I love coffee! It’s one of my favorite beverages and one I often need to get me going in the morning. But drinking coffee comes with a cost if you suffer from frequent heartburn and acid reflux issues. Coffee is one of the heartburn trigger foods we’ve previously discussed (“Does Coffee Cause Heartburn?“).
Cold brew coffee is the best brewing method for reducing your risk of heartburn. If you can’t give up coffee, consider cold brew coffee.
An added bonus of cold brew coffee 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 larger volumes to keep on hand in the refrigerator. There’s only one negative. It has to be prepared ahead of time. Coffee has a longer steep time in cold water than hot water.
Why Is Cold Brew Better For Heartburn Sufferers?
The acid levels of cold brew coffee can be up to 65% less than conventionally brewed coffee. Lower acid levels are great for those who have acid reflux issues or other digestive disorders. As a bonus, the lower acid levels create a mellower, less bitter coffee. Don’t worry. If you like your coffee hot, cold brew coffee can be heated after brewing.
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 Cold Brew Coffee Beans
Low acid coffee beans are the best coffee bean option for people with heartburn, acid reflux, and other digestive disorders.
Different coffee roasts have different caffeine, acid, N-methylpyridium (NMP), and levels of coffee oil. All four can effect heartburn. The darker the roast the better level for each of the four above. If you’re having trouble with heartburn when drinking coffee, consider a dark roast coffee from one of the many low acid coffee brands.
2) Grind the Coffee Beans for Cold Brewing
Most cold brew coffee recipes I’ve found stress the use of coarsely ground beans. I, however, prefer finely ground coffee beans. 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 the coffee’s looks and have not found my coffee to be cloudy.
Grind enough coffee to combine water to coffee grounds at a 3:1 ratio. The amount needed will depend on the size of the container you choose for brewing your coffee. You might start with a 4 cup batch made up of 3 cups water and 1 cup coffee.
3) Combine the Ground Coffee Beans and Water
Pour your coffee 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.
4) Wait for the Cold Brew Coffee to Steep
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 coffee grounds. I agitate mine 2 or 3 times.
5) Filter the Cold Brew Coffee
Cheesecloth, a fine mesh sieve, and paper filters can be used to separate out the grounds. First, I filter it through a mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. Secondly, I filter it through a paper coffee 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.
6) Refrigerate the Cold Brew Coffee
What you have after filtering is concentrated cold brew coffee that will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator. I make larger batches since it keeps well.
7) Enjoy Your Cold Brew Coffee
Don’t forget you’ve made concentrated cold brew coffee. When you prepare your coffee, 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!