I’ve never been a coffee-drinker, mostly because it tasted so bitter to me without massive amounts of sugar and milk. I blame this on my status as a super-taster, but I’ve noticed that my tastebuds have been changing for about the past year or so, to the point where I don’t get repulsed by the flavor of plain broccoli and I actually enjoy the flavor of dark, dark chocolate, like 80%(!) cacao. <—I’ve read that tastebuds can become less sensitive with age, so I’m pretty sure that’s what is happening with me.
Anyway, I was at a dinner party a couple of months ago when the topic of conversation turned to coffee. One of the guys at the table mentioned that he makes cold-press coffee because it’s so much less acidic when prepared in that fashion. I was intrigued because I’ve also had the experience when drinking even decaf coffee has caused me some distress due to the acidity (most people experience heartburn, but I would sometimes get an irritated bladder…ugh!).
True to form, I immediately went hunting for research on the topic as soon as I got home. I was also interested in this topic because I keep seeing more cold-press coffee products at the health food store and was wondering what makes it so special, a.k.a. expensive.
Turns out, making cold-press coffee is not only the easiest thing in the whole world, but there are definitely some health benefits as well (searching on PubMed did not yield any results, but the anecdotal evidence seems to agree that by not exposing the grounds to hot water, less of the acidity is drawn out from the beans). I also wanted to mention that there are proven health benefits to drinking coffee in general, especially when it comes to energy and mood, and that has certainly been the case for me (tea, especially green tea, also falls into that category, too, btw).
In some ways, it seems silly to write a whole blog post on this topic, but I’m all about making stuff at home, plus sharing my excitement when I come across something like this that has really been a big change in my life.
So, the first step to making cold-press coffee is to find yourself some good beans. I prefer organic and fair-trade, you can see my recommendations in my Amazon store. I do think it’s important to grind your own beans to order, in other words just grind enough for the batch you’re going to make. This will preserve the delicate oils that are exposed upon grinding.
You’re also going to need a French-press coffee maker, or some kind of jar with a filter. I like an 8-cup version and I use about 1 cup of coffee grounds to about 5 1/2 cups of water. I further complicate things by using about half regular beans and half decaf beans (be sure that they are decaffeinated using the water method), but that’s entirely up to you.
Next, just soak the grounds and water for at least 4 hours, but up to about 12 hours (I tried soaking it longer and the resulting coffee got a little bitter in my opinion, but I’ve seen instructions that say to soak the grounds for up to 24 hours).
The last step is to filter the coffee through the grounds to get your rich, cold-press mixture:
If you like your coffee strong, then you can then just pop it in the microwave and drink it straight. If you aren’t quite sure, you might want to dilute the cold-press coffee with a little water and then heat it up before serving. Another option is to serve the mixture over ice.
But, with the colder mornings we’ve been having lately, I’m partial to a hot cuppa’, how about you?
- 1 cup freshly-ground coffee (I like to mix half regular beans and half decaffeinated beans)
- 5½ cups filtered water
- Combine ground coffee and water in a French press. Let steep for 6-12 hours. Filter coffee through the press and either serve hot from the microwave or cold over ice, diluting with extra water as needed.
Other beverages that provide a little extra bit of energy can be found in these recipes:
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