Summer is coming . . . on a hot summer day; coffee is a beverage best served cold.
There are three different methods of brewing iced or cold coffee.
Iced Coffee is first brewed using a conventional method such as drip our pour over method. It is allowed to cool naturally then typically served over ice. This method is usually the most common type available due to the ease of the process. The drawback to this method is that the coffee is exposed to air for a longer period of time, which negatively affects the acidity which in turn can alter the flavor of the roast.
So what the heck is cold brew? Isn’t it just cold coffee? Not at all! This method involves a process only using cold water. Cold brew coffee is never heated There are many different ways to do cold brew, with some very elaborate brewers. The key is none of these involve heat. The cold brew process is very time consuming, and requires more coffee beans than normal brewing. As a result, it is often highly caffeinated but less acidic and the process retains the complex flavors of the roasted coffee bean. Cold brew also allows for a much longer shelf life without compromising freshness or flavor.
The Japanese coffee is brewed hot, directly onto ice. The benefit is that the hot brewing method is usually the preferred method of extraction. The downside is that the coffee is somewhat more diluted, because the hot coffee will melt the ice. But, many people prefer this method and feel it gives the best flavor.
Cold Coffee Storage
The Iced Coffee and the Japanese Method are usually served immediately over ice. The Cold Brew is usually either put into a keg or it is bottled (or canned). The bottles and cans are great for individual consumption and very convenient. The kegs are great for serving many people, they also reduce waste, since the keg is reusable and the bottles and cans need to be recycled.
If you do go the keg route, you will probably want to use nitrogen or Nitro. Nitro is used instead of CO2 (which most beers use) in order to provide a smoother, creamier taste, without adding carbonation to the liquid.
Options for people who don’t like coffee but like caffeine!
The coffee plant produces cherry like fruit; the seed of this fruit is the coffee bean. The fleshy part of this fruit is what is used to make cascara. Cascara is a Spanish word that means skin, husk or shell. Cascara contains less caffeine than coffee, and is usually used in teas. Cascara is now becoming a popular cold drink, often mixed with additional herbs and sometimes sweetened.
Our partner Sonic Tonic produces amazing Cascara, which we often serve using CO2, which gives it an effervescent quality that matches up perfectly with the flavor of this beverage, and it doesn’t degrade the quality like it would with coffee.