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You might have seen strange cold drip coffee contraptions popping up in trendy cafes around town. This summer, it’s all about the Cold Brew. But what is it?
Cold Drip or Cold Brew refers to the process of steeping, or soaking, coarse-ground beans in water, usually for 12 hours or more. The water is normally kept at room temperature, but chilled water can also be used. The grounds are then filtered out of the water after they have been steeped using a paper coffee filter, a fine metal sieve, a French Press or by using a tower drip system.
The result is a syrupy coffee concentrate that is often diluted with water or milk, and can be served hot, over ice, or blended with ice and other ingredients such as chocolate. You can also store it for up to two weeks.
Because of the gentle extraction process, cold brewed coffee tastes sweeter, and has much less acidity than espresso. During the cold brew the coffee beans never come into contact with heated water, and the process of leaching flavour from the beans produces a different chemical profile from conventional brewing methods.
For coffee geeks and baristas, cold-brew is mostly fascinating because of the nuances in flavour it bring out.
Cold brew coffee is not to be confused with iced coffee, which generally refers to coffee that is brewed hot and then chilled by pouring over or adding ice, though it can refer to cold brew coffee served on ice.
However, Cold Brew is not a new thing. It’s been around for centuries.
Cold brew, also known as Kyoto coffee, has been popular in Japan since the 1600s. It is believed to have been introduced to Japan by Dutch traders from Indonesia, who possibly developed it as a way of producing large quantities of portable coffee, which they would later reheat or serve cold.
Hario Cold Water Dripper | $330 | Hario Gear
Yama Cold Drip Tower | $324.50 | Clandestino
Toddy Cold Brew System | $59.95 | Crema Coffee House
Le Creuset – Cerise Red French Coffee Press | $56 | Peter’s of Kensington