I love my coffee hot; real hot. So cold brew just didn’t seem right for me. Then one day, I thought, “What the hell. What if I make cold brew, then nuked it in the microwave?” And WOW – HOLY COW BATMAN!!! Nuked cold brew absolutely rocks! It’s so easy, naturally sweet, and even smoother than the AeroPress.
Coffee Brewing Chemistry
Picking the right beans and dialing in the perfect roast is only half of the equation to making the smoothest, best tasting coffee on the planet. The other half of the equation is brewing. Thus, 50% or more of your coffee’s taste lies in your brewing technique.
Each brewing technique extracts out of the grounds and into the water different molecules, thus different tastes. There are literally hundreds of different molecules in coffee, which means there are literally thousands of heat, pressure, and time combinations to screw up a good cup of coffee and only several ways of doing it perfectly.
For this discussion hot water (typically 200 degrees Fahrenheit) is a big factor in creating bitter coffee. On the other hand, cold water, will extract and interact with the coffee grounds in a completely different fashion, usually producing a very smooth and naturally sweet cup of coffee.
Before I give you a quick rundown of coffee brewing techniques, let me make one thing perfectly clear. Drink what you like. That’s why I started Lake City Coffee, so I could drink what I like. If I don’t like your coffee brewing method, then to hell with me. You go for what makes you happy.
BUT, if you’re looking for something better then what you’ve been doing, then you might consider the following.
There are three major categories of coffee brewing techniques.
- Pass Through – This technique allows the water to pass through the grounds and collect in a pot or mug. It includes your typical drip machine, pour over, Chemex, etc. In my humble opinion; this makes a very mediocre, uninspiring cup of coffee.
- Pressure – This technique presses very hot water or steam through the grounds quickly. Examples of this technique would include an espresso machine or a Moka Pot. Again, in my humble opinion, this method produces a very bitter cup of coffee, not fit for feeding pigs. Obviously, I’m in the minority with this opinion. So, once again, I repeat myself. If you like this method, then go for it and enjoy.
- Steeping – Obviously, left for last, this is my favorite brewing method. I love the idea and results of letting the coffee grounds to freely mix with the water for a given amount of time. Heck the Asians have been using this method for thousands of years to make tea. Examples of this method would include, first and foremost, Cold Brew, French Press, AeroPress, and others.
How To Cold Brew
- Course grind ½ Cup of coffee
- Add grounds to a quart Mason jar
- Add cold, preferably filtered, water
- Put the lid on the Mason jar and shake a little
- Put Mason jar in refrigerator over night. If you forgot to do this the night before, then I’ve done it for as little as 10 minutes. It’s not as good as over night, but it’ll suffice.
- Next morning, put a (gold tone metal coffee filter, which fits most 8 to 12-cup coffee makers – Amazon about $12) into a 1-2 Cup Measuring Cup or some other container that will accommodate the filter.
- Pull Mason jar out of the refrigerator and pour the coffee out of the Mason jar and into the filter. Set the filter aside.
- If you like hot coffee, microwave the coffee while in the measuring cup. Trust me, this may very well be the best hot coffee of your life. You’ll fine hot coffee prepared this way to be super smooth and naturally sweet.
- Pour the coffee from the measuring cup into your coffee mug.
If you’re more visual, then watch the video of me doing the above. Click Here, then scroll half way down the page.
Hot Cold Brew
If you’re like me, you prefer your coffee hot. In that case, just follow the above instructions, then put the measuring cup, without the filter, into the microwave for about 3 minutes.
The first time I did this, I really expected the heated coffee to taste the same as other steeping techniques, such as the AeroPress (my second favorite way to make coffee).
But I was wrong. The nuked cold brew was the best coffee that I’ve ever had.
How Long Does Cold Brew Last
I’ve left my cold brew in the refrigerator for up to a week. That’s a whole week with the grounds and water just sitting there in the Mason jar.
Guess what? It tasted fine. Perhaps it was a bit stronger, but still every bit as smooth.
One advantage of cold brew coffee is that it travels very well. Generally, I make my cold brew, filter it into a sealable coffee mug, or another Mason jar.
Then I can easily travel with my cold-brew coffee. I often travel with my cold brew in a small cooler. At other times, I just bring my Mason jar in a suitcase.
White Cold Brewed Coffee
Another option with cold brew is using mixing white coffee with your dark or medium roast coffee. White coffee is nothing more than a very lightly roasted coffee.
Typically, white coffee is actually yellow or golden in color. It does not taste like traditional coffee. Most white coffee is under roasted, i.e. yellow in color. This under roasted coffee tastes like a straw. But if the roaster leaves the coffee beans in the roaster for another minute or two and few degrees hotter, then the white coffee comes out golden in color and tastes like peanut butter. And the aroma is to die for.
How does white coffee relate to cold brew or more specifically nuked cold brew or hot cold brew? My wife likes to mix a quarter cup of dark or medium roast with a quarter cup of white coffee. This will give your regular coffee a slight nutty taste.
Nuked Cold Brew Coffee
So, when the weather turns cold, you might think about nuked cold brew. As I said in the beginning, I love my coffee hot; very hot.
The taste difference between brewing your coffee hot vs. cold brewing and then microwaving your filtered coffee is nothing short of amazing.