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How To Make Cold Brew Coffee Fast

Cold brew coffee is an amazing coffee brewing method, but it takes a long time to brew thanks to the cooler water temperature.

What if you have a craving for cold brew coffee but need your fix, and you need it now?

In this post, we’ll take a look at how to make cold brew coffee fast.

Benefits of cold brew coffee

Less acidity

One of the reasons many people are such raving fans of cold brew coffee is that it is less acidic than hot coffee or even iced coffee. This makes it a great choice for those of us who have sensitive stomachs.

There have been a few studies that showed that cold brew coffee is slightly less acidic than regular coffee.

Cold brew also has small amounts of polysaccharides, which can promote gut health and function.

cold brew coffee with milk

Smoother taste

Due to the slower extraction process and decreased agitation, cold brewing helps keep the more acidic and bitter compounds locked in to the coffee beans and only releases the fresher, better tasting compounds.

The result is a much smoother drink that almost tastes like a sweet fruit juice rather than an intense coffee.

Keeps fresh for longer

Cold brew coffee stays fresh for much longer than hot brewed coffee. While a cup hot hot brew only lasts for 20 minutes to half an hour, cold brew coffee can easily keep in the fridge for up to a week.

How to make cold brew coffee fast

Brewing coffee is all about extracting flavor compounds and oils from coffee. When making cold brew, you’re introducing two factors that slow down extraction: coarsely ground coffee and cold water.

Cold water interacts much slower with coffee grounds, and the grounds are coarser, meaning they have a greater surface area. That’s why a typical cold brew needs 12 hours or even 24 hours of steeping time to fully brew.

To hack your cold brew into a quick cold brew, you need to speed up the extraction by making the water interact quicker with the coffee grounds.

You can do this by introducing motion.

Hand mixer method

What you’ll need

  1. 30 grams of coarse grind coffee
  2. 240 grams of room temperature water
  3. A mason jar
  4. A hand mixer
  5. A french press or a paper filter
  6. Ice

What to do

  1. Add 30 grams of coarse ground coffee to 240 grams of cold water in a mason jar
  2. Use a hand mixer at a low or medium speed and mix the slurry for 10 minutes
  3. Pour the slurry into a french press and plunge down to separate the grounds from the water
  4. Pour out into a glass, serve over ice, and enjoy
  5. Alternatively, pour the slurry through a paper filter for an even cleaner coffee

Notes

Some people suggest using a blender to mix the ground coffee and water. Here’s why that’s a bad idea: the blades of the blender will continue to pulverize the coffee grounds, resulting in over-extraction and a very silty coffee.

A hand mixer is a safer bet.

Use a cold brew coffee maker

Thanks to the recent explosion in the popularity of cold brew coffee, a lot of manufacturers have come out with cold brew coffee makers that brew decent cold brewed coffee in less than 20 minutes.

They utilize the same principle of introducing motion to speed up the cold brew process.

Most cold brew machines have you put ground coffee in a mesh basket. You then add cold or room temperature water and the coffee maker spins the water at high speed around the mesh basket, promoting interaction between the coffee grounds and the water.

Many automatic cold brew coffee makers also have time settings that let you make cold brew of varying strengths.

Make Japanese iced coffee

The last way to make cold (read iced) coffee in a jiffy is to make Japanese pour over coffee instead. This is not cold brew, since you’re going to use hot water.

Still, the resulting drink is an incredibly refreshing cup of coffee, albeit with a more acidic kick than regular cold brew coffee.

What you’ll need

  • A pour over funnel
  • Filter paper
  • 15 grams of coffee beans, ground medium-fine
  • 110 grams of ice
  • 110 grams of boiling water
  • A large glass

What to do

  1. Grind coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency, the same as you would for pour over coffee
  2. Place the paper filter in the funnel and wet it to wash out the paper taste
  3. Add coffee to the filter
  4. Add ice to the glass, and place the filter on it
  5. Pour 1/3 of the water and wet the coffee evenly to bloom it
  6. Wait 20 seconds
  7. Add the rest of the water, pouring in a circle to wet the coffee evenly
  8. Wait a minute or two for the ice to cool down the coffee
  9. Enjoy

Notes

To make your iced pour-over taste almost like a cold brew, use low acid coffee beans to reduce the acidity from the get-go.

You can also add a pinch of salt to the grounds or to the finished coffee brew to cut the acidity.

Does quick cold brew taste the same as regular cold brew?

The magic of quick cold brew is that it cuts the time needed to make a cup of cold brew from over a day to just under 20 minutes.

But the million dollar question remains: does quick cold brew taste the same?

Not exactly.

When you brew coffee cold, the extraction is incredibly gradual with nearly no agitation to the coffee during the brew.

In all the methods to make cold brew fast, you’re introducing motion, which in turn introduces a little bit of heat and agitation.

So one cup of this kind of hacked cold brew will actually taste a little bit in between hot brew and cold brew. It will definitely be less acidic, but not quite as less acidic as proper cold brew coffee.

If you opt for Japanese Iced Coffee, it will taste much stronger, almost like regular coffee.

Tips to make cold brew coffee

Grind your coffee just before brewing

The best way to improve cold brew, and indeed any cup of coffee is to grind the coffee beans just before you brew.

This ensures that your coffee is as fresh as possible right before you brew it. Using fresh grounds is the secret to make coffee taste like it’s from a specialty coffee shop.

Make a cold brew concentrate and dilute before drinking

If you often find yourself needing a cold brew coffee on the fly, try brewing a cold brew concentrate and leave it in the fridge. It will keep for at least a week.

This way, you can have a cup of cold brew coffee on demand. Just pour the concentrate over a mixture of ice and water and you’re good to go

A paper filter will produce a cleaner cup than a french press

One of the easiest ways to brew cold brew coffee is with a french press, since the coffee filter mechanism is built in to easily strain the coffee.

However, using a press will not really produce a clean cup of coffee. To get an idea of a “clean” cup, drip coffee brewed with a coffee filter is the cleanest coffee since the paper does not allow any fines to get through.

Reduce steep hours with room temperature water

One way to slightly speed up the cold brew steeping process is to use room temperature water instead of cold water to steep your brew.

Room temperature water will interact with the coffee a little bit faster than cold water during the steep, so you can cut down the steeping time from 24 hours to 12 hours or less.

Conclusion: how to make cold brew coffee fast

Cold brew coffee trumps iced coffee any day, but the only drawback is that it takes nearly a whole day to make cold brew coffee. The methods in this post are all good for making a decent cup of coffee in a very short time.

However, if you have the time, try to plan ahead and make a proper batch!

About Shabbir

Shab is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee Brewster. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

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