If you talked to your neighbor about cold brew coffee a few years ago, chances are they wouldn’t have a clue what you were talking about. But in recent years, cold brew coffee has become so popular — especially in the summer — that it’s inescapable. And good thing, too, because we serve some killer cold brew!
Rise in Popularity
It’s not just in warm states like ours where cold brew is popular — it’s everywhere. Oliver Strand of The New York Times traveled to Gregorys Coffee in NYC last year and found that during the summer months 65% of owner Gregory Zamfotis’ coffee sales are iced and cold brew. But with each batch taking 12 hours to make (which is low, ours takes 48hrs), and his shop selling 10,000 servings of cold brew a day, it can be difficult to keep up with popular demand.
“What was once a regional curiosity largely limited to New Orleans and the South is now found throughout the country,” says Strand, crediting the surge of cold brew sales to New Orleans’ Blue Bottle coffee shop, which was one of the first shops to sell cold brew a decade ago.
Though its popularity caught on in the western world, cold brew coffee has been a part of Japanese culture since the 1600s. Cold brew coffee — the parent of Kyoto cold brew coffee —was reportedly introduced to Japan by Dutch traders from Indonesia. The Guardian speculates that cold brew coffee was developed as an alternate and efficient way to transport large quantities of coffee without it spoiling.
What Makes it Special?
Cold brew coffee lacks one signature quality that you can find in any typical coffee drink: the acidity. This is better for your overall health, as acid in coffee can be hard on your stomach. But even with the absence of acidity, you’ll still be getting all of the same nutrients and antioxidants you would find in normal coffee, while still tasting the familiar floral and nutty notes. Some say that coffee tastes sweeter without acid.
But some disapprove of cold brew’s lack of acidity, saying that its removal took away a huge part of coffee’s signature taste. Strand says that the best coffees in the world depend on a complex acidity, one that will never be present in cold brew.
But, the key to a quality cold brew is finding a balance, utilizing a unique flavor profile and brew process that can still produce complex flavor without the acid tones. And, if you ever try our cold brew, we think you’ll agree that it’s not lacking anything.