How is cold brewed coffee?

On Tuesday, I told a friend from Japan that Starbucks was giving out free coffee because it was election day. She asked if non-citizens were eligible, and I said yes.

But then she said, “Starbucks brews its coffee with hot water. I drink only cold-water brewed coffee.”

Huh? I’d never heard of such a thing. She went on to tell me that her mother in Japan even has a special appliance for brewing coffee with cold water.

Is it really better?

I’m sure Chefguy will be along any minute…

Until he shows up, though, I can say that cold-brewed coffee is pretty damn good. It’s better than what most inexpensive coffee makers produce by a longshot.

However, it takes 12+ hours to make, so for those of us who are not all that great at planning ahead, it’s difficult. Plus, you have to heat every cup you make, which IMO is kind of a hassle. In the mornings when I’m caffeine-deprived, two minutes in the microwave is torture.

We’ve had other threads on it before. Cold-brewed coffee is less acidic, so it is less bitter. I usually use mine just for iced coffees but it can be warmed up if you prefer. No devices are really needed except for a good funnel, jars, filters and patience.
Here’s a link for more info.

If you do a search for recent coffee threads (over the past few months), you’ll find several wherein I extoll the virtues of cold-brewed coffee. I don’t make anything else at home and really wish it could be purchased at more coffee stands.

Athena: try drinking it iced. I don’t bother heating it up.

I’m just here to throw in my pro-cold brewed coffee vote. Had some this morning, and I packed some in a bottle to bring to work to have later this afternoon when I’m caffeine-deprived. It’s currently room temperature, and I’ll probably drink it that way unless I’m cold, and then I’ll heat it in the office microwave.

It’s the best.

I tried the method in the earlier thread (I think it was from Chefguy, but I could be mistaken.) It was easy to make, if a bit messy, and as advertised, it was definitely smooth and not “bitter.” However, it didn’t taste as bold as I typically like my coffee. Just my personal taste. I drank it hot and iced (I especially like my iced coffee extremely strong, I usually drink iced espresso.)

I once had a product for making cold brewed coffee in my refrigerator. I’d put a pound of coffee and a quart of water into the container and leave it for 24 hours in the frig.

Then I would use the filter in the bottom of the device to drain out the concentrated cold brew.

To make a cup of coffee I would add a few tablespoons of the concentrate to a cup and then some hot water.

It was the best coffee I’d ever had. No bitterness and the concentrate stayed fresh for days.

The only problem was that I noticed I was getting less than half as much final product out of a given pound of coffee than when brewed it the normal way.

After a while I just got tired of the extra expense and effort and went back to hot brew.

Ooooh I gotta have my hot coffee in the morning. It’s one of the best parts of my day.

In fact, one of the things that keeps me from doing the cold-brew method more often is that Mr. Athena and I really missed the odor of coffee brewing in the house in the mornings. We’re big on scents. We like our coffeemornings.

I was gonna pull the “Dude, we live where it’s cold, we need hot stuff in the morning” but then realized you have me trumped on that one. :smiley: You must be made of harder mettle than we are.

Nah, you have much harsher weather where you are than we do in Anchorage. I understand about the aroma of brewing coffee, but since I used to make French press, it’s a wash, since you don’t get that brewed smell much from that either.

I can’t believe that I’ve lived this long and never heard of cold-brewed coffee, let alone that it took a person from Japan to tell me about it on election day, because Starbucks was offering free coffee. We meet there all the time, and I just assumed that she only drank tea.

Now I’m intrigued.

For one thing, I like the bitterness of coffee, especially when accompanied by some kind of sweet thing for breakfast, like yogurt or a coffee cake. However, though I seldom eat candy, I do like those coffee flavored candies (what are they called?), and they are not bitter. When it’s really hot, I like iced coffee, sweetened, and not with a sweet food, so I’d really like to try cold-brewed coffee iced…next time it gets hot.

Most coffee shops (Starbucks included) make cold-brewed coffee to use for their iced coffees. Not to be confused with iced lattes and americanos, which are hot shots of espresso poured over ice. The cold-brewed is used just for regular iced coffee. Yum.