What is Cold Brew?
Coffee, Cold Brew, + Chemistry
Believe us when we tell you, “Cold Brew” is not just iced coffee. It actually refers to a unique way of extracting all of the components that make a coffee drink from the coffee grounds.
Most people are familiar with the traditional way of brewing coffee with hot water. Whether you prefer a good, classic, American drip coffee machine, a French press, a pour over, an espresso machine, or some other way, all of these methods have a major point in common: they pass hot water over ground coffee in order to produce a cup of coffee in just minutes.
What about Cold Brew? How is it made?
Let’s take a step back to understand how this works and then explore what makes cold brew unique. Coffee grounds contain a variety of oils, acids, and chemical compounds – known as “coffee solubles” - that are pulled out of the coffee when it comes into contact with water. Hot water, just a little below boiling temperature, pulls out the solubles quickly and even makes some of the compounds evaporate into the air, which explains the lovely, room-filling aroma of a freshly brewed pot of hot coffee.
There is, however, a downside to brewing with hot water. While it extracts the coffee solubles efficiently, it also works aggressively, rapidly degrading and oxidizing some of the coffee’s naturally occurring chemical compounds. This brings about the more bitter, and acidic qualities often present in most coffees brewed with hot water. Note: The better your coffee beans are, the less these bitter and acidic qualities take over your coffee experience. Now: back to Cold Brew...
Cold brew takes a different, more patient approach. Instead of a quick blast with hot water, the cold brew process steeps coarsely ground coffee in cold or room temperature water for an extended period of time, usually somewhere between 12 and 24 hours.
In this cold-water method, the coffee solubles are still pulled out of the grounds into the water, but at a much slower and gentler pace. When the time is right, the coffee grounds are removed from the water – before reaching the bitterness-inducing level of degradation and oxidization caused by hot water – leaving a coffee concentrate that is usually diluted with milk or water before drinking.
The resulting product is a fresh cup of coffee with a unique, nuanced flavor profile and a surprising smoothness. Cold brew is 67% less acidic than coffee brewed with hot water, which means it’s much easier on the stomach and teeth. It is also a stable product that can be preserved in the refrigerator and maintain its freshness for at least 2 weeks!
What if I like my coffee hot?
Don’t be fooled by the name! Cold brew is a versatile coffee that can be enjoyed hot or cold. For those who like it hot, simply warm the coffee in your favorite cup in the microwave, or in an electric kettle, or on the stovetop. Heating cold brew after it’s brewed doesn’t diminish its flavor or benefits! Cold brew is truly a coffee for all seasons, whether you’re looking for cool and refreshing on a hot sunny day, or warm and embracing in the winter snow.
What makes Joan + Joe Coffee's Cold Brew unique?
When it comes to the myriad ways of making coffee, there are really only two fundamental ingredients: coffee and water. But, of course, not all coffee beans are created equal, and not all water is equally pure.
Joan + Joe coffee beans are as good as they come: 100% Arabica, High-Grown, Specialty Grade, Certified Organic, and Non-GMO Verified. We wouldn’t want to drink coffee that carries pesticide residue into the steeping process, and we certainly wouldn’t want to share it with our friends.
Along with the top quality organic beans, the water we use is alkalized and filtered, which keeps the acidity of the coffee at its lowest level in every handcrafted batch.
At Joan + Joe we have crafted the perfect formula for our cold brew that we are proud to serve. In our brewing process, we combine the highest quality ingredients in just the right proportions, and for just the right steep time.
We joyfully take care of the patient process of small batch, hand-crafted brewing so you can conveniently enjoy the smoothest, most flavorful cold brew you’ve ever had. We believe we’re onto something good, and goodness should be shared.