I love coffee! It’s one of my favorite beverages and one I often need for an added jolt in the morning. But drinking coffee comes with a cost for those of us who suffer from frequent heartburn. Coffee is one of the heartburn trigger foods I’ve previously detailed (“Does Coffee Cause Heartburn?”).
I have found that cold brewing is the best way to reduce the chance of heartburn when drinking caffeinated coffee. If you can’t give up coffee, consider trying cold brew to avoid heartburn.
An added bonus of cold brew is that it’s simple to prepare. Just steep the grounds in cold or room temperature water as opposed to heated water. You can even make it in a larger volume to keep on hand in the refrigerator. There is only one negative. It has to be prepared ahead of time. Coffee has a longer steep time in cold water than hot.
Why Is Cold Brew Better For Heartburn Sufferers?
The acidity level can be up to 65% less than conventionally brewed coffee. Lower acid levels are great for those who have acid reflux or digestive issues. As a bonus, the lower acidity level creates a mellower, less bitter coffee.
How To Make Cold Brew
Cold brew can be made in any sort of large container, French press, or even a canning jar. I use a large canning jar.
1) Choose Your Beans
Buy coffee beans as fresh as possible. The fresher the bean, the better the coffee.
Different roast types have different caffeine, acid, N-methylpyridium (NMP), and oil levels. All four can affect heartburn. The darker the roast the better level for each of the four above. If you are having trouble with heartburn when drinking coffee, consider a darker roast.
Most cold brew recipes I’ve found stress using coarsely ground beans. I grind my beans fine. The finer grind will extract more flavor. The only reason I can find for the coarser grounds is to prevent the coffee from becoming cloudy. I prefer taste over looks and have not found my coffee to be cloudy.
Grind enough to combine at a ration of 3:1 ratio of water to grounds. The amount needed will depend on the size of the container.
Pour your grounds and filtered water into your chosen container and agitate to combine. I use a large canning jar. I just put the lid on and shake. You can stir with a plastic or wooden spoon. Metal has the potential to change the taste of the coffee.
Cover and let it steep for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. Don’t rush this stage. A long steep time is required to properly extract the flavors. You can drink it after this stage or steep it in the refrigerator for another 24-48 hours. I steep mine for a total of 3 days, 24 hours at room temperature and another 48 in the refrigerator. Occasionally agitating the mixture will extract more from the grounds. I agitate mine 2 or 3 times.
Cheese cloth, a fine mesh sieve, and paper filters can be used to separate out the grounds. First, I filter it through a cheese cloth lined mesh sieve. Secondly, I filter it through a paper filter placed in the mesh sieve to remove the fine silt. If your filter clogs at the end of this step, you can gently clear the sediment to let the remaining coffee filter through.
You are now finished! What you have is concentrated coffee that will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator. I make larger batches at a time since it keeps well.
You have concentrated coffee. When you prepare it, dilute it with water to your liking and serve over ice. I dilute mine about 50%. If you like you can add milk, cream sweetener, or flavoring. Enjoy your cold brew coffee!