Did you know that coffee has more than 1,000 aroma compounds? Even now, it’s the irresistible smell that makes me opt for another cup or pause outside a cafe while I decide if have time to pop in. However, making a good coffee isn’t straightforward – it’s easy to scald or overbrew, resulting in a bitter taste.
So when I heard about a new way to make it that would produce a sweeter taste and smell, I was keen to try it for myself. Cold brewing is exactly that – replacing the hot water that’s pushed into the grounds using pressure (‘espresso’ means to force through) with steeping time and cold water. This releases the oils and aroma in the same way without risking any bitterness, producing a less acidic coffee concentrate.
Given that cold brew seems to be the latest food trend (move over salted caramel and pulled pork), there’s several DIY ways to make it at home that you can find online and some specialist jugs. However, I decided to try the Oxo Cold Brew Coffee Maker – a perfectly designed bit of kit consisting of a jug with a fine mesh base, stand, draining switch and ‘Rainmaker’ lid that helps distribute the water over the grounds. Plus it’ll also brew tea and comes with a storage flask.
I started by filling the jug with coffee. It’s best to use a medium to coarse grind, or one that’s suitable for a French press of Cold Brew maker. I’m using Cherizena Pure Colombian medium roast, ground for a cold brew maker. Next, I added water through the Rainmaker, at a ratio of 1:4 to really soak the grounds.
A quick stir is all it needed to help distribute the water further and then I left it for 24 hours, though it can take as little as 12 to brew if you’re in a hurry. For another layer of flavour, you can also add chicory or orange peel while it infuses.
Waiting time over, it was time to drain the grounds.
What comes out is a very strong coffee concentrate – while it looks and smells very much like standard coffee, it’s actually very strong and only a small amount, about 60ml, is needed for most drinks, of which there are plenty. It’s ideal for cocktails, such as espresso martinis or hard shakes, as well as frappes, or mixed with port or tonic for a refreshing summer drink. Here I’ve added milk, ice and vanilla extract:
Stored in the fridge with the handy flask lid that also double as a measuring cup, it’ll keep for up to two weeks, giving you plenty of time to try lots of drinks combinations.