For years I thought nothing of the fact that I drank more coffee in the summer time than in the winter. I knew I loved iced coffee but didn’t quite know why my coffee consumption habits would change between the summer and winter months.
Friends and family continued to be bewildered when I kept ordering iced coffee through the holiday season and New Year. I decided to finally investigate why I was not willing to switch to hot coffee like everybody else. I quickly discovered the reason: cold brewed coffee.
What it is cold brewed coffee?
Coffees brewed cold are proven to greatly reduce the side effects of heartburn and indigestion. Now iced coffee is not necessarily a cold brewed coffee. It just so happened that the coffee shop that I frequented made their ice coffee this way. But what is the difference and why does it matter?
Ever order an iced coffee only to receive a glass with the ice cubes almost melted down completely? Chances are the servers filled up a cup with ice and poured hot coffee over it. Voila, an iced coffee!
Bad, watery tastes aside, iced coffee made from boiling water is much higher in acidity. Adding hot water to ground coffee causes a chemical reaction that releases compounds generally summarized in the coffee world as ‘aromas’. While ‘aromas’ certainly contribute to the River Dance of sensation on the taste buds, they also result in coffees too acidic for those of us with acid reflux sensitivities.
Coffee brewed using the iced brewed method results in a full flavor cup of coffee made and served cold. It not only tastes great but also proves a lifesaver for those on the verge of giving up coffee altogether due to heartburn. The best part is anyone can make it. Just trade in 4 minutes and hot water for 12 hours and cool water.
How to Make Cold Brewed Coffee
It is not difficult to make coffee using the cold brewed method. It just takes longer than traditional hot water brewing methods. It can be as simple as putting ground coffee beans and water in a mason jar in the fridge overnight. Or a French press works too.
There are many variations on the cold brew coffee recipe. Some will add spices or other flavor enhancements. If you are like me, however, you just enjoy a standard cup of coffee without the heartburn.
For a great cold brewed iced coffee follow this easy recipe:
- 3/4 cup your favorite ground coffee (low acid coffee if stomach is very sensitive)
- 3 1/2 cups of cool water
- Put ground coffee into container or pitcher
- Pour in water and stir lightly to ensure grounds are well dispersed
- Leave in fridge for 12-15 hours
- Serve chilled over ice with cream and sweeteners to taste (liquid agave natural sweetener works especially well for iced coffee)
Best Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
If a glass mason jar and your drip coffee filter isn’t quite delivering the results you are looking for, then you can try a cold brew coffee maker. These devices are not difficult to use and can produce a much tastier cup of iced coffee. See below which is right for you.
This cold brew coffee maker gets excellent reviews. Designed by chemists, the Toddy maker has perfected its process over a 60 year history. Its top concern from the beginning was finding an alternative to the high acidity in regular cups of coffee. The price of a week’s worth of coffee, this maker is a great way to get started in brewing iced coffee at home. Start controlling the acidity in your coffee with this great cold brew coffee maker.
The Japanese have been cold brewing coffee for years and the Hario Mizudashi delicately captures that great flavor in a very sleek, easy to use pitcher. With everything designed very intuitively, just place ground coffee in the filter, add cool water, and leave in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Your low acid iced coffee pours directly from the pitcher with easy clean up. Great for sharing with guests on a warm day.
For you gadget lovers, the Yama cold brew tower is the pinnacle of art and science for coffee lovers. At a much more expensive price, it is advised to begin with more affordable cold brew coffee makers before considering the Yama single drip. Additionally, the glassware proves quite difficult to clean and is best suited for hobbyists (and those who want to impress house guests). It is cool to look at though!
No matter where you are or what season it is, cold brewed coffee solves the problem of craving a full flavor cup of coffee without the indigestion side effects. By not adding additional heat to the brewing process, it limits the creation of acidic compounds yet absorbs the caffeine and original flavor of the coffee. It is far and away the best alternative brewing style. Give it a try!