Behind the trend: Cold brew coffee

We take a look at the latest movement in the ever-evolving coffee world - cold brew.

In the beginning… 

Not to be confused with iced coffee or frappé, cold-brew uses an age-old method – the Japanese were brewing coffee this way centuries ago. Coarsely ground coffee is submerged in cold water and left to ‘distil’ for several hours. This creates a super-concentrated, turbo-charged coffee extract, which is then diluted to serve.

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Cold brew coffee

Then…

Coffee culture went global in the 1990s as café chains boomed. The more artisan-minded looked to trailblazing regions like Australasia – home of the now-ubiquitous flat white. Independent roasteries experienced a surge in business and UK sales of instant coffee dipped in 2014. We became a nation of cafetière-plunging, home-grinding bean devotees.

Now…

The range of coffee products has gone from strength to strength in the UK, and many cafés have
embraced cold-brew coffee, where it’s often served in chic bottles from British brands like Sandows London and Yorkshire’s Artemis. Whittard has taken a leaf out of independent coffee retailers’ books and sells a jug for making your own cold-brew at home.

Sandows cold brew coffee

Make your own

In Japan, cold-brew coffee is often made in elaborate glass contraptions, but you don’t need a fancy piece of kit. Replicate the jar or bottle method by steeping coarsely ground coffee in water in a large glass jar or jug at room temperature. Cover with a lid or cling film and leave it for around 24 hours, then strain the mix into a jug through a muslin-lined sieve. Dilute the essence with some water, then serve on ice with your milk of choice. 

Explore the trend… 

Buy a cold brew coffee pot
Discover cold brew coffee recipes and infographics on Pinterest

Visit our Behind the Trends hub for month by month reports on the hottest food and drink

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From August 2016