Cold drip, cold press, iced drop, cold brew, cold extract coffee… the list goes on and on. With so many names for these two different brew methods, it’s no wonder there can be confusion. In principle, ‘drip’ and ‘press’ are similar, while ‘brew’ tends to be a coverall for either method. Saying this, there are similarities but there are some big differences.
Think of a pour-over method but using cold water and taking much, much longer. The coffee is ground and placed in a chamber, above which sits on a flask of iced water. The flask has a little tap at the bottom, which is set to allow the water to drip onto the grounds. The liquid drops from the bottom chamber into a jug or mask. The whole process takes a number of hours – just how many depends on the capacity of the equipment but anything from 4 to 24 hours.
Think of a plunger method but using cold water and taking much, much longer (these are the main similarities). There are actually different ways to produce cold press coffee but for a make at home method it can be as simple as placing your ground coffee into a plunger, adding cold water, sitting the plunger to water level to ensure all the ground are wetted and allowing the brew to steep. The plunger can be left on the counter top. Again there are variances but generally you would be brewing for 12-24 hours. Once it is ready, gently press the plunger so that you can just see the liquid above the filter plate and slowly pour the coffee out.