I come from the Lorelai Gilmore school of coffee drinking. I like my coffee really strong, really dark, really often, and preferably served to me by a cute guy in a backward baseball cap and flannel. Unfortunately, my body doesn’t agree with my desperate desire to achieve Gilmore Girls’ levels of caffeine addiction.
I have to be very intentional with how I drink coffee. If I have any caffeine after noon, I can’t sleep a wink at night. And ever since I was pregnant, too many cups of the tar-like coffee I love gives me the worst heartburn ever. Lots of folks have suggested moving to a lighter roast (ha!) or even cutting out the coffee all together (HA!) to solve the heartburn issue, but I found an even better solution—cold brew!
If you’ve never made or had cold brew before (it’s everywhere now, I can’t imagine if you’re a coffee drinker you haven’t at least dipped your toes into the cold brew pool yet), it’s exactly what it sounds like—coffee that is brewed without heat. Coffee is steeped over a long period of time (12-48 hours) with cold/room temperature water. What’s the advantage of doing it this way? Well, the big one for me and my esophagus is that it lowers the acidity of coffee without sacrificing flavor or boldness. So I still get my pitch black, rich cup of coffee, but with about 60% less acid than a “regular” hot brewed cup of coffee.
That reduction in acid also changes the flavor—there isn’t a single hint of bitterness or that burnt flavor that you sometimes get when coffee is brewed with too hot water (if you’ve ever thought your cup of coffee tasted like old cigarette smoke—that’s probably because the water used to brew it was too hot). Cold brew coffee is smooooooooooooooooooth.
Unlike iced coffee, cold brew isn’t watered down or weak—in fact, when I make my cold brew (and most other folks do this, too), I make a cold brew concentrate that can be “watered” down using water, milk, or cream to make your perfect cup of coffee. Even this dark coffee loving girl couldn’t stomach drinking a full-leaded cup of my cold brew. But it works for me, because I like cream in my coffee, and this way, I can add cream without losing any of that amazing coffee flavor. Friends don’t let friends drink watered down coffee, and you’re my friend. SO I WON’T LET YOU.