Cold Drip And Cold Brew: How The Two Coffee Types Vary
Cold brew coffee and cold drip coffee sound quite similar, that the average Joe may mistake them as being the same. However, that is far from the truth. Everything about these drinks－from their brewing process, flavour, and equipment used－are very different. We’ll get down to the nitty-gritty details of what differentiates cold brew coffee and cold drip coffee to clear the confusion. Let’s get started!
The brewing process
Cold brew is made using the immersion brewing method. If you fancy making your own cold brew at home, do note that creating it from scratch will involve a long process that ranges from 12 to 24 hours, most of that time spent on letting the coffee beans steep in water. To make cold brew coffee, place your freshly ground coffee beans in cold or room-temperature water and leave them to steep for a while (this is where those long hours come in). Be aware that steeping for longer than 18 hours or a maximum of 24 hours can significantly change the taste of your brew.
Once you’re satisfied with your cold brew concentrate, you have plenty of options for the beverages you can make with it. You can mix and match hot or cold water, cream, milk, and any other liquid to dilute the concentrate for starters. Adding sugar is fine but probably unnecessary as cold brew coffee already tastes sweet. You can even get creative and use cold brew to make cocktails and other unique creations.
In contrast, making cold drip coffee is entirely different and uses the percolation brewing method. Instead of steeping coffee grounds and water together, cold drip coffee entails separating cold water from the grounds using a drip tower. In this apparatus, cold water slowly drips over a bed of coffee grounds instead of being submerged in it. Once the grounds become saturated, they will proceed to slowly drip the coffee into the final vessel of the drip tower. Making cold drip coffee usually takes only 4 to 12 hours and is generally enjoyed like an espresso poured on ice.
Differences in flavour
Cold brew coffee is well-known for bringing out the most distinct flavours from various coffee beans, thanks to the long steeping process that gives the beans enough time to extract their full potential in the coffee concentrate. These unique flavours are why cold brew is so beloved by coffee lovers and why they can be pricier in cafes.
In addition, cold brew coffee is naturally less acidic and features a more rounded taste, i.e. it is naturally sweeter and generally less bitter than hot brewed coffee. It’s regarded as having a floral, light, and less intense signature, which certainly tastes just as incredible as it sounds.
On the other hand, cold drip coffee is an intense coffee concentrate but packs more sweetness than coffee made with hot water. It has a fuller and richer taste but is less acidic than hot brew coffee. Lastly, the flavour of cold drip coffee can be so strong that it remains noticeable even after adding thick additives like cream or milk.
Which one is for you?
Cold brew coffee and cold drip coffee are ideal for different occasions and tastes. You could go with a cold drip coffee for those interested in a sweet yet strong pick-me-up before a workday. However, if you’re in the mood for something light and well-rounded, a glass of cold brew is the one for you.
If you’re raring for some cold brew coffee but don’t have the means to make it yourself, check out our ready to drink cold brew coffee in Singapore today!
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