Oh the highly popularized drink of cold brew, making its way to the top of coffee shop menus all across America. Is it really all it’s cracked up to be and where did it come from?
It may seem like a new revolutionary drink to us modern day, urban coffee consumers, but in fact cold brew has a deep, rich history that has influenced multiple styles of coffee across the globe. The first known idea of cold brew came out of Kyoto japan in the 1600’s.
The Japanese in that time being known for icing down their teas quickly came to the idea of doing the same with their coffee. Although it is rumored that the Japanese learned about this idea of preparation through Dutch travelers who used the cold brew coffee method as a way to have easily prepared coffee on long voyages out to sea.
Wherever the true history of the drink lies, it was never meant to be its own drink in the first place. Cold brew was designed to be a concentrate, a base or one part of a larger preparation of a beverage. It continues to serve this purpose even in the more modern settings of Starbucks, Peet’s and the countless other coffee shops that provide it.
You’ll commonly see cold brew concentrate diluted with milk, water, or various syrups and sweeteners. Some believe the early days of cold brew influenced the Thai to create the famously delicious Thai iced coffee. The influence of cold brew continued through Asia and parts of Europe until eventually being brought over to the west through the colonization of America.
You see, cold brew is made to be strong. Usually requiring a minimum 12 hours of steeping time, it’s heavily caffeinated compared to your typical iced coffee or regular hot cup of joe. The preparation is quite different also. You’ll typically see cold brew being prepped in large quantities, the coffee itself is usually set to a very coarse grind. Not only to prepare it for steeping for a minimum of 12 hours but also to minimize ground leakage through the typical cheesecloth like filter that is commonly used.
After the coarse ground coffee is prepared and put into the filter it is then placed in a vat or large pitcher with filtered room temperature water filing the container while being poured over the grinds. You then let it do its thing! Typically, it is steeped for a minimum of 12 hours at room temperature, some brewers stretching that to 16 hours or more. After you’ve waited patiently for the cold brew to steep, simply remove the filter of grinds, pop in the fridge and enjoy! Pour it over ice with some milk or use it as a base for an easy cup of hot coffee by diluting it with some boiling water.
“…cold brew is made to be strong”
However you decide to take your cold brew there is no question how delicious it can be. With the immense popularity cold brew has received in such a small time, it’s important to realize its deep history before there was a consumer need. The idea of cold brew preparation possibly influenced a myriad of our favorite worldly beverages and now we can easily enjoy it in the routine of our busy lives.
So yes, cold brew is all it’s cracked up to be, even without the global marketing of huge beverage companies taking a piece of the action. Cold brew is a method that takes patience, it takes craft and care, a genuine love for a delicious beverage with a rich history and you don’t have to just get it from a coffee shop! Take a crack at brewing some and immerse yourself in the multiple delicious variations that could be enjoyed, all with a little creativity, love and genuine enjoyment for this revolutionary style of drink.
cream into coffee pic – https://pixabay.com/photos/coffee-americano-bean-food-break-3740012/