What is Cold Brew?
Cold brew uses time, rather than heat to extract the coffee’s sugars, oils and caffeine. Iced Coffee is simply hot coffee that has been cooled down so that it can be poured over ice.
The first bottled cold brew I saw was Stumptown (back in 2013) but this year, bottled cold brews are starting to show up everywhere. And, btw, much more expensive than iced coffee.
Per the Mintel Coffee Report, Cold Brew is an industry-wide sensation, growing 338.9% from 2010-2015, with 115% of that growth from 2014 to 2015 alone. The trend is predicted to continue accelerating. The Beverage Marketing Corporation projects that Cold Brew will lead the high growth “New Age Beverage” category, outpacing kombucha, coconut water, energy drinks and juice.
I remain skeptical, even though both Starbucks and Caribou now bottle it. Dunkin’ Donuts serves it in store. I question the appeal of this flavor profile – very bitter, I do not see the frappuccino crowd moving to cold brews anytime soon.
Here is a small sampling of brands to check out:
Now served at Ludlow House, NYC. I’m NOT a fan.
A new cold-brew coffee company operating out of Boyle Heights, LA. They recently debuted a pedal-powered cold-brew cart (see pic above). The back half is a bicycle, and at the front there’s a large kegerator, emblazoned with Cold Bruja’s witchy logo.
Peet’s just unveiled their new cold brewed, ready-to-drink line of Baridi Black, Coffee au Lait, and Dark Chocolate. Only available on West Coast at the moment.
FYI, Peet’s also owns Stumptown and Intelligentsia.