty broad stuff over the next few episodes and then we’re going to get sign up from ongoing and hopefully start getting some podcast guests.
We’ve had over a hundred people who said, “Yes I would like to be on podcast.” We’re excited to feature some of our customers, some of our clients, some of our friends and just get a different voice on all these different processes that we’ve talked about. So that’s something that you can look forward to from future episodes.
Thanks for joining us on this first episode of the Drips and Draughts podcast. We look forward the many more. You can find this episode at www.dripsanddraughts.com/1.