What is cold press coffee?

What is the difference between Cold Press coffee, Cold Drip coffee and Cold Brew coffee? Learn more from John, our expert roaster.

One question we commonly get asked is what is Cold Press coffee, Cold Drip coffee and Cold Brew coffee?

In principle, ‘drip’ and ‘press’ are similar, while ‘brew’ tends to be a coverall for either method. Having said there are similarities, there are also some big differences.

Cold Drip

Think of a pour-over method but using cold water and taking much, much longer. The coffee is ground and placed in a chamber, above which sits a flask of iced water.

The flask has a little tap at the bottom, which is set to allow the water to drip onto the grounds. The liquid drps from the bottom chamber into a jug or flask.

The whole process takes a number of hours – just how many depends on the capacity of the equipment but anything from 4 to 24 hours is the norm.

Cold Press

Think of a plunger method but using cold water and taking much, much longer (these are the main similarities!).

There are actually different ways to produce cold press coffee but for a make at home method it can be as simple as placing your ground coffee into a plunger, adding cold water, sitting the plunger to water level to ensure all the grounds are wetted, and allowing the brew to steep. The plunger can be left on the counter top.

Again there are variances but generally you would be brewing for 12 – 24 hours. Once it is ready, gently press the plunger so that you can just see the liquid above the filter plate and slowly pour the coffee out.

To ensure a really clear brew, you can pour it through an unbleached filter, muslin or calico. Kept in an airtight container in the fridge, it will remain enjoyable for at least 10 – 12 days.

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So what is the difference between cold brew coffee and making a coffee using hot water then adding ice?

Essentially different acids and compounds are activated when the grounds are exposed to hot water than when exposed to cold.

This means that there is the potential for a hot brew method coffee to taste bitter and have higher acidity notes when ice is added, meaning that it may taste a little unpleasant.

With either drip or press methods, once the coffee is made, place in the fridge and when you are ready to enjoy it, just pour into a glass, add a cube or two of ice and savour the fruits of your labour!

As with any method of coffee making, it is definitely recommended that the brew water used is freshly poured and filtered.

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