Cold brew coffee is hardly a new invention, as it is seen in many countries in various forms. Kyoto-style coffee, named for its popularity in Kyoto, Japan, is the earliest recorded version of cold-brew coffee; the Japanese began making this drink in the 1600s.
In comparison to other countries, the United States showed up to the cold coffee party fashionably late. However, Americans have been making up for lost time; cold brew coffee sales jumped 115% from 2014 to 2015.
Cold brew coffee is iced coffee’s cooler older brother but making it isn’t as simple as pouring brewed coffee over ice. Coarse-ground beans are soaked in water for about 12 hours to create the cold brew.
Why has cold brew coffee become a trend? The great thing about cold brew coffee is that it requires little manual labor, so it’s a practical beverage for coffee shops to make. For those relying on the energy boost that coffee provides, cold-brewed coffee is more caffeinated than traditional, hot-brewed coffee. Cold brew coffee is also less acidic than its hot counterpart. Less acid means more flavor so prepare to taste what you’re drinking. Cold brews are naturally sweet because of cold water’s lower extraction rate. This natural sweetness makes cold-brews perfect for adding cream.
How long does cold brew coffee last? If refrigerated, cold brew coffee can last for up to 3 weeks.
Besides serving as a stand-alone beverage, there are many other uses for cold brew coffee. You can make it into a hot drink, freeze it, make a cocktail, put it in a milkshake or batch of brownies, or even add it as an ingredient to a recipe with rich flavors.
Try making a dairy-free coconut iced latte, cold-brew ice cream float or an iced bubble tea coffee drink.
See what all the fuss is about and replace your classic cup of Joe with a smooth glass of cold brew.