Coffee is something unique. While there are other caffeinated beverages such as tea and soft drinks, you will find nothing that compares to coffee. There are many different types of coffees, and even more coffee makers, from espresso machines, all the way to cold brew coffee makers.
The reason why coffee is so beloved is still up in the air. Whether it is the flavor, the aroma, the specific concentration of caffeine in it, or a combination of each of these factors, we still have no idea, but we do know that we love coffee. One of the best things about coffee is just how versatile it is.
Coffee can be made in so many different ways that even the most steadfast of coffee lovers have likely not tried each of the different variations. The beauty is that each of these methods results in coffee that is either slightly or radically different from what you would typically expect in a cup of coffee.
From Turkish coffee, which is ground as finely as possible, all the way to experimental brewing techniques that are only just being developed, everyone has their ideal method for preparing coffee. Some brewing techniques will result in a sweeter coffee, while others will make for something that tastes sharper.
Of course, different people will have varying tastes, so you can’t expect one person to appreciate a particular brewing method as much as the next. Coffees can vary in so much more than just brewing method, however. Even coffee that has been brewed in the same manner can still be prepared differently.
For example, a cafe au lait is very different from a cappuccino, even though both of them can use coffee that has been brewed similarly. The manner in which your coffee is served will depend on whether you prefer a coffee that has a strong flavor or one that is sweeter and less defined.
There is no right way to drink coffee, and no one has the right to tell you how you should consume your cup. Of course, there are certain limits. Filling a coffee with sugar until the saturation point may make it as sweet as possible, but this will not prevent it from turning into a disgusting mess.
As long as you remain within reason, you will be able to enjoy your coffee. Today, we are going to be looking at a certain brewing method and the coffee makers used for it. Over the course of today’s article, we are going to be going over cold brew coffee and cold brew coffee makers.
Before we start talking about cold brew coffee makers, we have to make sure that all of our readers are on the same page in the first place. It wouldn’t do much good to discuss cold brew coffee makers if our readers didn’t even know what type of coffee they make.
Contrary to what the name might make you expect, cold brew coffee does not necessarily have to be brewed at a temperature that we would consider cold. Cold brew coffee can be brewed at room temperature, and most people would not think room temperature to be particularly cold.
The term “cold” is used to describe this brewing process because the temperature at which the coffee is brewed is still relatively cold when compared to traditional brewing techniques. Of course, the cold brewing process is not exactly like the hot brewing process, as something needs to take the place of high temperature.
In the case of cold brewing, you will find that a high temperature is replaced by time. A longer brewing process is the single downside of cold brew coffee. It is recommended that you leave cold brew coffee to steep for around 24 hours, which takes much longer than the relatively instantaneous brewing times we are used to.
We are getting a little bit ahead of ourselves, however. Getting into the matter of brewing time before even discussing the brewing process may result in some confusion. There are many different techniques which are used to cold brew coffee, but you will find that most of them are broadly similar.
Unlike in hot brewing, you will find that the coffee grounds are ground up coarsely instead of finely. Once you have run your coffee through a grinder (or you have your pre-ground beans ready), you will immerse them in room-temperature water for an extended period so that they brew.
Cold brew coffee makers use a filter to extract the coffee grounds from the water once your drink has finished brewing, as nobody wants to drink (and likely choke on) coarse coffee grounds. Cold brewing results in coffee that is different from hot brews in a few different ways, and we will get to that in the next section.
There are few benefits to cold brew coffee that make the extended brewing time worth the effort. Keep in mind that many of the benefits of this coffee are a matter of personal taste, and you may prefer a coffee that is brewed more traditionally, there is nothing wrong with this.
One of the benefits of a cold brew coffee is that it will have a flavor that is much less harsh than a standard coffee due to the reduced acidity levels in cold brew coffee. You may be wondering why there is so much less acidity in this type of coffee and it has to do with the byproducts of the brewing process.
When coffee is brewed hot, there are many acidic substances which rise to the top of the cup and result in a harsher flavor. If you brew your coffee cold, these lipids and other substances will never be extracted from the coffee bean in the first place, so your coffee will maintain a sweeter, more bearable flavor.
If you prefer your coffee with heavy milk or a lot of sugar to counter the bite, you may enjoy cold brew coffee. Since you won’t have to add as much milk and sugar to your coffee, you will find that cold brew coffee is often a much healthier alternative to a typical coffee with both of those ingredients added.
There are other benefits to cold brew coffee apart from the flavor. Since you don’t have to use hot water to make it, you can make a cup of cold brew coffee without the use of power, provided that you have a hand grinder available for the beans.
Aside from the simplicity of making it, there is also the lower caffeine content of cold brew coffee. For those who don’t like their coffee with too much caffeine in it (or those with medical conditions), cold brew coffee is often an excellent choice.
There is less caffeine that is present in cold brew coffees because it takes higher temperatures to extract all of the caffeine from a coffee bean (hence why traditional brewing is so much faster). Of course, those higher temperatures also bring out the lipids and more acidic ingredients that alter the flavor.
The most common type of coffee that you will come across is filtered coffee because it is quick and straightforward to make, provided that you have access to hot water and filters. The technique used to brew filtered coffee can also be referred to as drip-brewing.
This method essentially pours the hot water over the ground coffee beans on a filter, and the result is your steaming hot cup of coffee.
Filtered coffee can be made far quicker than cold brew coffee, but we have already discussed how it is far more acidic and contains a larger quantity of caffeine. If you are trying to brew coffee in the morning, when you need to be awake as soon as possible, nothing can beat filtered coffee.
French press coffee is similar to filtered coffee in essence, but you will find that it uses a different filtration technique. In a french press, the coffee grounds are coarser, and they are exposed directly to the water in the jug.
After the coffee has brewed in the jug for four minutes, a plunger is used to push the coffee grounds to the bottom of the jug and to allow the coffee to be poured. This method will enable you to choose exactly how long you would like to infuse your coffee before you press the plunger.
Since you have more control over a french press, many coffee enthusiasts say that this is the best method that you can use to infuse your coffee. Some will argue that you should leave you coffee to brew for around five minutes, while others will go even further and advocate a six-minute brew.
This is one of the more unique varieties of coffee, as the grounds are boiled with your water. Turkish coffee beans are ground to a much finer standard than the beans you will use for other forms of coffee. When you have finished grinding Turkish coffee beans, they will essentially be a powder.
The sugar, coffee, and water all boil together, and the mixture is removed from the heat as soon as it reaches a boil. Since the coffee grounds are so fine, they are almost imperceptible in the mix. The longer you leave Turkish coffee to boil, the less foam there will be at the end of the process.
Now that we have covered the (admittedly long) groundwork, we can finally get started on our topic. Since cold brewing sounds like something that you can do without a machine, why would you need a coffee maker in the first place?
While it is true that cold brewing can be accomplished with a jug and a filter, a cold brew coffee maker simply combines everything you need into one convenient appliance.
Since cold brewing is such a simple process, you will find that the coffee makers used for it are rather affordable.
The affordability of the cold brewing process is put into perspective when you compare the prices of leading cold brew coffee makers and drop-brew coffee machines.
A quality cold brew appliance can typically cost around 50 dollars, where you can find some coffee machines worth 500 dollars.
As we already mentioned, cold brew coffee machines take the requisite elements for cold brewing and combine them into one convenient package. Most of the time, you will find that a cold brew coffee maker consists of a jug, a filter, and a lid or stopper of some kind to keep the coffee fresh and the jug sealed.
Since these coffee makers are so simple, you will find that there is relatively little to go wrong in one of them. Should you choose to invest in a quality cold brew coffee maker, you can expect it to last for years or even decades. Of course, you will still need to replace the filters on models which use disposable ones.
As you can see, a cold brew coffee maker isn’t so much an automated appliance as much as it is a vessel in which you can steep your cold brew coffee, much like a tea kettle. Since cold brew coffee makers are so simple, it can be challenging for the uninitiated to distinguish between the different types.
While we have described what exactly a cold brew coffee maker consists of, we have not gone over how they work, and it is quite impressive. In the coming section, we will describe exactly what a cold brew coffee maker does to make your coffee.
So how does a cold brew coffee maker work in the first place? The method of operation for one of these appliances is rather simple. The filter is there to hold your coarsely ground coffee beans. This filter is located in a jug which is meant to be filled up with water.
When the jug is filled with water, and the filter is immersed in that water, the coffee begins its slow process of cold brewing. As you can see, cold brew coffee makers are far more straightforward than the models which are used for drip-brewing.
Since you do most of the work manually, you will find that there is no reason to automate any of these processes. When there is no automation, there is no need for powered machinery that could end up causing trouble in the long run. Fewer moving parts means that you will expend less effort on maintenance.
Now that you know all of the parts of a cold brew coffee maker and how they work, let’s take a look at a step-by-step guide to the cold brewing process. You may come to realize that cold brewing is far simpler than you think.
You may be wondering if there is a particular type of coffee that you should use for your cold brew, and we find that it depends on your preferences. In reality, you can use whatever coffee beans you prefer for your cold brew, so we would recommend trying out every different type and seeing which you prefer.
Since robust flavors are the ones that usually come out in the cold brewing process, you will typically want to stick with dark roast coffee beans if you are unsure of what works best. While there are applications for lighter roasts in cold brews, they are far less popular.
A question that we hear often concerns the difference between iced coffee and cold brew coffee. You will find that these terms are commonly used interchangeably, and it is important to make a note of the distinction between these two terms.
While an iced coffee can be a cold brew coffee, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. You can make a cold brew coffee warm by merely mixing the concentrate with hot water instead of cooler water.
Of course, cold brew coffee is ideally suited for iced coffee since it doesn’t have to be cooled down in the first place. Iced coffee can be made from coffee that has been brewed using any technique, and cold brew coffee can be served either warm or cold.
We have already briefly discussed this topic earlier on in the guide, but we figured that it was worth going over one last time. Cold brew coffee has less caffeine in it since the lower brewing temperature brings less of the caffeine out of the beans, meaning that there will still be some in your leftover grounds.
Of course, the low temperature is what makes the cold brewing process unique, so this lower level of caffeine cannot be helped. Some drinkers prefer cold brew caffeine for its lower caffeine content, which has a smaller chance of resulting in the jitters or other side effects that are related to caffeine.
One important matter to take into consideration is the ratio that you use when you are serving your cold brew coffee. Since you can choose how much you dilute your coffee when you are serving it, you can vary the ratio to make for a coffee that is either stronger or weaker, depending on the drinker.
There are no hard limits to the ratio that you use when you are watering down your coffee. You could even drink pure concentrate if you wanted to, not that it would be a pleasant experience. People tend to vary their concentration by 25% in either direction so that it will be in the range of 25:75 to 75:25.
Of course, the maintenance of your coffee maker is also critical to ensure that it lasts longer, but as we touched on earlier, there is little to maintain in a cold brew coffee maker. Aside from maintenance, you will also want to ensure that you keep your coffee maker clean.
As long as you ensure that there is nothing stuck in the filter of your cold brew coffee maker, you should have no issues keeping it properly maintained. Should you notice any cracks in the jug, we would recommend purchasing a new cold brew coffee maker and to stop using your current one.
You will want to ensure that you purchase a cold brew coffee maker that is easy to clean up. Many features contribute to a model that can be cleaned with ease, and a larger opening on top is one of the most evident ones.
We hope that we have been able to provide all of the info on cold brew coffee makers that you have needed. Should you feel the inclination, feel free to move on to our buying guide, in which we look at some of the best cold brew coffee makers on the market.