April 20 is National Cold Brew Day. For those who are seasoned cold brew connoisseurs or just curious about this coffee trend, here are 5 things to know about cold brew from local Houston coffee shop barista Phillip Greene from Slowpokes Coffee. Slowpokes operates in five Houston locations including West University Place and Houston Heights.

  • Practice patience: Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, typically 12 to 24 hours, so it takes longer than your hot coffee brew. "At Slowpokes, we brew for 16 hours before bottling and kegging our cold brew so that we can ensure that smooth flavor," Greene said.
  • Crazy concentrated: Because of the brew method and time, cold brew typically has a coffee-to-water ratio of about 1:4 to 1:8 whereas a typical drip coffee is closer to a 1:16 or 1:20 ratio. "This means you're getting more coffee per sip with cold brew," Greene said.
  • Very versatile: Because it is so concentrated, cold brew is very versatile. "Restaurants around Houston like The Warwick use our bottled Black Out Cold Brew for their Espresso Martini Experience, and you can do it at home when you take our bottled cold brew home. You can drink it as-is to curb your caffeine craving quickly, or you can use it as a base for things like iced lattes and even coffee cocktails," Greene said.
  • Smooth sips: The long steeping time allows the flavors to fully develop, resulting in a rich and nuanced brew. One of the main attractions of cold brew is its lower acidity compared to hot brewed coffee. The cold water extraction process extracts fewer acidic compounds from the coffee grounds, resulting in a smoother and less bitter taste.
  • Storage and shelf life: Cold brew's longevity is another perk. Once brewed, cold brew can be stored in the refrigerator, sealed, for up to two weeks, allowing you to enjoy a chilled cup or bottle whenever the craving strikes. "At Slowpokes, you can take our locally roasted, brewed and bottled cold brew home with you and enjoy local coffee from the comfort of your home all week long," Greene said.