What is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold Brew Definition
Cold Brew Coffee (sometimes referred to as cold brew, cold press, or toddy coffee) refers to coffee prepared by the process of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period of time. The process involves steeping grounds for at least 12 hours in room temperature water, with the goal to remove the bitterness of the coffee. Cold-brewed coffee can be made manually, with a cold brew system, and is also available in and forms through Chameleon Cold-Brew.
How is Cold Brew Coffee Made?
The term “cold-brew” refers to the process of making the coffee, not the temperature of the final product. Beans are grinded then soaked in room temperature water for an extended period of time, usually 12 hours or more. Chameleon soaks its beans in Texas Hill Country water for 16 hours to ensure an even cold-brew experience. The result? A super-smooth, less acidic and highly caffeinated coffee that can be served hot or cold.
Why drink Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold Brew Coffee has a smoothness that’s unlike any other brew. The extra-long brew time allows more flavor to enter the water, creating a more concentrated coffee with a less watered-down taste. Using this technique, we create a flavorful coffee that maximizes taste and minimizes bitterness.
You will likely find that coffee meeting the highest cold-brew standards is easier on your stomach and less prone to stain your teeth. That’s because Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee has around half the acidity of traditional coffee. During the prolonged steeping process, oils and tannins are released, resulting in a less acidic coffee filled with a smoother flavor.
Because master cold-brewers can reduce the amount of undesirable coffee characteristics (acidity, off notes, dull flavor), they can increase what many coffee drinkers want more of: caffeine. On average, a cold brew coffee yields twice (if not more) caffeine content than a regular cup! Chameleon Cold-Brew ready to drinks range in 150mg to 250mg of caffeine per bottle. Chameleon Cold-Brew concentrates average 65mg of caffeine per ounce, undiluted.
The Cold Brew Process
1. The Grind
For the smoothest end product, you want to look for a coarse grind that leaves slightly larger coffee particles.
2. Water Quality
The level of dissolved minerals in the water used to make cold-brew coffee plays a critical role in its smoothness. The pH of certain types of mineralized water, such as water naturally cured in the limestone aquifers of the Texas Hill Country, is considered ideal for getting the smoothest, most flavorful results.
3. Coffee Ratio
A water to coffee ratio of 4:1 (80% water/20% coffee), while more costly to make, results in a highly caffeinated cold-brew that is smooth and easier on the stomach.
4. Temperature to Brew
Room temperature water yields a bigger and better flavor with lower acidity. But it does so slowly. Consider 12 hours of steeping time the minimum, and 16 hours the preferred standard. And to ensure that the cold-brew has achieved the right combination of high caffeine and smoothness of flavor, brewers aiming for the highest standards keep the grounds constantly agitated—no sleeping during steeping.
Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee
Brewed using hot water to extract flavor (resulting in a hot cup of coffee) which is then poured over ice
Coffee beans soak in cold or room-temperature water for 12 hours minimum to extract sugars, oils and caffeine
Contains higher levels of acidity due to brewing method. The melting ice will also yield a thinner taste.
Half the acidity due to its brewing method, so it tastes better and is easier on the stomach. The end product is smoother and more chocolaty.
Served over ice.
Can be served hot or cold, with a splash of milk, part of a recipe with booze, or drank straight up.
Our Chameleon Cold-Brew Concentrates are often diluted with water or milk, and served either over ice, blended with ice, hot, or mixed with other ingredients such as chocolate. We recommend one serving to be eight ounces: four ounces of Chameleon Cold-Brew Concentrate blended with four ounces of whatever you choose to mix in! Our ready-to-drink bottles are all one serving size.
Interested in learning more about Chameleon Cold-Brew’s process? Read more about our standards here!