The Rise of Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee is coffee that is brewed with room temperature or cold water for a 12-24 hour brew time. The earliest traces of cold brew come from Japan in the1600s where it was known as Kyoto-Style coffee. Due to the fact it’s made with colder water, the coffee is mellower, with less acidity and tastes rounded out and full bodied. Cold brew has a very high concentration so after it is steeped, it has to be cut with water before served.
Cold brew coffee has only recently became popular in the U.S over the past five years. It became very prevalent in the U.S coffee industry when Starbucks introduced it to 2,800 stores in 2015. Now nearly all coffee shops sell it and there is much competition on the production side. Popular brands include Starbucks, Stumptown, Slingshot, Blue Bottle and Chameleon, all of which sell different flavors and varieties. Starbucks’ version has “chocolate and light citrus notes,” and takes 20 hours to brew, the company stated.
Many coffee lovers favor cold brew because of its health benefits. Cold brew has a much lower acidity content than normal coffee which reduces issues of heartburn, acid reflux and other gastrointestinal conditions. In addition, cold brew contains a higher level of antioxidants which fight disease and aging. Cold brew is also naturally sweeter than coffee and consumers don’t feel the need to add as much unhealthy cream and sugar. Lastly, cold brew has been shown to decrease the production of LDL cholesterol which causes narrowing and decreased blood flow.
Coffee shops enjoy selling cold brew as well because it is easy to make. It only requires ground coffee beans and room temperature water. While it does take 24 hours to steep it produces a large quantity of the concentrate which can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. In 2017, the cold brew market was valued at $29,000,000 and is forecasted to reach $170,000,000 by 2025. Many stands at the 2018 New York Coffee festival featured cold brew leading me to believe that predictions that cold brew will stay prevalent and continue to grow in popularity are true.