Emma Waverman writes about the chaos of modern family life in the kitchen and out of it. She has a weekly food column on CBC Radio One, Here & Now. She is the co-author of the family cookbook Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and is hoping to one day finish her certification as a parenting coach. She lives with her three kids, ranging from tween to university student, and husband in Toronto. Emma has written for a variety of national lifestyle magazines and newspapers. When she's is not making typos, telling you what she thinks, and thinking about dinner, you can find her on Twitter at @emmawaverman and Instagram. You can contact Emma at embracingchaos@hotmail.ca.

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How to Make Cold Brew Coffee (and Tea) at Home

Cold brew coffee is not the same as iced coffee. It is also not the same as leaving your brewed coffee somewhere in your house and then drinking it at room temperature. And it is not the same as a coffee-blended drink. (Though, it makes a great one.) You can hear all about it in my CBC Radio segment on Here & Now

When coffee is brewed at high temperatures, the beans release volatile oils and flavours. When a coffee is hot, those flavours are enjoyable -- they often rise to the top and are in the crema. But if that hot brewed cofee is tossed over ice, those flavours can intensify, which is why people add so much dairy and sugar to iced coffee.

But when coffee is brewed cold, there is not heat hitting the beans and you just get a full, complex flavour. But like a good braise -- it is low and slow. Cold brew coffee takes eight to 12  hours of sitting to fully extract the flavours. But you will be happy you did it because cold brewed coffee is good -- it's even won me over and I am a dedicated tea drinker. 

Any great coffee place will be making their own cold brew, they may even have nitro cold brew on the menu which takes special equipment. In Toronto the nitro cold brew may come from the guys at Station Cold Brew, they are modeling their cold brew after the beer market but consider sugary, caffeinated beverages as their main competition. You may see their bottles being sold at major grocery outlets.

But cold brew is actually easy to make at home. Once you figure out the proportions you like, it's a breeze to make. 

If you know me well, then you know that I am obsessed with iced tea. So I make cold brew iced green tea almost everyday. Cold brew tea is the same method -- the proportions are at least 1 tsp to cold water. I make mine a little stronger. That's it. Now go enjoy your cold drink.

Just remember if you want to sweeten your iced beverages to make a simple syrup the day before by heating equal parts sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves. You can store in the fridge for weeks. 

Once you have cold brew you may find yourself adding it to cocktails or smoothies, the possibilities are endless. 

Reader Comments (3)

I definitely need to try this. I am always on the lookout for new ways to try coffee. I try to drink mostly tea, but find myself consuming far too many energy drinks even though I know they are terrible.

June 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I am excited to try it,thank you for sharing with us

July 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKire

Remember, this is a concentrate. Cold brew coffee is really high in caffeine, so you want to dilute to taste.

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndreas

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