The cold brew coffee craze is hardly new, but it might finally be mainstream.
Cold brewing, also called cold water extraction or cold pressing, is the process of steeping coffee grounds in water at cool temperatures for an extended period. Coarse-ground beans are soaked in water for about 12 to 24 hours. Or, in the case of Jimmy's Java Cold brew Espresso, mechanically percolated; more on that later.
While cold brew is, well, cold coffee, it’s not just regular iced coffee. Chris Cross, a roaster at New York City’s Cafe Grumpy, told TODAY.com how the trendy brew is made, and why it’s different. “It’s coffee that’s brewed with room temperature or cold water over a 12 to 24-hour brew time,” he said. “It depends on the recipe, it’s done to taste. “Because it’s made with colder water, it’s generally a bit mellower and tastes more rounded out,” Cross added. “So there’s more of a full body and a little less acidity [than iced coffee.]” This is traditional Cold Brew. Here at Jimmy's Java we use a method we developed called "mechanical percolation".
Mechanical Percolation uses the same technique as traditional stove top percolation but without the heat. Whereas stove top heats coffee forcing the liquid up through a syphon tube to rain back down on the grounds, Jimmy has substituted a powerful pump and actually forces the coffee mixture back through our deeply researched blend of coffees; hence, mechanical percolation.
Once the coffee is steeped, “you end up with a very strong coffee concentrate and you cut it with water, about 50/50,” Cross said, and voila: you have cold brew. There’s also New Orleans-style cold brew, which is made with chicory for a kick of spice. Jimmy's is stronger with a deeper taste and more caffeine than traditional hot coffee or cold brew.
Starbucks’ version has “chocolate and light citrus notes,” and a brew time of 20 hours, the company said. Its traditional iced coffee is made by brewing coffee double-strength, and pouring it over ice. (For the record, iced drinks like lattes and Americanos are made with espresso and ice.)
There is a real difference between Cold Brew and iced coffee; really! There is a real chemical difference between the two, so it's not just a marketing ploy. The heat breaks down some of the chemical compounds in the coffee grounds, just as cooking changes the flavor and texture of meat. If you don't like the bitterness of coffee, the cold-brewing method can eliminate some of that, allowing the coffee's subtler nutty and chocolaty characteristics to take center stage. We've also noticed that with the decrease in acid the Increase in caffeine doesn't seem to give people the 'jitters'.