Why you should be drinking Cold Brew Coffee

Coffee contains many phytochemicals, antioxidants and other nutrients that research has shown as beneficial to our bodies (that being said, if you can quit the habit you’ll probably be better off for it). If you’re an addict like me, you will appreciate that there are some benefits to that delicious nectar of the gods. But unfortunately, drinking coffee can sometimes cause acid reflux or similar issues. 

Luckily, some research has shown you can still have your daily coffee(s) if you brew it cold. Coffee brewed hot is far more acidic than cold-brewed. As such, cold brew has a sweeter taste because of its lower acidity.

What is it? 

Instead of brewing coffee with hot water, chilling it, and diluting it with ice, you let the grounds sit, undisturbed, for upwards of 12 hours, then you filter the grounds from the liquid. What you end up with is highly-concentrated coffee that you can add water to. Simple! 

Why is it so good?

Cold water brewing extracts the delicious flavour compounds (and some of the caffeine) from coffee beans, but leaves behind myriad bitter oils and biting fatty acids, including undesirable elements such as ketons, esters and amids. 

These are the same bitter acids and fatty oils that surface to the top of your hot cup of coffee, and give hot-brewed coffee that familiar ‘bite’ (this is why most people add milk to coffee, to soften the acidic taste). 

And while research on the potential health benefits of coffee hasn’t delved into a cold-brew versus regular-brew battle, there’s some suggestion it’s better for the body (and gentler on stomachs), because it’s less acidic—up to 67 percent less, according to The Daily Beast.

In general, your body requires a delicate balance (pH) of acidity and alkalinity to function and heal. The human body thrives with a higher level of alkalinity than acidity, and the foods and drinks we ingest determine, in part, our pH levels. When you drink high-acidity coffee your body’s pH becomes unbalanced, often creating discomfort for the consumer.

Drinking coffee isn’t great for you overall, but it’s delicious and my morning’s don’t feel complete without it. We are allowed a vice in life, right? 

How is it made? 

Coffee grounds are steeped in room-temperature water for up to 24-hours to produce a concentrated coffee essence which is then diluted with water, usually by 50%, and served chilled.

Make it yourself 

Recipe from Huffington Post 

Things you need:

  • 1/3 cup of heavier-bodied coffee beans: darker roasts such as Sumatra and Brazilian are great.
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold, filtered water
  • Coffee grinder
  • Spices (optional): Experiment by mixing the grinds with spices such as nutmeg, ginger, coconut or cinnamon.

What to do:

  • Grind the coffee coarse enough for a French press or coffee plunger. (If you don’t have a French press, you can use a jar the same way, just pour the cold brew through a filter.) 
  • Fill the press with the water and ground coffee, don’t push the plunger down. Let it sit in the refrigerator for however long you want. It’s best anywhere from 12 to 48 hours. 
  • Then press the plunger down and your coffee is ready to go. 
  • Dilute with water and/or your favourite milk before serving. 

Tip: if you want a hot drink, you can heat it up at the end. 

For a cold brew coffee maker, like iWaki 

If you have a cold brew coffe maker, like I do, you can follow the included recipe. I used an iWaki brand coffee maker and love it. I bought it for $50 on eBay and it’s been perfect. It doesn’t make a coffee as strong as the above method, but it doesn’t need as much dilution later. I just add a good amount of cashew milk and stir. So good!  

1) Measure out 30 grams (roughly 3 tablespoons) of coffee beans and grind them medium-fine to medium. (The grind will affect extraction potency and overall brew time so you can play around with this).

2) Carefully tap the coffee into the filter cup. Fill the cup with 3 tablespoons of water to pre-wet the grounds.

3) Place the water/drip section on top and fill it to the where you see the small triangle (it’s subtle so you have to really look for it). It drips at a rate of around 1 drop per 1.5 seconds, so it’s fairly fast. 

Enjoy diluted around 1:2 with water and/or milk of your choice. 

If you’re going to drink coffee you may as do it well. Cold brew is a great alternative. If you can’t give up your nespresso, try biodegradable pods to reduce your plastic consumption and impact on the environment. Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t about living a dry, dull life. By simply making healthier switches you’ll do yourself and the planet a world of favours. 

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