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What’s Cold Brewed Coffee?
Cold brewed coffee is a strong extract of coffee made from course-ground coffee and water. It is “brewed” at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours and can be used to make iced coffee, or boiling water can be added to the extract for a smooth cup of hot coffee.
Why Cold Brewed Coffee?
Cold brewed is chemically different than hot brewed in that it is less acidic, less bitter, easier to digest, and gentler on your stomach. That’s because some of the oils and fatty acids in the coffee bean are only extracted at high temperatures. The boiling water which is added to the extract to make a hot cup of coffee never touches the beans, so it can’t extract those more difficult to digest components.
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I don’t know if cold brewed coffee has less caffeine than coffee that is hot-brewed (some say it does), but I do know that the caffeine in it does not bother me like hot-brewed coffee, which is why I’ve made the switch.
Listen to what Janie Quinn has to say in her book Essential Eating: The Digestible Diet:
Coffee presents a number of digestive problems. First, it contains very strong natural chemicals that can upset the blood chemistry and slow down the healing process. Second, when you pour hot water on the coffee grounds, the natural oils and acids of the bean are released. These two substances create digestive problems; the oils are indigestible and the acids compete with the natural stomach acids. Finally, the acids and oils interact with the caffeine, creating most of the negative side effects people experience from coffee and associated with caffeine.
Is It Good?
I love coffee but have seriously considered giving it up because it’s been stressing my adrenals. I can’t tell you how many places I’ve read that cold-brewed is so much better tasting than hot-brewed. But for me, cold brewed coffee has been an adjustment and has taken time to get it right. But, it’s less taxing on my body and has allowed me to feed my habit, so-to-speak.
The problem for me is that I love my coffee strong, and I love my coffee hot. When I brew the coffee according to the recipes for cold brew I’ve found out there, I experience one of two problems. If I use enough boiling water to satisfy my need for hot, the coffee is too weak. And if I use less boiling water so that the coffee is strong, it ends up lukewarm.
So that means that I need a much stronger extract than the typical recipe provides.
How to Make a Hot Cup of Cold Brewed Coffee
- 1/2 pound coarsely ground coffee
- 5 – 6 cups filtered water (I use the lesser amount)
Mix the coffee and water in a large glass jar. A coarse grind is preferable because it is easier to filter and keeps the coffee from becoming cloudy. Allow to steep for 12 – 24 hours at room temperature. Strain with fine mesh sieve or use a coffee sock. Refrigerate the strained liquid; it will keep up to 2 weeks.
To make a hot cup of coffee, use 1 part coffee extract to 2 – 3 parts boiling water.
For further reading and some other ways to make and use coffee:
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