Picture the scene. It’s a hot sweltering day. You’re out on a ride in need of refreshment. Something only a caffeine based drink will satisfy. Alas, a hot coffee won’t butter no parsnips. What do you do?! Decide on a drink that has the potential to refresh but also the potential to make you bonk on the home straight!? Don’t be ridiculous. Embrace what is the ever growing cold coffee world!
With summer rapidly approaching and the hot weather we are consistently experiencing (long may it continue, knock on wood, please don’t be a jinx!), we thought it useful to highlight those cold coffee alternatives, especially the ones you can even recreate at home, and we’ll even throw in a couple of the recipes that we use. You all know about the iced latte, but we want to take you deeper into the cold coffee world. The Cold Brew has been a mainstay for us since G!RO day one but we’ve recently introduced a Cold Pour Over which gives us another direction to point you in, just so you can have the best coffee experience. At the end of the day, coffee is all about flavour preference, the more choice you have, the more precise you can be.
Cold Brew is absolutely blowing up at the moment with the revolution even heading into the mainstream. Supermarkets, Coffee Chains, Petrol Stations, you name it – literally everywhere. Don’t be alarmed by this, it just makes it easier to highlight the good from the bad.
So what is Cold Brew? Cold brew is made using coarse ground coffee, adding either cold or room temperature water and steeping between 12 to 24 hours or using a slow drip process to filter the coffee out. Cold Brewing instruments include the Toddy brewer (our favourite especially for home use), Filtron, the Kyoto Drip Tower, Yama Drip Tower, a French Press, or a mason jar. Unlike normal coffee, cold brew uses time rather than heat for extraction. The result is a very smooth and rich tasting liquid with a much heavier feel with syrupy notes and low acidity. The recipe we use is to make a concentrate so you have the flexibility to make it as strong or as weak as you like!
Because cold brew steeps in water for an extended period of time, it makes it the easiest of all brewing methods and requires no technical skills as its literally coffee in water. If you have fresh coarse ground coffee, good quality water (either bottled, filtered, or reverse osmosis), and a vessel, you can make an amazing cold brew easily. Once made it can stay in the fridge for up to 2 weeks so you can drink it when and where you want. Cold Brew is hugely versatile due to its ability to be made from concentrate. This allows it to be easily adjusted to strengthen to preference, but also the adaptability to be a base to many different drinks and mixers. Sparkling water is a particular favourite, but milk, alternative milks, tonic water etc. The creatives in the industry are mixing it with all sorts so anything is a goer at the moment!
This isn't our recipe. This is the simple method from the wonderful people from Toddy Cafe and we couldn't recommend it enough. It's a simple way of making coffee concentrate, but one of the best we've experienced. These guys know their cold brew. www.toddycafe.com
For more recipes head to www.toddycafe.com.
Let’s talk about what an Iced Pour Over is and how it differs from cold brew. Flavour preference is the number 1 deciding factor to choosing one over the other. However, there are other variables involved that can help you choose what’s best for you.
Iced Pour Overs take only a few minutes to brew and have a brighter flavour than you’d expect from a summer coffee drink. It can be made with several types of manual brewers but our number one, as always is the Hario V60. Instead of using only hot water, half the water is already in the pot in the form of ice, so to make sure we maintain the coffee strength we grind the coffee slightly finer than to what we usually do for our normal pour over. So we get all the goodness from hot brewing, but it’s instantly chilled as the coffee drips onto the ice giving us a hugely flavoursome cold coffee in minutes. An Iced Pour Over tends to be crisp, delicate, and light.
It is best to enjoy immediately after brewing since it does not last due to the ice cubes in the serving glass. Once they melt your coffee will be diluted so its best to enjoy straight after brewing. On a hot sweltering day that definitely wont be a problem! This is a great method of brewing at home especially if you want something fast and only for yourself or two people. DISCLAIMER, we’d recommend not adding milk since the Iced Pour Over is a brighter cup with more acidity and less body; adding dairy can overpower the coffee so we're more inclined to suggest enjoying your cold brew with milk. But you do you, like we said it’s a preference thing!
Opposite to the simple cold brew, an Iced Pour Over is a little more complex and requires a tad bit more technique. We give you the lowdown on how we make ours below so you could even make it at home…
Let us know what your favourite cold coffee drink is in the comments below and give the Cold Pourover a try at home!
It’s always been about the ride.
From a young age, cycling has been part of my life. My grandad cycled the track at Herne Hill during the ’40s, which is also where I saw Bradley Wiggins race for the first time.