Our cold brew coffee series comes to a close with a glimpse of the future
Editor’s note: Our summer series on cold-brew coffee began on Saturday, June 28, and continues each Saturday through July. To read part 1, go HERE. To read part 2, go HERE. To read part 3, go HERE. To read part 4, go HERE. To read part 5, go HERE.
By Jeremy Martin
Everyone we spoke to has a slightly different idea for what the future holds, but all seem to be in agreement that cold brew is anything but a passing trend. With entrepreneurs across the industry banking their careers on new companies, innovations, and products, it would appear that the cold brew arrow will continue to gain traction for the foreseeable future.
But what exactly does that future hold? What direction, or directions will cold brew take?
Next-level cold brew products such as kegged and nitrogenated coffee, portable, pre-cut cold brew with milk and other sweeteners, as well as syrupy thick concentrates, and even coffee infused with THC are all currently being manufactured ”and that’s only a sampling of the pre-made verities available in a retail setting. There are also a steady stream of products to be purchased for use in making cold brew at home.
Early in this series, we discussed the classic Toddy set up, the primary method in use for cold coffee brewing since the 1970s. Since the invention of the first commercial Toddy maker, innovations both from the United States and overseas have begun to make their way in to cafes and home kitchens, some more elaborate than others.
For example, the low price of just under $300 will get you the Yama Glass drip brewer, a Taiwanese cold brew machine that doubles as a modern art installation (and triples as a set piece from Breaking Bad). The Yama Glass line, by the way, is totally beautiful, and available exclusively from Espresso Parts. Three vertical chambers are separated by glass tubing and held together in a black wooden frame, designed for the user to add ice water and coffee grounds before setting a carbon filter and brass nozzle to the appropriate drip time. By all accounts, 32 ounces of high-quality cold brew can be produced in as little three hours.
For something a bit more portable, the Cold Bruer, designed by the Bruer company of Santa Cruz, Calif., has the look and feel of a simple sun tea pitcher, but in reality is a fairly complex, yet easy to use clean cold brewing system for the home. The company’s website explains: œInspired by the simplicity of Chemex, Cold Bruer is driven by clean and functional design while also making no compromises to the brewing experience. After many design iterations, we finally have a prototype we are truly proud of.
That prototype consists of a glass jug, fitted with two other chambers: the first, which rests on top, holds cold water, and the second, affixed to the bottom of the water chamber and separated with a silicone valve, is a smaller component for holding coffee grounds. Releasing the valve allows the water to drip on to the grounds and soak them before the coffee falls down through a stainless steel mesh filter and into the base of the glass jug. The whole process takes between three and 12 hours.
Does the advent of such affordable, beautiful, and completely functional home cold-brew systems mean the future of cold coffee is centered around at-home use? Not necessarily. The enormous popularity of Stumptown‘s recent release of cold-brew-with-milk ”packaged in adorable old-school milk cartons ”along with the company’s beloved cold-brew coffee in glass stubby bottles, indicate the demand for functionality and portability in cold-brewed coffee.
Given the success of the larger, 64-ounce carton of Stumptown’s cold-brew-coffee-with-milk, however, the company’s doing just fine with those folks who want to keep the yummy beverage on tap at home.
Whether it be home made, served off a draught handle, or mixed with milk and purchased from a grocery store, cold-brew coffee fans now have more options than ever, and their demand is only beginning. The popularity of quality cold-brewed coffee, we predict, has only just begun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeremy Martin is a freelance writer and photographer who has reported on coffee, craft beer, college sports, and business for a variety of publications over the past six years. A veteran of the café industry and graduate of Western Michigan University, Jeremy lives in Seattle where can often be found making sandwiches from whatever is left in the fridge and cracking wise for the amusement of his adoring wife Amanda.