Is cold-brew coffee the big new thing in caffeine?

wcc article 3Does your coffee come in a beer bottle with an artisan label? If you fancy yourself as a coffee afficionado, you might have come across cold-brew coffee in fashionable coffee bars. Iced coffee has been a staple drink for the warmer months for years – made of conventionally-brewed coffee that’s been allowed to cool, iced coffee is served over icecubes or crushed ice and often flavoured with syrups. Cold-brew coffee is a different cup of tea – it’s made by steeping coffee grounds with water at room temperature. Unlike conventially-brewed coffee, which is ready to go in a few minutes, making cold-brew takes a little time investment – you’ll need to leave it for 24 hours. The resulting concentrated coffee essence is then diluted before drinking.

So what’s the attraction? Fans say the drink delivers a fresh coffee flavour and caffeine hit without any hints of bitterness or acidity. It’s also apparently a more complex taste experience as nuances of flavours aren’t destroyed by heat, and more delicate notes of chocolate and spice are easier to detect. In addition, it can be a more refreshing drink for the warmer weather. Interest has increased recently, with one Manchester coffee bar selling hundreds of bottles a week.

The method might be news in the UK, but it’s not a brand new invention. In fact, the Japanese have been cold-brewing coffee (known as Kyoto) for around 400 years. Whatever its origins, prettily-packaged cold-press coffee has taken off at festivals and campsites across Britain, and fans are experimenting with adding various types of milk and other flavourings to enhance the taste even more. It may not be too long before you can walk into your local coffee bar and ask for a cold-pressed almond-milk cappuncino – but be prepared for eyebrows to raise in the meantime!

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