Cold Brew: the history of the drink and the method of cold extraction

Cold Brew: the history of the drink and the method of cold extraction

Have you ever heard of Cold Brew Coffee? Exactly as the name suggests, it is that delicious variety of coffee, much loved in the United States, and ideal in the summer, when the heat wave drives you to hunt out cooling drinks. Cold Brew Coffee, is made with the cold extraction method called (naturally) Cold Brew, ie. cold infusion.

This is a method for real experts because it requires some dedication and a fair amount of time (up to 12 hours!). We will tell you about the history of Cold Brew. We will also explain how cold extraction works and the properties of the coffee made in this way.

The history of the Cold Brew extraction method: born in Japan and perfected in America

Cold Brew coffee

Similar to that of tea, this story starts in the Far East, more precisely in Japan and the first evidence of this dates back to 1600. The various names of Cold Brew Coffee, including Dutch Coffee or Kyoto Coffee, derive from the historical events which confirm the invention of the method.

Indeed, it was some Dutch travelers, who had arrived in Japan on trading business, who first tasted and “discovered” this cold extraction drink. Impressed with this technique, which had never been seen in the Western world, they decided to take it home, together with other riches.

The extraction instrument, very similar to the American coffee filter, actually originated much more recently: the Toddy, created in the early 1960s, takes its name from its inventor, the American, Todd Simpson.

Owner of a nursery, a graduate in chemical engineering and a lover of good food, Todd Simpson tasted his first cold extraction coffee during a trip to Guatemala. He fell in love with it and, once back home, decided to reproduce it. His wife suffered with stomach problems and was highly intolerant of the acidity in normal coffee; so her husband, thanks to his background of chemical knowledge, found the solution by inventing the Toddy.

How is Cold Brew Coffee prepared?

It is very simple to prepare Cold Brew Coffee, but you will need to use a Toddy, an instrument of sophisticated design: on the upper level of the extractor there is a jug with water and ice which, via a small tap, lets the water drip slowly into a coffee filter. On the lower level there is a glass jug which collects the final coffee.

There are two different techniques for preparing this drink, Cold Brew and Cold Drip. However, these reference parameters are valid for both methods:

– Ratio: 2.8 oz of ground coffee / 33.8 fl oz of water
– Grain size of ground coffee: 800 – 1000 micron
– Water temperature: 77° (approximately)
– Extraction time: 12 hours

Cold Brew

The coffee is left to infuse or brew for 12 hours and then, the entire drink is filtered in a single operation. The product using this technique can be drunk cold.

Cold Drip

As the name suggests, for this technique you need to proceed drip by drip.  The coffee is dampened for 12 hours via the calibration of the tap   so that only one drip is let out at a time, at a rate of 6 drops a minute. Only when all the ground coffee has reached saturation, this will start to percolate into the container below. Obviously in this case too, it is necessary to filter the drink before serving it.

Properties and characteristics of Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew estrazione caffè

Cold Brew Coffee is ideal for anyone who, like Mrs. Simpson, is intolerant of the acidity in normal coffee. In fact, by extracting the coffee with cold water, it is possible to avoid the emission of some oils and fatty acids which are present in the coffee and normally soluble at high temperatures.

The result is a drink with a high concentration of flavor but a low level of acidity: Cold Brew Coffee is thus less harsh on the stomach and more easily digestible.

This drink keeps its flavor for a long time and can be kept in the fridge for many days. This is precisely why Cold Brew Coffee is ideal for the preparation of summer recipes such as coffee cocktails or cold cappuccino.

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Il team redazionale del blog “Laboratorio dell’espresso” è composto dagli esperti di Filicori Zecchini: tutti professionisti che mettono a disposizione la loro competenza nei vari ambiti di specializzazione, dalla formazione, alla consulenza, alla creazione della migliore offerta per la vostra attività.

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