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Cold Brewing Coffee
Old 02-05-2010, 10:34 AM   #1
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Cold Brewing Coffee

Anyone cold brewing coffee at home?

Now that our kids are older and w*rking either full time or part-time while going to college, they feel the need to buy my DW and I Christmas gifts. Rather than the usual books, clothing or dreaded gift cards (I never seem to remember I have them when I go to purchasse something ), this year I went on the Internet and found a cold brewing coffee system made by Hourglass Coffee - Hourglass Coffee | Cold Brew Coffee Makers, coffee maker, Low Acid Coffee - and my kids got it for me.

The supposed benefits of cold brewing coffee are up to 70% less acid than traditional hot brewed coffee as well as less of the 'bitter' oils. This is a plus for me, as I love coffee but have noticed recently that I am starting to suffer from indigestion - which I never had before. Since drinking cold brewed coffee on a regular basis, I seem to have less indigestion.

I am still playing around with it, trying different 'brew times' and ratios of the coffee extract to water when I reconstitute it for a hot cup of coffee.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:42 AM   #2
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I got a Toddy coffee maker as a Xmas gift. Used it once. Same concept.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thanks for the idea, jdmorton. Would love to cut the acid out of my coffee, and didn't even know they made such a piece of equipment. Again, thanks!!!!

However, after watching their video, it seems that they use quite a bit of ground coffee. Any idea how much coffee you need to use for a full carafe of water?
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:41 PM   #4
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I have never heard of cold brewing coffee. I will have to read up on it a bit more. I currently use a Technovorn 8-cup coffee maker that was a gift from a coffee fiend.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:38 PM   #5
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Dory (who started this site) drank cold brewed coffee. He posted a thread on it once...a few years ago or longer. I tried his method and didn't like the flavor. It tasted like instant coffee to me.

Here's a follow up thread, I couldn't find the original.
Dory's Cold Brewed Works!
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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Okay, here's a more-informed-than-usual opinion from a 28 year veteran of the specialty coffee trade. Cold water coffee has been around for a long time. The basic method is this: take up to a pound of coarsely-ground coffee, cover it with water, and filter it slowly through a nylon or cloth filter to make a concentrated extract. You can then freeze the extract in an ice cube tray for individual cups, or keep some in the fridge and dilute with hot or cold water as needed.

The extract is very smooth-tasting but you do sacrifice all of the more complex flavors and aromas, which are - you guessed it - only brought out through brewing in hot water. Obviously that's not an issue if you're buying canned coffee or French Roast, neither of which have any flavor complexities to lose, but if you're more of a connoisseur you won't be happy with cold water extract.

The "low-acid" thing is complete hogwash, since even a "high-acid" coffee like Kenya has the ph of a carrot. Coffee is a low-acid beverage - though you can turn it into a high acid one by letting it sit on a burner for hours in the finest diner tradition, or by mistakenly accompanying it with genuinely high-acid drinks like OJ at breakfast time.

For a quick cup of truly excellent coffee I suggest checking out a nifty brewer called the Aeropress (available at Amazon and many other places). French Press (plunger pot) and good old pour-over manual drip also work well, and I should also mention that the Technivorm electric brewer WhoDaresWins has is the best coffeemaker of its type on the planet - the only home unit that gets the water hot enough and keeps the brew time short enough to deliver a perfect cup (available at Terroircoffee.com and several other places).
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:42 PM   #7
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I like those bitter oils! Wouldn't be (my) coffee without it.

Sure, I sweeten it with sugar and make it "cafe au lait" style (super strong brew mixed with lots of hot milk) but it's that balance of bitter and sweet that makes me happy in the morning.

Of course, most of the secret of coffee is in the beans. I used to roast my own and that was probably the best coffee I ever had. I love the dark roast blends from Hunter Bay Coffee: Hunter Bay Blends and now order from them.

Audrey
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevink View Post
Okay, here's a more-informed-than-usual opinion from a 28 year veteran of the specialty coffee trade. ....

The extract is very smooth-tasting but you do sacrifice all of the more complex flavors and aromas, which are - you guessed it - only brought out through brewing in hot water. Obviously that's not an issue if you're buying canned coffee or French Roast, neither of which have any flavor complexities to lose, but if you're more of a connoisseur you won't be happy with cold water extract.
I love getting info from people 'in the know' - thanks!

I made some of this cold-brewed coffee many years ago, and that is what I remembered. At first, I was really impressed with how 'smooth' it was, but soon found it boring w/o a little 'bite' and those other flavor components. My recollection seems to match your information. And I can see how some people would prefer it.

One of the guys I worked with did the cold-brewed "ice cube" thing with it, would bring them into work in a little lunch cooler with a cold pack and make his coffee with the free hot water from the cafe. It was far better than the stuff they served there at the time.

Quote:
The "low-acid" thing is complete hogwash, since even a "high-acid" coffee like Kenya has the ph of a carrot. Coffee is a low-acid beverage - though you can turn it into a high acid one by letting it sit on a burner for hours ...
I'm curious about this - how does coffee become more acidic by sitting warm (other than it would get a little more concentrated from evaporation)?

In general, I find most people get pretty confused over acidity (pH) and its affects. I know from brewing non-coffee beverages, that pH is only one part of the equation, the 'buffering power' of that pH tells you more about what happens when you mix it with something (like your stomach contents). I think of pH as 'temperature' and the combination of pH and buffering power as 'heat'. IOW, a teaspoon of boiling water has high temperature, but a bucket of water just a few degrees above room temperature has more total heat content. Add the teaspoon to the bucket, and it makes almost no difference, even though it was a much higher temperature.

-ERD50
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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I don't want to be any more guilty than I already am of taking this thread into arcane territory, but here is one last link on the acidity question that may shed some light. This is a great site to know about generally because they review coffees from the best small regional roasters all over the country:

Coffee Review :: The World's Leading Coffee Buying Guide
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