Coffee is a daily requirement for most of us, but coffee habits change with the seasons—insulated mugs in the winter and cups with straws and ice in the summer. This summer, those cups aren’t just filled with hot-brewed coffee that’s been cooled down and put on ice. It’s better than that. This year’s coffee obsession comes cold-brewed.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew is made by letting coffee grounds soak in water at or below room temperature for at least twelve hours to make a concentrate that can be diluted with water and served over ice. In cold brew coffee, time replaces heat.

Nitro cold brew, a popular and more recent iteration, is charged with nitrogen that makes it slightly fizzy and gives it a rich, creamy head, similar to a nitro beer like Guinness.

Cold Brew Coffee Isn’t New

People across the world have been drinking cold brew coffee for ages. It allowed people to prepare coffee on ships without the risk of fire. It provided soldiers with sustenance in the hot desert. Places like Vietnam, India, South America, and New Orleans all have their own cold brew traditions.

The Japanese make Kyoto-style coffee by dripping water one drop at a time through glass apertures suspended like a tower. While we do not doubt that this precious process produces a phenomenal cup of coffee, in America, cold brew sold in glass bottles and cans, or poured from a tap by baristas is increasingly more common.

Why Is Cold Brew Coffee Sometimes Called A “Toddy”?

You might see “Toddy” on the menu at your local coffee shop, but it’s just another name for it.

Why “Toddy”?

In 1964, when a man named Todd Simpson, a chemical engineering graduate from Cornell, had his first taste of a cup of coffee created with a liquid concentrate made by an ancient Peruvian process, he was inspired to create the Toddy® Cold Brew System that helped make the process popular in America today.

Why Cold Brew Coffee

People love the flavor of cold brew coffee, and coffee sellers—from the smallest craft coffee shops to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts—are doing what it takes to jump on the wagon.

It tastes better.
The cold brew process removes bitterness resulting in a coffee that has a naturally sweeter flavor. It’s less acidic than coffee that’s brewed hot so it not only tastes better but it’s also smoother.

It’s Plain Practical

Cold brew can be made in large batches in advance and with very little manual labor. Unlike a latte or a pour-over, customers buying cold brews are in and out in minutes.

It’s Prime For Craft Infusions And Collaborations

The craft coffee crowd is not unlike the craft beer crowd—they want to create a unique, hand-crafted product—sometimes working with others outside of their industry to make that happen.

Look for these (and other) craft infusions and collaborations:

  • Hopped Cold Brew – Hops, like the ones you find in the beer-making process, also become a part of the cold-brew process.
  • Cocoa Nib Cold Brew
  • Whiskey-Barrel Aged Cold Brew – Whiskey barrels from local distilleries contain the coffee while it brews—infusing it with the flavors of whiskey and wood.
  • Chicory Cold Brew

Read more about what’s coming up in the culinary world with the latest in FDR Food & Beverage Trends!

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