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Fat Guy

Cold Brewing of Coffee

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I've done cold-water brewing just using a Mason jar and letting the coffee and water sit overnight before straining...it makes decent enough coffee for iced coffee. No reason decaf shouldn't work - though make sure the coffee is strained thoroughly before refrigerating.

After a number of cold water brew attempts, I've decided I get the best iced-coffee simply by:

a: brewing extra coffee when I make my morning coffee and immediately letting it cool down before refrigerating

b: brewing a pot of hot coffee and letting it cool and then refrigerating

c: making coffee ice cubes

I should add that the brewing method I use to turn coffee into iced-coffee is "Melitta" drip.

I should also add that I find the espresso blends, from Intellegentsia and others, are best used for brewing espresso...when I've used them for drip, I don't like them as much as other blends and single origins.

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A look at the photo of the mini suggests that finely ground coffee is going to get through the filter or clog it. You could try a little bit of your coffee in it just to test that. I think that if your decafe tastes good hot it will taste good iced.

I have used the set up with the white plastic container and the fabric filter and cork in the bottom in the past, and it makes a great concentrate for turning into iced coffee.

Let us know what you think of your Hario mini after you have a chance to use it a bit. And how much do these things cost? No prices on that site.

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Thanks weinoo and Richard.

The filter itself is very very fine, so I don't think the coffee will get through. One day I'll take a picture of it so you can see. It's almost like very finely woven organza.

The mini cost Y865 which at today's exchange rates is about US$8.50. When I was searching for English instructions, I found that it will be selling for about US$12. The store I purchased it at had larger ones, too, and some other similar vessels for making iced coffee (At least one other was HARIO, but I'm not sure of the makers of some of the others I saw).

I hope to make some iced coffee up tonight, and I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow morning! (my time)

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I've had a Toddy brewer for many years and use it perhaps a couple of times a year when friends who like that type of coffee come to visit (and bring their own coffee).

These same friends have tried to talk me into buying a Filtron brewing system but I see no point in it as the Toddy works fine for me. (and it was half the cost of the Filtron)

Many years ago I knew a Danish woman who made cold-brewed coffee in large batches using a muslin "jelly" bag suspended in a two-gallon pickle jar filled with water which was placed in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

That was before the days of "boutique" coffees and as I recall, she used 8-O'Clock Coffee, regular grind, as it was stronger than Folger's, Maxwell House or Yuban.

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I washed out my Mizudashi Coffee Pot last night, and put it to work. It took a bit longer to make than I thought (it takes awhile for the water to filter through at first, so you have to stop and let it go down before adding more water), but it wasn't so long that it was annoying. This was the mini, however, and I imagine filling the larger one might be a bit more annoying.

After sitting about 8 hours in my fridge, I made my first iced coffee. I like it. There are no errant coffee grounds in my cup (the filter really is very fine), and the coffee is neither too bitter nor too sour. I think I'll have to try it using a different grind and fresher coffee, however. The makers suggest using coffee roasted specifically to make iced coffee, so perhaps I'll stop buy my local coffee shop and see what they have.

One note--it uses quite a bit of coffee--50grams for what I think is maybe 800mL of water. I don't make a lot of coffee (and when I do I use a moka) so I don't know how much coffee one usually uses, but it seems you could go through coffee grounds very quickly with this thing, and it could get very expensive.

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I made another batch of iced coffee using my Mizudashi Coffee Pot and some very fresh coffee (purchased and ground the same day) roasted for iced coffee (whatever that means). The store I went to (Hiro, a local chain) has four types of beans for iced coffee--mild, regular, Blue Mountain (using real Blue Mountain beans judging from the price), and one other I can't remember. I bought the mild and had it ground for the Mizudashi (they suggested "paper grind" which I assume is for when you use a manual drip cone--is that the same grind as for an automatic drip machine?).

I accidentally left the coffee to brew for a few hours longer than suggested, but it's still very good coffee. The initial hit is a bit bitter, but then you can taste the nuances of the coffee. I'm not really a coffee drinker, but I really like what the Mizudashi produces. I should brew up some hot coffee and some iced hot coffee using the same beans just to see how the flavours compare with the different methods.

I'm going to try the Blue Mountain blend next, but it's more than Y700 (US$7.30-ish) for 100 grams--that's for just two batches (roughly 400mL each) of iced coffee making for some very expensive beverages. My mild iced coffee blend was about Y350 for 100grams.

I can't imagine how this maker is different from the cold-brew sock method, but it sure is prettier.

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I'll be interested to read your experiments. With the Toddy I have liked using the concentrate more for iced than hot coffee.

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I'm going to try the Blue Mountain blend next, but it's more than Y700 (US$7.30-ish) for 100 grams--that's for just two batches (roughly 400mL each) of iced coffee making for some very expensive beverages.  My mild iced coffee blend was about Y350 for 100grams.

I can't imagine how this maker is different from the cold-brew sock method, but it sure is prettier.

Actually, it's really not that much different (if different at all) than the sock method, or any other cold-brew method. Basically, it's ground coffee steeped in cold water and then the grounds are filtered out. The main difference between this method and brewing hot coffee and letting it cool for your iced coffee is that by brewing with cold water, most of the acidic qualities of the bean are left behind. Some people like that, some don't. I actually like my iced coffee made from hot brewed coffee, because I like the acidic flavor profile.

And that Jamaican Blue Mountain? At over US$30 a pound - I'd be hot brewing that stuff...why leave ANY of it behind?

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Actually, it's really not that much different (if different at all) than the sock method, or any other cold-brew method. Basically, it's ground coffee steeped in cold water and then the grounds are filtered out.  The main difference between this method and brewing hot coffee and letting it cool for your iced coffee is that by brewing with cold water, most of the acidic qualities of the bean are left behind. Some people like that, some don't.  I actually like my iced coffee made from hot brewed coffee, because I like the acidic flavor profile.

And that Jamaican Blue Mountain? At over US$30 a pound - I'd be hot brewing that stuff...why leave ANY of it behind?

The acidity thing must be why I like cold-brewed coffee. It's one of the reasons I don't like coffee (the bitterness is the other reason) in general, so cold-brewed is the perfect match for me!

You have a point about the Blue Mountain, but it seems so reasonable when you think of the price in 100gram increments! I think that's one of the reasons Japanese prices for food items is usually in 100 gram increments--it seems oh so much more reasonable that way.

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Does cold-brewed coffee have more caffeine than hot?

The two days I drank my cold-brewed coffee, I suffered the same sleeplessness I usually get when I have caffeine too late in the day. The only problem was that I finished drinking the coffee before 10am on both days (before 7am on one of them, actually).

I read that Toddy coffee has less caffeine, but what about non-toddy cold-brews?

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Does cold-brewed coffee have more caffeine than hot?

The two days I drank my cold-brewed coffee, I suffered the same sleeplessness I usually get when I have caffeine too late in the day.  The only problem was that I finished drinking the coffee before 10am on both days (before 7am on one of them, actually).

I read that Toddy coffee has less caffeine, but what about non-toddy cold-brews?

From the MSNBC Website

Toddy claims to brew up two-thirds less caffeine than regular coffee; in a side-by side test using Starbucks' regular blend, the Toddy version had a pH of 6.31 and 40 mg of caffeine per 100 grams of coffee, while Starbucks store-brewed clocked in at a pH of 5.48 and 61 mg of caffeine. (Lower numbers on the pH scale, which is measured logarithmically, denote more acid.)

Accordingly, Toddy responded:

UPDATE: Toddy has informed me that MSNBC made a mistake in their reporting. From Toddy:

    "Our claim is cold brewed coffee has approximately 33 percent less caffeine than coffee brewed (using regular caffeinated beans) by conventional hot water methods."

Some other research indicates much less of a difference in the caffeine content. I guess we'd need a scientist doing research on different beans, how long the coffee is steeped, whether or not caffeine is heat-soluble, etc.

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There have been numerous studies regarding caffeine levels in various types of coffees.

Also acid levels in various types of coffees.

According to some studies, Mexican coffee has the lowest acid content of the commonly available coffee beans.

One study compared various roasts and their findings were that the darker roasts, where the beans were exposed to heat much longer than others, had significantly lower caffeine levels.

The findings that prolonged exposure to strictly-controlled heat would produce caramelization and reduction of caffeine content noted that the dark and espresso roasts could be consumed by people who have sensitivity to caffeine.

Scroll down half-way on this page.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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There have been numerous studies regarding caffeine levels in various types of coffees.

Also acid levels in various types of coffees.

According to some studies, Mexican coffee has the lowest acid content of the commonly available coffee beans.

One study compared various roasts and their findings were that the darker roasts, where the beans were exposed to heat much longer than others, had significantly lower caffeine levels.

The findings that prolonged exposure to strictly-controlled heat would produce caramelization and reduction of caffeine content noted that the dark and espresso roasts could be consumed by people who have sensitivity to caffeine.

Scroll down half-way on this page.

While it's true that the darker roasts (French, Italian, Viennese) will generally have less caffeine than the same beans done to a lighter roast, let's not lump in "espresso," which is a method of brewing coffee, into the mix.

The beans I use for espresso are roasted lighter than any of the 3 dark roasts I mention above.

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There have been numerous studies regarding caffeine levels in various types of coffees.

Also acid levels in various types of coffees.

According to some studies, Mexican coffee has the lowest acid content of the commonly available coffee beans.

One study compared various roasts and their findings were that the darker roasts, where the beans were exposed to heat much longer than others, had significantly lower caffeine levels.

The findings that prolonged exposure to strictly-controlled heat would produce caramelization and reduction of caffeine content noted that the dark and espresso roasts could be consumed by people who have sensitivity to caffeine.

Scroll down half-way on this page.

While it's true that the darker roasts (French, Italian, Viennese) will generally have less caffeine than the same beans done to a lighter roast, let's not lump in "espresso," which is a method of brewing coffee, into the mix.

The beans I use for espresso are roasted lighter than any of the 3 dark roasts I mention above.

I am referring to the coffees marketed as "Espresso" roasts. There are several brands. At present I have one tin of D'Aquino Café Espresso, Product 100% of Italy and a tin from Trader Joe's.

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Just cold brewed for the first time. Holy crap! First of all, it couldn't be easier - I don't make coffee at home a lot in the summer b/c I'm an iced coffee girl unless it's chilly out, and making hot and letting it turn cold takes time. I have serious issues with pouring hot coffee over ice. *shudder*

The coffee tastes so good, has very little bitterness, and retained its flavor profile.

I'm sold.

ETA: the best part was that I used my french press - ground the beans the way I normally would and just stirred it together before putting it in the refrigerator. I'll experiment with the variables but I've got to say this is excellent coffee. What took me so look?


Edited by daisy17 (log)

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I'm bumping this topic up because I received a note from a friend who is a real coffee fanatic and has been searching for the "perfect" way of brewing coffee for as long as I have known her.

I gave her a Toddy cold-brewing unit several years ago and she liked the results.

Yesterday she emailed me that she had purchased this brewer in December:

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/Hourglass-Cold-Brew-Coffee-Maker-p/scg10001-06.htm?gclid=CKWN9cPprp8CFRwTagodJTcW0w

She reports that it is easier to clean than the Toddy and the coffee concentrate is as good, if not better.

She wrote that she ordered a second unit for a spare, just in case they stop manufacturing this one.

Looks like a winner to me!

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Resurrecting an old thread:

I'm trying to cold brew coffee for the first time tonight, and am trying to nail down a ratio of beans to water. I've seen ranges from 50g / 800mL to 100g / 400mL. I know this is a rank newbies question, but is there a generally accepted ratio for a basic cold-brew coffee? Or does it really depend that much on the roast and bean?

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Resurrecting an old thread:

I'm trying to cold brew coffee for the first time tonight, and am trying to nail down a ratio of beans to water. I've seen ranges from 50g / 800mL to 100g / 400mL. I know this is a rank newbies question, but is there a generally accepted ratio for a basic cold-brew coffee? Or does it really depend that much on the roast and bean?

I don't think it really depends that much on the roast or the bean, although good beans roasted properly will give you a good start.

Here's a good ratio...(by good, I mean the one I use)

Coarsely ground coffee - 1/2 lb. to 2 quarts of water.

Then you can dilute the concentrate about 2 parts coffee to 1 part water.

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Thanks for getting back so quickly, Mitch. Lots of techniques seem to rely on making these concentrates, but it all begs the question: Is there any reason to make a concentrate and then dilute as opposed to making the desired final concentration in a single go? With the additional water, do you end up with an overextracted grind?

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Well, I think the main idea about having a concentrate is that it's space saving and it lasts for at least a week in the fridge.

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16:1 to 17:1, water:coffee. This is for the final product, so if you're doing concentrated, a little math will be necessary.

Works out to roughly 60g/L

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16:1 to 17:1, water:coffee. This is for the final product, so if you're doing concentrated, a little math will be necessary.

Works out to roughly 60g/L

That sounds a little dilute to me.

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My coffee jedi-master has a cold drip coffee system where the water is very slowly dripped through the grounds rather than the steep-then-filter style of cold brew coffee. Aside from the cool factor of the drip system, are there differences in the cold drip from the cold brew coffee?

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For iced coffee I've been using coarse grind with a weight ratio of 1:10, overnight in the refrigerator (12 hours). Filtered after removing from fridge in the a.m. before addition of milk, simple syrup and a few ice cubes. I generally just make enough for a 12-15 fl. Oz. serving: 40-45 grams ground coffee, 400-450 grams water.


Edited by rlibkind (log)

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The new OXO Good Grips Cold Brew system is gorgeous on the counter and works beautifully

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