Ahhh the days of summer are upon us. And as the heat sets in, what better time to learn about the methods and benefits of COLD-BREWED beverages? This alternative to the traditional 'hot brewing' method of coffee and tea is environmentally friendly, easy, tastes amazing, and most importantly is much healthier for you. 

In essence, brewing coffee or tea is a very basic thing. It is a procedure that brings plain water into contact with dried plant materials to imbue the water with flavor, color and various active substances, like caffeine and antioxidant polyphenols. Yet, although it may be a basic process, it is not a simple one. 

As water moves into the coffee particles or tea leaves, it dissolves or suspends hundreds of different substances and extracts them from the solids. If the water is hot, it extracts more rapidly. Hot water also cooks as it extracts, forcing chemical reactions that transform some of the extracted substances into other things, and driving some aroma substances out of the liquid. Cold water, in contrast, extracts more slowly and selectively, produces a simpler extract, and doesn’t change the original flavor substances as much. The cold brew process essentially “pulls” the flavor out of the leaves instead of “pushing” it out.

Health and Taste Benefits:

  • 60-70%  less acidic
  • The more alkaline pH is helpful for a sensitive stomach, aids in weight loss and     
             is beneficial to the immune system
  • Improved antioxidant content
  • Less caffeine per cup
  • Less bitter, which promotes a smoother flavor
  • Allows a different flavor profile to appear. With reduced bitterness, the other undertones are allowed to shine

I have gotten into the habit (ok, slight addiction) of cold-brewing my coffee and teas in purified water for 12-18 hours. The final product is one that is chemically different from its hot counterparts. With less caffeine, 60-70% less acidity, lack of bitterness, an intense but smooth flavor, and an eco-friendly brewing process, I L-O-V-E cold brew. I hope you do too!

Here's how it's done:

Cold Brew Coffee
1 1/3 cup of ground coffee 
4 cups of filtered water

1. Combine ground coffee and water in a mason jar or covered containerStir to combine well. Cover and leave for at least 8 hours, and up to 24 hours at room temperature.

2. Put a coffee filter in a fine sieve over a small mixing bowl or 4 cup measuring cup. Slowly pour coffee through the filter. This is your coffee concentrate. (I just pour mine through a grain strainer; I usually do this twice to make sure I strain out all the grounds)

3. Keep refrigerated. To serve, dilute to preference. A one-to-two ratio is common (one-third coffee concentrate, two-thirds water). For a stronger cup of coffee, use a one-to-one ratio. 

You can boil water to make hot coffee, or serve with coldwater for iced coffee.
It will keep at least one week refrigerated.

Cold Brew Tea
3-4 bags of tea
4 cups of filtered water

1. Combine tea bags and water in a glass container. Place in fridge and let steep for at least 8 hours, and up to 24 hours.

2. After steeping, remove bags and the remainder is your cold brewed tea!


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