If you’ve ever tried any of our Nitro Cold Brew cans (Black, Latte, Mocha), you’d have noticed this cool particular sound when you open the can and the nitrogen is released, creating a cascade of fine bubbles like in a Guinness, but have you ever wondered what the ‘cold brew’ part of the name meant?
This refers to the brewing process we use to extract the desired coffee flavours out of the coffee beans. As opposed to hot extraction which uses near boiling water, cold brew uses cold water… surprise surprise… This produces a coffee that’s quite unique and versatile. Let’s look at what sets them apart.
Differences in taste
The difference between the two can be tasted from the first sip. If you tried a cup of hot coffee and a glass of cold brew both made from the same beans, you’d know they have a common source, but you’d be surprised at the flavour differences.
Great hot brewed coffee has a rounded flavor, a satisfying aroma, a gentle sweetness, a crisp acidity, and a hint of lower bitter notes to wrap it all together. Great cold brew coffee has a smooth flavour, a rich sweetness, a very gentle hint of acidity, and virtually no bitterness.
During the brewing phase, the coffee’s unique attributes are extracted: sugars, acids, oils, dissolvable particles. Cold brew coffee doesn’t extract the acids that normally become bitter in hot coffee. The aromatic oils that normally evaporate in hot coffee actually stay in the cold brew and hit your retro-nasal passages so that your brain can interpret them as vibrant floral flavours.
One thing you can use to easily tell them apart is the acidity level - cold brew coffee has a lot less acidity and bitterness, thus giving you a smooth and refreshing taste.
We want to guarantee you the best experience possible whenever and wherever you pick up one of our Nitro Cold Brew cans. We work with some of the best coffee people in the industry to bring you high-quality cold brew coffee, using only in-season coffee.
Differences in production
There’s a range of factors and quality checks that come into play to extract the desired flavours present in the beans. But before jumping into the details, here’s an overview of the process.
Coarseness of the grind
we use a fairly coarse grind to allow an easier filtration process and use sieves to guarantee the grind calibre is homogeneous
CBR - Coffee Brewing Ratio
The dose of coffee used per volume of water, also called CBR is adjusted for every coffee to guarantee an ideal extraction.
As you can see on the chart aside, coffee can develop different flavour profiles based on the coffee/water/time ratio.
Solubles refer to the coffee particles being dissolved in the cold brew. (see TDS below for details)
Coffee is mostly water so the water quality plays a major role during the brewing process. We use filtered water with our secret mineral profile to ensure a clean extraction and a fantastic taste.
TDS - Total Dissolved Solids
We can measure the percentage of total dissolved solids in a coffee liquid sample using a refractometer. This allows us to calculate where we are in the extraction and determine immersion time.
The theory is to aim for the highest percentage extraction at which the coffee still tastes good. We have a target in mind for each particular coffee but this tends to be between 18-22% extraction.
This is how much coffee we brew at one time! It's over a meter tall.
Last step of the process, once the cold brew’s extraction is finished, we filter it to remove any dissolved solids and stop the brewing process so the taste stays just right when we can it. We filter everything down to five microns. That’s 10x smaller than a hair - yeah it’s that thin.
By doing all this and continually fine-tuning our processes to each coffee, we’re able to offer coffee lovers all around the world with brilliant Cold Brew Nitro cans, whether they want it Black, as a Latte or Mocha.