Coffee is one of the simple joys of life. As a beverage high in antioxidants, cold brew coffee actually has health benefits. Very few things are good for us, while also being delicious and functional. Can I get a “Hallelujah!”
Fatigue is my biggest struggle. Without coffee, there is no way I could do all the things. By drinking ~3-4 cups of coffee, spaced out throughout the day (2-3 cups in the morning and another cup around 2:00 pm), I am able to stay alert, focused, and pretty darn happy.
If you read my book, Online Dating for Sensitive Women, you know that my enthusiasm for cold brew coffee motivates me to get out of bed in the morning. It is one of the easiest, most inexpensive tools in my happiness toolkit, and one I am eager to share with you!
I know it can be annoying to have to read a bunch of words before getting to a recipe. Feel free to jump ahead to my Easy Cold Brew Recipe. But, first I think you might find the following benefits of cold brew to be intriguing (or perhaps you will just humor me? LOL) 🙂
The Health Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
I know that there are probably many coffee purists out there who prefer their coffee to be hot, hot, hot. As they say, “to each their own.” But, there are definitely advantages to drinking your coffee cold. Here’s my take on these:
- Some like it cold by nature. In Ayurveda, I am a Pitta-Vata constitution. Pitta is the fire element. I also happen to be a Leo Sun in astrology, which also represents the fire element. When you have a fire-based nature, you are often better off not stoking that with more heat. I realize this might seem a bit “out-there” to some of you. I didn’t totally buy into it at first either. However, over time I recognized that even though I enjoyed warm beverages like tea and coffee, they often left my stomach feeling a bit queasy. Cold beverages, and even iced drinks, typically sit better with me.
- Hot coffee is more acidic. When coffee beans encounter hot liquid, as is the typical mode of brewing, acids are released from the beans. For anyone who is battling an acidic stomach, heartburn, or digestive problems, those acids can exacerbate the problem. Brewing coffee via the cold brew method does not release those acids. Therefore, drinking cold brew coffee can eliminate digestive discomfort for some folks.
- Compounds in hot coffee can increase cholesterol levels. If you aren’t swayed by the fact that coffee acids can upset your stomach, you might be interested in research showing that compounds in unfiltered coffee can increase cholesterol levels and potentially promote inflammation. [Source: GoodRX] Some hot brewing methods don’t utilize a paper filter – I’m looking at you Keurig coffee-makers and French press brewers. Since a paper filter is one of the best ways to trap the acids and compounds that may be unhealthy, those brewing methods are not necessarily the healthiest options. I suggest filtering your coffee whenever possible, even when making cold brew, as you will see with my Easy Cold Brew Recipe below.
- Heat leeches the chemicals out of plastics. Years ago, I listened to a webinar led by a holistic doctor. He was warning listeners of the dangers of plastics in our food supply. He noted how common it is for us to brew coffee from a plastic pod or in a plastic-based coffee maker, and then proceed to drink that coffee from a styrofoam cup. Given the heat of the liquid, chemicals could be leeching into the drink. It is bad enough that most of our foods are wrapped or bottled in plastic, but when you add in heat, there is a whole other level of risk.
- Cold brew coffee is very economical. All you need to brew your daily coffee is a clean jar/bottle and a means for filtering out the grounds. There are no expensive machines or special types of coffee required.
Organic Coffee is Best
I think it is important to note that organic coffee is always the best choice. Although there are times when buying organic foods seems like a waste of money, that is not the case when it comes to coffee. Coffee is grown under very harsh conditions. This is actually why coffee beans develop such high levels of antioxidants. Those antioxidants serve as a means of protecting the coffee plant. When we drink coffee we are provided with similar protection. However, coffee growers typically use large amounts of pesticides to help their harvest thrive. Those pesticides can easily make their way into your beloved cup. That is why whenever possible I use organic coffee.
Easy Cold Brew Coffee Recipe
I love things to be simple. Which is probably the best reason for enjoying cold brew. This healthy recipe is about as easy as it gets.
Before going to bed:
- Place 3 Tablespoons of ground organic coffee into a 4-cup glass jar or bottle.
- Fill the jar to about an inch from the top with a little over 3 cups of filtered water.
- Cover and shake the jar to disperse the grounds.
- Place the jar in the refrigerator to brew overnight (~10 hours or more).
When you are ready for the deliciousness:
- Shake the jar to again disperse the coffee grounds..
- Place a pour over coffee filtering device (glass, stainless steel or ceramic are preferred since they won’t leech chemicals) over a large mug or another jar. [I have been using something similar to this Hario Glass Coffee Dripper for many years.]
- Position a paper coffee filter (the basket-style seem to work best) in the center of the pour over device.
- Pour the coffee through the filter.
- Sweeten your cold brew with stevia. My favorite is the flavored Better Stevia from Now Foods.
- Add your preferred milk. I like unsweetened coconut milk.
Cold Brew Coffee Tips
I use a recycled Trader Joe’s juice bottle that holds around 4 cups of liquid to make my cold brew. I have also used a large mason jar. Although I have seen many different formulas/ratios of coffee to water, my method is very simple and economical at approximately 1 Tbsp of coffee to 1 cup of water. Many others suggest far more coffee, yet I am totally satisfied with the strength that the 1:1 ratio provides. Measuring is not necessary, as you will learn to estimate what amounts of coffee and water work best to give you the desired strength. The longer you let your brew sit, the stronger it gets.
There you have it – one of the simplest joys of my day. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Are you a cold brew coffee fan too? Comment below to let me know.
I am a big fan of making life easier and more enjoyable. Right now, we could all use the support. Until 11/11, I will be sharing the simple ways I bring more health and happiness into my life leading up to the release of my free guide, “33 Ways to Add More Joy to Your Life.” Sign up for the HHH community so you can get your copy.
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