Cold brew coffee
Cold brew, or cold water extract, refers to the process of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period. Cold brew coffee is not to be confused with iced coffee, which generally refers to coffee that is brewed hot and then chilled by pouring over or adding ice, though iced coffee can refer to cold brew coffee served on ice.
The cold water extract process requires grinding: coarse-ground beans are soaked in water for a prolonged period of time, usually 12 hours or more. The water is normally kept at room temperature, but chilled water can also be used. The grounds must be filtered out of the water after they have been steeped using a paper coffee filter, a fine metal sieve, a French press or felt. The result is a coffee concentrate that is often diluted with water or milk, and can be served hot, over ice, or blended with ice and other ingredients such as chocolate.
Because the coffee beans in cold water extract coffee never come into contact with heated water, the process of leaching flavor from the beans produces a different chemical profile from conventional brewing methods. Coffee beans contain a number of constituents, such as caffeine, oils, and fatty acids, which are highly soluble at high temperatures. By brewing the coffee at lower temperatures, many of these solubles do not completely dissolve, resulting in lower acidity and lower caffeine content when brewed in equal volume.
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