The idea of settling against the cushions in your air- conditioned home with a chilled cup of cold brew coffee on a hot summer day may seem like utopia to coffee aficionados. But come winter and the same chilled brew might just make you colder than you wish to be. When the temperatures drop down low outside and chilly wind is blowing, what hits the spot is piping hot beverage. Now can your cold brew coffee double up as your favorite winter go- to- drink as well??
Thankfully, yes indeed! Cold brew coffee is truly versatile and that’s not just because you can make so many different variants of it. The brew does taste pretty good when you have it hot as well. But, yes, you need to give it some attention so that it tastes its best. Here is what you need to know.
Making hot coffee from your cold brew
A surprisingly large number of people are not aware that cold brew can make great hot coffee. However, there are a couple of things you should know right at the outset. Cold brew coffee is coffee in concentrated form so HOW you make your hot brew from it makes a big difference to what it tastes like. You may have to experiment a bit before you find that ‘perfect’ hot coffee taste that your palate loves!
Another thing to keep in mind is that cold brew has a smoother taste, more velvety than when you make hot coffee from scratch. So that could slightly alter the taste of the final brew too. Most people like this slight difference though, so you might find yourself loving the cold brew- turned hot more than your regular cup of joe!
Now, on to making a hot cup from your cold brew. There are a couple of methods you can try. If you are unsure which one you want to go for, why not try both and then choose the one that gives you the better taste?
· Method 1: The method that most people follow is to simply add hot water to the cold brew concentrate. Simple, convenient and quick, this method is easy to do if all you can have at your disposal is a flask of hot water. That works well when you are travelling and can just ask room service for hot water. But make sure the water is really boiling hot. Remember that it has to compensate for the chilled concentrate and then result in a cup of warm/ hot coffee.
So, what you do first is add boiling water to the coffee mug to warm it up and then discard this water. Then, you add the cold coffee brew to the mug first up to the halfway mark. Fill the rest of the mug in with the boiling water you have left. This half and half proportion gives you a brew that is good enough to warm up your insides. Yet it is not hot enough to scald your mouth and throat as you down it. If you prefer a hotter concoction, you can reduce the chilled coffee and add more of the boiling water. Of course, that dilutes your coffee so the taste will differ slightly depending on how much you have diluted the concentrate.
· Method 2: The other method is a more direct approach. Just take your chilled coffee, put it on the stove and heat it up. Be very, very careful here to turn off the heat right in time. Otherwise, you get hot, BURNT coffee and that’s not a great idea! Heating it straight on the stove is perfect for those who like their coffee to pack a punch and hence don’t want to dilute it.
You can do the heating up in your microwave, of course. Those who have a very sensitive palate may find that microwaved cold brew coffee does not taste as good. Microwaving does affect the taste a bit so if you are particular, then heating it up on the stove over direct flame is the way for you to go.
What’s great about cold brew coffee is…
Cold brew is quite unlike your regular coffee and that’s the biggest advantage you have. It is typically in concentrate form. You can also make it at home with the right beans. You can literally use it in myriad ways to add flavor and that caffeine kick to a whole host of different drinks. You can taste the coffee even when it is mixed with stronger flavored beverages. That’s one thing that makes cold brew coffee a very useful permanent addition to your fridge. That’s also why it now has its own National day! It makes a great chilled drink when the sun is scorching and also an equally awesome hot beverage when it is freezing cold outside!