If you’re looking for a refreshing drink to jumpstart your day, cold brew coffee may be the perfect match for your routine. Different than a typical iced coffee and stronger than a cup of drip, it is a simple but unique way of drinking your java. 

What is the method to make cold brew?

The fundamental distinction begins during the brewing process. Nearly all methods of brewing coffee involve extremely hot or boiling water and brewing for five to six minutes tops. But for cold brew, the name of the game is cool water, cool conditions, and a little patience. Coarse grounds are soaked in cool water and refrigerated for twelve to twenty-four hours to allow the coffee to slowly seep out and brew without pressure. Brewing this way reduces the acidity (owing to the lack of hot water “shock”) and preserves the integrity of the caffeine compounds in the beans. The result is a very smooth and very caffeinated beverage.

What is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

What makes cold brew coffee different from a typical iced coffee? We loop back into brewing methods to distinguish the two. Most coffee shops make iced coffee with extra-concentrated hot drip poured over ice to cool immediately before serving. Remember that by contrast, cold brew is never heated. The caffeine content of an iced coffee is comparable to a hot coffee because some caffeine is lost during the hot brewing process. Finally, iced coffee has a signature acidity present that is not found in a cold brew. 

Just add nitrogen!

At Opus Coffee, we serve both Nitro Cold Brew directly from our tapped kegs and freshly brewed iced coffee. This brings another factor into the mix – nitrogen! A nitrogen infused keg transforms the cold brew into a delightfully foamy and silky coffee reminiscent of a tapped stout. Opus makes all of our Nitro Cold Brew in-house at the Opus kitchen using our freshly roasted House Blend. This guarantees a fresh cup of Opus Nitro that you can pair with our signature syrups or a splash of milk of your choice. We make our iced coffee fresh throughout the day with our House Blend brewed at double concentration, then pour it over ice on-demand. 

How to make cold brew at home

If you’re interested in brewing coffee at home, cold brew coffee is an extremely easy and beginner-friendly option. The first step is to select your perfect blend to use. There is no wrong answer; it depends on your personal preference! The patient brewing process brings out flavor notes you might not taste with a hot water brew. This is why medium and darker roasts are extremely popular to use, particularly when sweet, earthy, berry, or chocolatey notes are involved. Our Misty Mountain and seasonal Summer Trip blends are excellent for this type of taste. On the flip side, because cold brewing reduces acidity, light roasts are also fun to explore – those tarter, sourer notes smooth out. This allows you to delight in flavors of stone fruit, citrus, and honey. This is where our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or Mexican Chiapas blends can shine. 

Fortunately, choosing your coffee blend out of many great possibilities is the hardest part of cold brewing at home.

The rest is a simple step-by-step process:

  1. Grind your beans to a coarse texture, using a 1:10 ratio – 1 cup of beans for every 10 cups of cool, filtered water 
  2. In a dedicated pitcher or a large pitcher/jar, add your coarse grounds and your cool water, completely covering the coffee
  3. Seal and place in your fridge for 24 hours – you can adjust depending on your personal taste
  4. Strain it into a separate container to avoid overbrewing; if not using a dedicated cold brew pitcher, you can use a fine mesh or traditional paper coffee filter 
  5. Store it in the fridge for up to 7 days – perfect to make at the beginning of the week! 

Whether you opt for trying our Nitro Cold Brew in store, or using a signature Opus blend to make your own batches at home, cold brew coffee delivers a boost of caffeine with a smooth taste that helps you tackle the day’s adventures.