Cold Brew Coffee: What Is It & How to Make Your Own

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew is the hottest trend in coffee these days. It’s on coffee shop menus, it’s sold in bottles at grocery stores and enthusiasts are posting about it on social media.

While cold brew is well-suited for pouring over ice, the name refers to the process of making it, not its temperature when you drink it.

Coffee is commonly made with hot water, which extracts the flavorful oils from the ground beans quickly. If the water temperature is too high, it can scorch the beans or create a bitter taste. Coffee that’s brewed to be served over ice is often prepared extra strong to compensate for the dilution and its taste can be overpowering even when watered down.

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For cold brew, the ground beans soak for up to 15 hours in room temperature water, so that all of the coffee’s natural flavor compounds (and the caffeine!) gradually seep out. This makes for what experts consider a more well-rounded taste, with subtle (some say sweeter) notes that aren’t noticeable in heat-extracted coffee. The coffee infusion is a concentrate that’s rich in flavor but not bitter or too acidic.

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You can buy bottled cold brew or you can make it yourself with these six easy steps:

Step 1:

Any beans make tasty cold brew, but many pros recommend lighter roasts for their subtler flavors. Grind the beans as coarsely as possible. Fine grinds can leave you with a murky, gritty drink. You want grounds that are about the size and texture of bread crumbs.

Step 2:

Thoroughly clean a large glass jar with a lid. Add one part coffee to eight parts water—that’s about one-quarter pound of coffee to a quart of water. Stir well.

Step 3:

Cover the jar tightly and set it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

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Step 4:

In 12 to 15 hours, depending on how strong you like your coffee, strain the infusion into a large bowl through a sieve to remove the larger grounds. Discard them and rinse the sieve and jar. Place a cheese-cloth, coffee filter or a few paper towels in the sieve and strain the coffee back into the jar. Repeat a couple of times until the liquid is clear of all residues. (If you aren’t able to sift it all out, you may have ground the beans too finely.)

Step 5:

Your cold brew is ready to drink. You can serve it over ice or add hot water, if you like it warmed up. Remember that black coffee is a Free food in your Nutrisystem plan, meaning you can drink as much as you want. That’s right, you can enjoy your morning cup or your afternoon pick-me-up and stay on track to your weight loss goal. Remember, though, that you need to take care when adding anything but ice to your coffee: Nonfat milk and soy milk are PowerFuels, while fat-free creamers, almond milk and sweeteners are Extras, so you need to follow your plan’s guidelines for portions when using them.

Step 6:

You can store leftover cold brew in the refrigerator for a couple weeks. It will last until you finish it all!

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