How to make the best cup of cold-brew coffee

Cold-brew coffee is on the rise. Enthusiasts say it has a smoother, less acidic taste and new research backs this up, finds Sam Wong, who takes his with ice and milk


6 July 2022

2GE29AM Young man pouring coffee from french press working indoors, home office concept.

Jozef Polc/Alamy

A GOOD cup of coffee is all about balance. Coffee contains more than 1000 flavour compounds, including some that provide the fruity, earthy and chocolatey aromas we detect in our noses and others responsible for the acidity, bitterness and astringency we detect in our mouths.

The challenge is to extract a rich brew of desirable flavour compounds without overextracting those that make the drink bitter and overpowering. The roasting and grinding of the beans, the temperature of the water, the ratio of ground coffee to water and the time they are in contact all play a part, but different brewing …

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