Pods or Grounds? Cold Brew Brewing Methods

Posted by Payton DeMaster on Feb 10, 2019 7:30:00 PM

PodsvsGrounds Blog-01

Cold brew doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. And now, because this drink has gained so much popularity, new brewing techniques and methods continue to be introduced and enhanced. It is most common to make cold brew with coarse coffee grounds, but did you know it's possible to make cold brew with pre-sized and already filtered coffee pods? We tested both these methods using our Cold Brew 'N' Serv™ System to see which brewing method works the best. 

Here we go...

Coffee Grounds

There is a high chance that you are already using coffee grounds when making cold brew. This method is most likely going to be more cost-effective and extract a strong coffee flavor. However, this process can be a bit messy. It is important to note that to get the right consistency and coffee flavor with cold brew, coarse ground coffee should be used. 

The Process: When brewing the cold brew, the process was quite simple. We first started by adding 3 lbs. of ground coffee to our Cold Brew Basket. We then put the basket in the dispenser and filled it with a little less than 3 gallons of water. We let the coffee steep for 24 hours, and then drained the extra liquid from the basket. Finally, we dumped the coffee grounds, and washed out the brew basket (see the video process here). 

The Results: After tasting the cold brew, we found that there was a strong coffee flavor. There was a small mess from a few splattered grounds, and a few loose grounds at the bottom of the dispenser. In summary, a solid cup of cold brew, and a pretty easy clean-up. 


Coffee Pods 

Coffee pods, also known as filter coffee pouches, are a new and easy way to brew coffee. More commonly used for single batch coffee, coffee pods are convenient because the grounds are already pre-portioned out, and trapped within a filter. This makes the brew basket super easy to clean. The downside, however, is that on average coffee pods are more expensive than ground coffee, and only come in a small variety of sizes. 

The Process: Similar to the process with the ground coffee, we used 3 lbs. worth of coffee pods (approximately 12 coffee pods filled with 4 oz. of coffee grounds). We added the pods to the Cold Brew Basket, and put the basket in the dispenser, filling it with a little less than 3 gallons of water. We let the pods steep for 24 hours, and then drained the extra liquid from the basket. Once the brewing process was complete, we trashed the used coffee pods, and washed the brew basket. 

The Results: Once we tasted the coffee, we found a strong and smooth cold brew flavor. As for the cleanup process, there was almost no mess from splattered grounds, and we didn't see any floating grounds at the bottom of the dispenser.


Overall, both methods work great for cold brew, and for our Cold Brew 'N' Serv™ System. The biggest differences between the pods and grounds would be the price, extraction, and cleanup. We encourage you to try out both methods and see which one works best for you!

Tags: coffee, coffee filter, coffee shop, cold brew, cold brew dispenser, coffee pods, coffee grounds


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