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An updated recipe for Cold Brew, By Donald Schoenholt

Brewing by using only cold water relies on time rather than heat to transfer coffees flavor from beans to water. If you steep a pound of coarse-ground coffee in a gallon of fresh cold water for 18 hours and then strain through unbleached muslin or filter paper you produce a strong coffee concentrate which may then be reconstituted with the addition of 1 gallon of water (hot or cold) to a produce coffee beverage.

Cold brew coffee concentrate has a refrigerated shelf life of about week. There is no knowing when cold brewing was devised, or who first brewed with the method, but we know from a company history, on the Toddy company website that cold brewing was discovered being used by Guatemalans in 1964 by company founder Todd Simpson, a Cornell University trained Chemical Engineer. The Simpsons believe that cold brewing was originally a Peruvian idea, and this idea is echoed on the website of the National Coffee Association but I have come across nothing that supports that hypothesis. Cold brewing had been around decades.

The Chicago Tribune ran an article “Iced Coffee Aficionados Hold Opinions As Strong As The Brew Itself,” by Carl Jerome, in 1985 that talked about cold brewing. There was a piece in The New York Daily News in 2004, by Rachel Williams, about the Toddy coffee maker that mentioned its use for iced coffee, but for the most part cold brewing stayed beneath the radar of most iced coffee lovers until, in 2007, Cindy Price, writing in the New YorkTimes, introduced cold brew iced coffee to many who had not yet heard of the preparation method. Interest was initiated and pretty soon the cold brew had more than a local following of Toddy and Filtron freaks.

While Filtron and Toddy do their job, you needn’t have a special brewer for making cold brew coffee. A French Press can be employed and does an admiral job. Toddy brews through a synthetic sponge, and Filtron brews through a filter pads or paper filters. Both manufacture simple home, and commercial coffeemakers available to American consumers for decades. Newer entries in the market include Hario’s Mizudashi Coffee Pot that brews through a long cylindrical strainer. The Hourglass coffeemaker is probably the most elegant of the cold water systems on the market. The Coffee Snob coffeemaker takes its design cue from Kyoto cold brew coffee systems used in Japanese coffee bars.


Filtron Cold Coffee Systems

Toddy Cold Brew System

Hario Iced brew


P.S. Thank you Monica for pointing out my recipe error. -dns 05.02.16

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