Coffee concentrates are on the rise in the world of convenient caffeine.
With enough flavor to satisfy your coffee cravings, concentrates make coffee convenient. However, with all the different brands, flavors, and options available, it’s easy to be unsure of what you are drinking.
Let’s dive into what coffee concentrate is, where it comes from, and how you can incorporate it into your daily coffee routine!
What Is Coffee Concentrate?
To put it simply: coffee concentrate is a highly condensed cold brew coffee.
Coffee concentrate should be diluted with water or milk to make it as tasty as possible. First incorporated into the Dutch voyaging culture in the 17th century, coffee concentrate has been used for hundreds of years!
How Is Coffee Concentrate Different From Cold Brew?
Coffee concentrate and cold brew are similar. However, they do have some stark differences. First, let’s explain the similarities.
Both coffee concentrate and cold brew are “brewed” via the cold brew method, which is similar to making tea.
Coffee made with the cold brew method never touches heat. It takes over 20 hours for the coffee grinds to steep before it is ready to drink. Coffee concentrate is brewed the same way, except it is steeped for a longer period of time.
The main difference between these coffee beverages is the ratio of coffee to water. For cold brew, the ratio of coffee to water is 1 gram of coffee to every 4 grams of water.
Coffee concentrate, on the other hand, is an easy 1:1 ratio. Since the ratio is equal, the concentrate is super strong.
What Is Nitro Cold Brew?
Nitro cold brew is known for being exceptionally strong — and pretty to look at.
Aside from a foamy top that makes it look like a stout instead of a coffee, nitro cold brew is made the same as a regular cold brew.
The difference is that nitro cold brew is infused with nitrogen gas, which results in the foamy top. Otherwise, nitro cold brew is made exactly the same way as a regular cold brew!
Does Coffee Concentrate Have More Caffeine?
Factors that affect a coffee beverage's caffeine content include the number of beans used, the serving size of each drink, and the type of beans used in making the beverage. What does this mean for cold brew?
Cold brew coffee has around 200 milligrams of caffeine per 16 ounces of drink. This is due to the fact there is less water and more coffee per ounce.
As mentioned previously, the roast of beans used to make the cold brew affects the caffeine content. Darker roasts of beans have less caffeine than lighter roasts of beans. So, if you want a stronger brew, medium to light roasts are the kind of coffee concentrate for you!
Where Does Coffee Concentrate Come From?
Since we have learned what coffee concentrate is, we will now look at where it is typically sourced from. Most cold brew coffees are made with medium to dark roast beans.
Medium and dark roasts of beans tend to taste chocolatey, nutty, caramelly, and have sweeter undertones. Most dark and medium roasts come from Central and South American regions.
Arabica vs. Robusta: What Does That Mean?
A lot of labels on coffee concentrates contain the phrase “100% Arabica.” What does Arabica mean?
Arabica plants are harder to grow since they are more temperamental and need a certain elevation to thrive. These plants grow best in the mountainous regions of coffee-growing countries.
Despite being more difficult to grow, Arabica beans make coffee that is extremely rich and smooth in flavor. Robusta beans, however, are more acidic and tangy in flavor. Not the most popular flavor notes when seeking a cup of coffee!
Robusta plants are sturdier and easier to harvest. Typically grown in lower elevations and rainforests, Robusta plants have a lifespan of over 30 years. However, their coffee is not as flavorful as their competitor, Arabica.
Coffee Concentrate Sources
Most cold brew coffees use a medium to dark roast for a smoother, naturally sweet flavor. When looking for a good coffee concentrate, go for Arabica coffee. It is more flavorful and worth the investment. It’s always smart to be aware of the kind of coffee used in your concentrate!
How To Make Coffee With Coffee Concentrate
Now that we have learned where coffee concentrate comes from, it is time to learn how to use it in your daily coffee routine.
In theory, coffee concentrates seem very simple. “Just add water” is the usual phrase used, but what if you want to try something new?
Javy Coffee has the recipes for you! Coffee concentrate is good for more than just making a good cold brew at home. You can make lattes, frappes, and even some cocktails with coffee concentrates! Whatever your lifestyle, coffee concentrate can be incorporated into your daily routine.
Let’s dive into how it works.
1. Cold Brew Coffee
The simplest way coffee concentrate can be used is by making your own cold brew. Pour one to two tablespoons of concentrate (depending on your coffee strength preferences) into your cup and add eight ounces of cold water. If you want an even chillier drink, add in some ice.
What if you want some flavor? Flavored coffee concentrates are a fantastic way to add some sweetness to your coffee without buying or making your own syrup. Simple, convenient, and delicious, cold brew from coffee concentrate is a great way to start your day!
2. Iced Latte
Do you ever have those days when cold brew just doesn’t make the cut?
If a smooth iced latte is what you’re craving, coffee concentrates can be used to make those as well. Just add a little extra concentrate to your cup, and then add some milk and ice. Then your iced latte is ready to go!
Whole milk, oat milk, almond milk, whatever kind of milk you want — is a great combination with a coffee concentrate. No need for a fancy machine; coffee concentrate has all the flavor with none of the hassles of using or maintaining an espresso machine.
Try making your own iced latte today!
3. Baked Goods With Coffee Concentrate
Many coffee flavored baked goods call for “instant coffee,” but did you know coffee concentrate is an excellent substitute?
If you already have the concentrate for your daily cup of coffee, you can easily add it to that baking recipe you’ve been dying to try.
What Have We Learned About Coffee Concentrate?
In the ever-changing and growing coffee industry, simplicity isn’t always the main focus.
However, coffee concentrate is a simple product that can be used to make a multitude of food and beverage recipes. Compact and ready to go whenever you want it, coffee concentrates are the perfect way to make your coffee simple again.
The type of coffee used in these concentrates is essential because the quality of the bean affects the quality of the flavor. If you know your beans’ origin, you will know your coffee’s quality. The best beans for a coffee concentrate will come from the Coffea Arabica plant and will be labeled “Arabica.”
The roasts of coffee concentrates affect the flavor. Medium to dark roasts are full-bodied, smooth, and naturally sweet. If you know the roast, you know the flavor qualities. Be confident in your knowledge and make sure to read the labels — because little things like origins and roasts really do make a difference.
Lastly, coffee concentrate can be used for all your coffee needs. It can be hot or iced (it just depends on your water temperature), and you can flavor your coffee based on your personal tastes.
Your flavor preferences matter, and there are so many options available to fit whatever coffee craving you have each day. Sweet or unsweet, coffee concentrates make coffee convenient to make and enjoyable to drink!
How Much Caffeine Is in Cold Brew Coffee? | Healthline
Quantification of Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acid in Green and Roasted Coffee Samples Using HPLC-DAD and Evaluation of the Effect of Degree of Roasting on Their Levels | PMC
Coffee Plant: Care & Growing Guide | The Spruce