When you think of espresso, you probably think of the finely ground and pressed shot of coffee that comes out steaming and ready to drink within seconds. However, there is another way to get your caffeine fix!
Cold-pressed espresso is something that isn’t talked about as much as your regular espresso, or even cold brew. That could mainly be because it’s not often served in your favorite coffee shop, but it’s a great alternative to more acidic drinks, iced lattes, or if you just want to try something new.
You may be wondering what makes cold-pressed espresso so special, or if there’s a way you can make it at home. That’s why we’ve got everything you need to know about cold-pressed espresso right here.
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What Is Cold-Pressed Espresso?
While a traditional espresso shot is crafted by using hot water and finely ground coffee, cold-pressed espresso is actually made with cold water and coarser grounds.
Not only that, but regular espresso requires a bunch of pressure and heat, whereas cold-pressed espresso is the opposite.
This variation of the espresso is cold from the very beginning until the end, a lot like cold brew is. To make this opposing shot, a different type of espresso machine must be used, one that can filter the water upwards.
With a normal, hot shot of espresso, you should serve it as soon as it’s made so that the taste doesn’t become too bitter. However, making cold-pressed espresso is a bit of a longer process and is often described as being sweeter and smoother in taste.
In order for this cold beverage to still be considered an espresso, an amount of pressure that’s similar to traditional espresso making is required.
To make cold-pressed espresso drinks, you only need cold water and an espresso machine.
Yet, the machine should be one specified for cold-pressed espresso, or a manual espresso machine, either way, it should be able to provide an upward filtration method.
It’s important to note that cold espresso never rises in temperature, unlike iced coffee.
Is There a Difference in Taste?
Yes, there is! Regular hot espresso tends to be strong and bitter. Some would even call espresso one of the boldest caffeinated beverages.
Cold-pressed espresso is a little sweeter and smoother than the regular version. It goes well with more acidic-tasting beverages – think citrus drinks like lemonade or grapefruit-flavored sparkling water.
Pairing With Cold-Pressed Espresso
Since espresso that’s made cold isn’t as acidic or bitter as traditional espresso, you might be wondering what else goes well with it.
While some people like the way a hot shot of espresso goes with ice cream, if you were wanting an affogato that doesn’t melt so quickly, using cold-pressed espresso is a great alternative.
It also works great in iced lattes, if that’s the way you prefer to order your daily coffee. Because of the espresso’s constant and automatic temperature, the ice won’t dilute your beverage before you’ve had time to enjoy it.
For a brief time, Starbucks actually served cold-pressed espresso at their roastery in Seattle. One of the drinks they created with it was a sparkling Americano!
Where Can I Get Cold-Pressed Espresso?
Not every coffee chain or house has cold-pressed espresso. Some only sell it for a limited time or bring it out for a month or two. It’s best to check the online menus of the locations in your area or give them a call.
But if you don’t want to spend the time or hassle, you can always opt to make your own at home.
How to Make You Own Cold-Pressed Espresso
Unlike a regular hot shot of espresso, which can come out within 25 seconds, cold espresso can take up to an hour of brewing.
To make your own cold-pressed espresso right in the comfort of your home, you’re going to need a manual espresso maker. This is because you can get the required pressure of espresso while keeping it cold.
If you’re using this method, you’ll want to pour cold water into the reservoir chamber. Since this type of water won’t extract the flavor of your coffee beans as well, you should use more coffee grounds than you normally would and a longer pre-infusion.
The pre-infusion for cold-pressed espresso should be at about 120 to 180 seconds.
To do this, you can pull the lever of the manual espresso machine down slowly. Right before the espresso starts to pour out, you can hold it still for the required time of pre-infusion before you put the pressure on it.
Cold Brew Espresso
If you don’t have a manual espresso machine on hand, worry not, there is another way you can achieve the taste of cold-pressed espresso.
This method is more often called cold brew espresso since it’s made a lot like cold brew rather than espresso.
To start, you can grind your coffee beans until they have a slightly coarse texture. These beans should be ones you would typically use for espresso in order to get that strong taste for whatever you’re using the cold-pressed espresso for.
After you grind the beans, you’ll want to add chilled or room-temperature water as soon as possible. Once you’ve mixed in the water, go ahead and cover the container in which you have the liquid.
Place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours, then take the container out and filter the liquid.
After the desired time has passed, you can then filter the espresso out with a regular coffee filter. Now you have cold brew espresso to make your favorite drinks!
You can add sweeteners, syrups, milk, or whatever you desire. If you find the espresso is too bitter or potent, you can always dilute it a little with more water.
Cold-pressed espresso is the cooler version of classic espresso. It’s preferred by those who enjoy cold coffee drinks during the summer or warmer weather. The trick is finding it and knowing what to mix it with.
Since the taste of cold-pressed espresso is smoother and less acidic than regular iced espresso, you won’t want to mix it with the same ingredients. You can experiment with citrus and acidic drinks and flavors instead of sticking to more bland beverages.
Making cold-pressed espresso at home can take patience and planning. The brewing process can take close to an hour if you happen to have a machine that does it. Otherwise, you’re looking at a full day by hand.