When Starbucks added cold brew coffee to their roster a few years ago, this drink's popularity exploded. People who had never even heard of this drink before were suddenly obsessively drinking it, thanks to its delicious taste. Nowadays, you can't step into any independent coffee shop or chain, without seeing the words "cold brew" scribbled somewhere on a board. Despite this fact, there is still not a lot known about this infamous drink.
A lot of people think that a cold brew is just a fancy term for iced coffee, and will mix up the two a lot. However, this couldn't be more wrong. These two coffees are made in completely different ways and as a result, have very different flavors. The best cold brew you've ever drunk will probably be completely different to a regular iced coffee.
If you've jumped on the cold brew wagon, you might have noticed that your cold brew habit is getting to be quite expensive. Assuming that you'd like to save some money without giving up your cold caffeinated drink, then you're in luck. We've compiled a nifty guide on the best cold brew coffee beans so that you can make this delicious drink at home yourself and save a few dollars while you're at it.
Since Emma is the coffee brew Queen herself, you can rest assured that here at Chamberlain Coffee, we are experts on all things cold brew. From the best beans to the method, we've got everything you need to know right here. So, what are you waiting for? If you are ready to experience the best cold brew coffee of your life, read on to find out how you can create it.
What Is Cold Brew Coffee?
Although cold brew coffee has only recently experienced an explosion in popularity, it isn't an entirely new concept. It's believed that cold brew was a process first created in Japan many centuries ago. This method of brewed coffee was then brought over to the United States and was often sold in street coffee stalls, before bigger chains like Starbucks started to take note of the drink's popularity and benefits.
There is one question that is constantly asked regarding this style of coffee - are iced coffee and cold brew the same thing? The answer is, absolutely not! One of the most common misconceptions is that cold brew means iced coffee and vice versa. In fact, these two drinks are created in very different ways and are quite dissimilar.
Regular iced coffee is brewed in hot water and then put in a fridge for several hours to cool it down, or served over ice cubes. Although the coffee content is brewed in the same way as with regular espresso and cappuccino, iced coffee can tend to be watery since a higher water concentrate can dilute the full bodied flavors of the coffee. With a cold brew, the brewing process is entirely different. The introduction of water doesn't dilute the flavor but instead, intensifies it.
To get the best batch of cold brew, you need to steep coarsely ground coffee beans in room-temperature water for several hours. People believe that this intensifies the taste, and creates a smooth drink that is easier to consume than hot cup of coffee. A lot of people will do cold brewing for around 12 hours since they believe this reduces the acidic content that can often be found in lighter and medium roasted beans. This will result in your tummy feeling better after drinking, and you won't find that you have the urge to rush to the toilet, as can be the case with some coffees!
People choose to drink cold brew because they think that a longer brewing process equals a better overall coffee. It's true that the longer that regular, hot coffee is brewed for helps to extract more tasting notes and flavors. This, therefore, explains why cold brew tastes phenomenal. The water concentrate has had hours to soak up all of the aromatic flavors of the coffee.
Once you're ready to serve a cold brew, you can add it to water or milk in order to create your perfect drink. Some people like to add little extras such as caramel shots and give their cold brew an extra sweet kick.
Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Regular Coffee?
Some of us drink coffee for the taste but did you know that the majority of people drink coffee for a caffeine boost? Although this seems pretty obvious, it means that a lot of consumers will choose a coffee based on its caffeine content rather than its flavor notes. This explains the popularity of the espresso shot in European countries!
A lot of people are sceptical of cold brew, and cold coffee in general, since they see it as having a lower caffeine content. This is because when you brew coffee with hot water, it produces a lot more caffeine. However, a cold brew is unique in the fact that there is almost twice as much coffee content in relation to water. For this reason, you could argue that it contains more caffeine and is therefore stronger. Of course, with both coffees, adding things like ice, milk or other little additions will affect the caffeine content.
In terms of tasting notes, your cold brew will definitely have fuller flavors and a more well-rounded taste. As you may well know, when coffee beans and ground coffee are exposed to high temperatures during brewing, this can affect their taste. Since cold brew coffee is made using room temperature water, it doesn't interfere with the aromas and flavors as much.
Cold brewing enunciates the tasting notes of your coffee beans more which means that you don't need to add things like sugar or sweeteners, unless you absolutely want to. Instead you can enjoy the flavor profile of the cold brew beans in a more authentic form.
How Long Will A Batch Of Cold Brew Last For?
Imagine that you've turned up to a coffee shop, asked for a cold brew, only to discover that they have completely run out of your favorite drink. You may have had the misfortune of experiencing this situatio before. If you haven't, lucky you! Annoying as it may seem, this happens often. This is because cold brew coffee is brewed in large batches each day, and many shops will only make a certain amount.
When you brew your own coffee for cold brew at home, you'll also need to make a batch. People commonly make enough for several cups, since this ensures that they won't need to constantly repeat the lengthy process again and again. It also ensures that you can plan ahead and make enough for a few days.
However, if you live alone, you might be wondering how long a batch of cold brew will last for. As we all know, coffee beans and ground coffee lose their freshness quickly, and can go stale. This is similar for coffee drinks, that are left sitting out for a long time. So, if you don't have anyone else to share the batch with, is it worth making for just one person? The answer is yes!
Cold brewing removes the problem of staleness and lack of freshness. Cold brew concentrate, once made, can stay fresh in your fridge for up to two weeks. Yes, you read that correctly. Two weeks! This is because the cool temperatures and the enclosed container, ensure that the concentrate isn't affected by heat or air.
Of course, your coffee brew might start to lose its flavor after a couple of days. If you dilute the concentrate with too much water, then the cold brew coffee will start to lose its aroma and tasting notes, so it is best to not mess with the concentrate if you can avoid doing so.
If you love a morning coffee, but you work long hours and don't always have time to make fresh coffee from scratch, then a cold brew is the best coffee for you. Batches are great for people with busy schedules since they enable you to get your caffeine fix without having to waste a lot of time preparing a coffee in the morning.
What Are The Benefits Of Cold Brew?
All coffee is reasonably healthy, since it contains bucketloads of antioxidants that can help with heart problems and strengthen our immune systems. Some people say that cold brew has heaps more benefits than regular coffee. However, others disagree with this, and say that it isn't any different simply because it is brewed in a unique way. Yet, there are som clear benefits to a cold brew.
Cold brew is popular with a lot of people because it contains less acid. Acid reflux is a condition that affects many people around the world. It can cause issues like stomach pains, diarrhea, indegestion, and heartburn.
Hot coffee is known to contain a high amount of acid, and the brewing process in cold brew drastically reduces its acidity. For this reason, people who suffer from ailments caused by acid reflux can enjoy coffee without worrying about the effect it will have on their stomach.
Another benefit of cold brew is that it can drastically improve your metabolic rate. If you're trying to slim down, then drinking coffee will surely help you to achieve this. This is because a cold coffee brew is created through a long brewing time, so the caffeine content is drawn out and intensified. Consuming extra caffeine has been proven to fasten your metabolism, which in turn will help your body burn fat.
Since cold brew has a strong caffeine content, another benefit of it is that it is a great way to reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue. Since cold brew is cooler than regular coffee, the cold drink further enables you to feel fully awake when you drink it.
If you want to experience the benefits of coffee without the bitter taste of say, an espresso, a cold brew can provide you with that. The subtle tasting notes that are released during the brewing process make this coffee a mild choice for people who don't like strong and overpowering flavors. As well as this, with a cold brew you can pour cream over, or add caramel and vanilla shots if you want to make it a little sweeter.
The final, and perhaps most important, benefit of cold brew is that it is incredibly easy to make. You can put your ground coffee, or whole beans, into a jug of tepid water before you go to sleep, and in the morning you'll wake up to find the perfect brew waiting for you. It requires minimal effort, but yields maximum results.
Can I Make Cold Brew Coffee With Whole Beans?
When it comes to making cold brew, it's a lot less difficult than you would imagine. There are many different recipes and methods you can follow.
If you've ever tried to make cold brew coffee before then you'll know that it's most common to steep coffee grounds into water and leave it to brew. This requires you to either buy pre-ground coffee or grind your coffee beans beforehand at home. There are a few ways you can do this, either by using an automatic or manual machine in order to get a coarse grind.
However, recently people have started to try out brewing methods that involve using whole beans. As you might know, when coffee is ground, this releases some of its aromas and flavors and can ultimately affect how it tastes. This is because the coffee grinds can start to oxidize, and so need to be used immediately after they have been ground at home. For some people, they may grind too many beans, and then be left over with unusable coffee ground for their brewed cold coffee.
When you use whole beans for cold brewing, you are keeping the beans in their whole form and ensuring that the flavors and scents remain in tact. You might find it easier and less time-consuming, making it a good thing to do.
To brew cold coffee with whole beans, you need to follow the same steps as you would with ground coffee, but let it brew for longer. Since the coffee bean is in its full form, it may take a little longer for the flavors to be released. However, the final result should taste just as good as if you were using ground coffee.
Which Coffee Beans Are The Best for Cold Brew?
So, you now know that you can use coffee beans for brewing cold coffee, either in their whole form or ground up into fine coffee grinds. Once you have decided on your brewing method, then you need to choose the best coffee beans to create your batches of cold brew with.
It doesn't matter whether you use single origin coffee beans or a blend. Although we recommend arabica beans in a cold brew, just because they give a sweeter taste than robusta beans, the quality of your cold brew won't be affected depending on the type of bean you use. However, the flavors that come out in the brew will definitely differ!
Since cold brew coffee is made in a different way, it often has subtle flavors and is less bitter and richer than iced or regular coffee types. Cold brew is popular for lacking acidity and bitterness so it's best that you choose coffee beans that will complement this brewing style. So, what's the best coffee for cold brew?
Light roast blends will have a high level of acidity, so aren't particularly great choice for cold brew, as you want to diffuse the level of acid present. That's why more people choose to make their cold brews with medium and dark roast coffee beans.
Medium roast beans have slightly higher levels of caffeine than dark roast beans, but have a beautiful fruity flavor and aroma that is extracted during the brewing process. A dark roast is an excellent choice for cold brew, because it also has great flavors. It has rich and smooth tasting notes of chocolate, caramel, and nuts, and depending on the coffee roaster, it can have smokey undertones that taste great in a cold brew.
Although a dark roast blend is usually a lot more bitter than medium and light roasts, when you use dark roast beans for cold brew, this bitterness is diluted. You needn't worry about your coffee having the same level of bitterness as an espresso, since the exact point of a cold brew is to remove this!
As well as using regular beans for cold brew coffee, you can buy specially made cold brew coffee beans. Since this style of drink has recently risen in popularity, many coffee brands have created their own roasting blends, that have specific flavor notes that are designed to stand out in a cold brew drink. However, you don't need special coffee beans for cold brew but they are good to try out since they are made specifically for this purpose.
So, if you love rich flavors in your coffee, then a medium or dark roast is best for your cold brewing. However, it is hard to say with certainty what the best beans are for this drink. You can either go for regular roasted beans, or you can purchase specially made cold brew beans. It doesn't really matter what you choose, so long as these beans are brewed properly.
What Cold Brew Blend Do They Use At Starbucks?
We couldn't talk about cold brew coffee without mentioning Starbucks. Famous for their delicious cold brew blend, one of the most commonly asked questions is "what is Starbuck's cold brew blend?"
While Starbucks never fully divulges the contents of their cold brew blend, they do say that is is made with 100% arabica beans from Africa and Latin America. As mentioned earlier, arabica blends are perfect for cold brew coffee, since they have a certain sweetness that matches the subtle aromas and flavors drawn out during the brewing method.
Starbucks don't use single-origin beans, and this is probably for a variety of reasons. Using a blend of beans, from different parts of the world, can release different flavors in a coffee and ensure that you get one of the best drinking experiences.
Starbucks cold brew blends are medium or dark roasted. This is because a medium roast offers sweet tasting notes, while a dark roast has gorgeous flavors like chocolate and caramel, which are fantastic for people who like their cold brew to have sugary notes.
A downside to Starbucks' cold brew is that over time it can hurt your wallet and bank balance. If you can find similar coffee beans for cold brew, that come at a more affordable price, then you can start brewing your own drinks at home. In this way you'll save loads of money in the long run, and you won't need to wait in line anymore to get your morning kick of caffeine!
Can You Use Coffee Bags For Cold Brew?
We've established that one of the best ways to make your own cold brew at home is by using whole coffee beans or fresh coffee grounds. This guarantees that you get fresh flavors and a smooth taste every time.
However, for some people this seems like a lot of work. It's relatively easy, but it is understandably a little intimidating to try and create the perfect cold brew using whole beans. You need to measure out the right quantity to ensure that you get the brew as perfect as possible. If you choose to grind your beans, then you need to make sure that they have a coarse grind, and this can be hard for some people to get right.
To avoid the nitty gritty aspects that are involved in making this drink, many coffee brands have started to create specially made coffee bags. These bags can be used in a multitude of ways, from creating tall iced lattes, all the way to hot cappuccinos. However, coffee bags are perfect for cold brews.
When you want to make a cold brew, you need to ensure you put in the right amount of coffee to get a great concentrate. Coffee bags enable you to do that. You can buy steeped coffee bags, that contain freshly ground coffee, with a perfect amount in each bag so that you can brew without measuring out the right quantities.
There are several different companies that create coffee bags that come in different roast levels and with various tasting notes. Chamberlain Coffee sells our very own steeped coffee bags, that are perfect for creating the cold brew. Emma created these with her favorite drink in mind, so that if you want to enjoy delicious coffee at home in the morning, you can do so without worrying about the hard work. Above all, our steeped coffee bags contain the best coffee grounds from beans that are perfect for cold brew drinks.
Coffee Beans for Cold Brew at Chamberlain Coffee
Along with our steeped coffee bags, we have a wide range of coffee beans for cold brew coffee at Chamberlain Coffee which will enable you to make the most exquisite coffee without having to undergo a difficult brewing method.
Our blends contain some of the best coffee beans, such as the arabica. We source all of our beans from South America and Indonesia, to ensure that quality is never compromised. As well as this, our flavor notes are delicious and will taste great in your cold brew. Our coffee beans have notes of chocolate and caramel and will give you a gorgeous tasting drink.
If cold brew isn't your thing and you prefer simple hot coffee and iced coffee drinks, then you can use our beans for these brews without any issues. The flavor of our coffee beans ensures that you will get the best results regardless of what coffee you're going for.
So, if you want to take your cold brew or iced coffee to another level then purchase a bag of our best coffee beans. If you want to stay informed of when we have new product releases, or you want to check out exclusive footage then remember to sign up to our newsletter, and you'll be the first to know when anything new drops.
To learn how Emma makes her perfect cold brew coffee, check out her recipe on our website. She gives you all of her tips and tricks on how to make the best cold brew out there.