Cold Brew Coffee - What exactly is it and makes it so popular?

In the last 5 years cold brew coffee became increasingly popular, especially in the USA where it was widely adopted by cafes and specialty coffee roasters. The ready-to-drink cold brew market has also seen an influx of offerings from consumer brands in the USA, Europe and a number of other countries. . In 2020  it was predict that the  market for cold brew coffee would grow by 1.37Billion USD! 

Strangely enough cold brew has not really caught on with the South-African consumer. Considering our warm climate one would have thought that it would be very popular here.


But what exactly is cold brew?

And what makes it different from your normal hot brew coffees? Or from iced coffees?
Let's break it down.

First, let's talk about the brewing.
Cold brew coffee means just that – the absence of heat during the brewing process.
Unlike regular hot brew coffees such as espresso, cold brew is never exposed to heat.
Espressos is made by forcing pressurized hot water through very finely ground coffee for about 30 seconds. (In iced coffees, an espresso shot is made and poured over ice to cool it down).
Whereas cold brew is made by steeping medium to coarsely ground coffee in room temperature or ice water then refrigerating for 12-24 hours to absorb the texture, taste, and caffeine of the coffee.

 Cold brews can be made using any manual brewer or cold brew toddy as long as you have something to filter the grounds through; it can even be made with just a mason jar and cheese cloth!

Now, the taste.

Cold brew is up to 67% less acidic than traditionally brewed coffee and brings out much more of the "dark" flavours (chocolaty, nutty, earthy tones) of the beans you're using. Espresso and other traditionally brewed coffees are much richer with higher acidity and a sharper taste.

The caffeine levels also differ. Cold brew contains much more caffeine as the process requires more coffee beans, usually double or triple the amount of a standard brew. But just like an espresso shot, cold brew is an extraction or concentration of the beans and can be diluted with water or milk.

Cold brew even has a few healthy benefits! Because of the low acidity, it is much easier on the digestive system making it a perfect coffee solution for those struggling with gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion and acid reflux. You can even make it a decaf cold brew if your body can't handle the caffeine!
Another great benefit is the fact that it's quite a "set and forget" type of brew. You can keep your cold brew concentrate in the fridge for up to two weeks so there is no need to make a cup every day! It can also be made with a lot of different methods, from using your plunger to a cheesecloth!

Heavenly Coffees bean suggestions for cold brew coffee:
Angel's Brew Dark Roast, St Peter of Colombia Dark Roast, St Charles of Uganda Dark Roast, St Abuna of Ethiopia Medium Roast
We also sell a super easy to use cold brew maker – the Hario Cold Brewer. Check it out on our online store!

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