There's nothing worse than cold coffee!
Nobody wants a cold coffee in the morning, but when it is brewed to be that way, things are different indeed. This month we look at what cold brew coffee is and why it should be top of your list of things to try.
You’ll find answers to some of the common questions about cold brew and take a tour of how we brew cold coffee at The Black Cab Coffee Co. in Battersea.
What is cold brew coffee?
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for a lengthy period of time, usually ranging between 6-24 hours. The longer it is left, the stronger the resulting coffee brew.
How is it served?
Cold brew is a coffee drink best served over ice in a glass. It can be with or without milk and sugar, according to taste.
The Origins of Coffee 'Kyoto' style
You might expect cold brew to be a concoction first invented by bearded baristas in their underground coffee caves, a modern hipster innovation (if that’s not an oxymoron!), but this type of coffee actually has a much longer history.
Cold brew can be traced back to 17th century Japan. At that time street traders would brew ‘Kyoto’, a cold coffee drink named after the city in Japan where it was popular.
Nobody knows for certain how cold coffee drinking arrived in Japan. Legend has it that Dutch traders used to make a concentrated cold coffee brew, later adding hot water for off-shore cuppas. Once the traders reached Japan, with its long history of cold brewing tea, the practicality of the Dutch method married a touch of Japanese refinement and cold brew coffee was born. This makes for a believable story of its origin but, who knows, it could go back much further.
How is cold brew made?
On a glorious sunny afternoon at the Black Cab Coffee shop in Battersea, Gray walks us through his cold coffee brewing method.
At home you can choose from a variety of neat little cold brew coffee makers, but to make enough coffee in Battersea something altogether grander is required.
This commercial 20 gallon capacity stainless steel cold brew vessel does the trick! Gray first adds iced water to the vessel. You can see a fine mesh filter which is used to make what’s essentially a giant coffee teabag.
Once the filter bag is filled with freshly ground coffee (this time it was single origin coffee from Brazil) it is added to the vessel. A large metal filter is placed on top to keep the coffee fully submerged in the water. Finally, the lid is placed on the cold brewer and it is left to brew overnight. Simple really!
Pick up some of our coffee beans which work fantastically well (brewed hot or cold!) in our online shop or grab some from the coffee shop in Battersea.
How about the taste?
This coffee is dangerous! I’d half expected it to taste like regular coffee that’s left to cool, but it’s altogether much more exciting.
Sipping just a pure black brew with no milk or sugar, you’ll be taken aback when you find it tasting of coffee milkshake, almost like a white Russian cocktail. Sweet, chocolatey, and full of delicious nuance. Brewing coffee this slowly and without heat stops even a trace of bitterness getting through.
At the final slurp I was left thinking most people have been brewing coffee wrong all these centuries, cold and slowly is the way it should be done!
The problem is I could easily drink this magnificent stuff all day, in a similar way to when you get a cocktail in which you can’t taste any alcohol.