Welcome to the world of cold brew coffee: a refreshing and flavorful alternative to traditional hot brewed coffee taking the world by storm. Over the past few years, cold brew has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, capturing the hearts and taste buds of coffee enthusiasts and novices. Its smoothness, low acidity, and ability to showcase a wide range of flavors and uses have made it a sought-after beverage providing a much-needed jolt of energy and enjoyment during the day. Cold brew’s unique profile boosted with higher caffeine levels than most cups of coffee make its rise to prominence not a short-term trend but a long-term staple in the coffee industry. Although commonly consumed as a hot-coffee alternative with a smooth taste enjoyable at all hours of the day, its resume is not limited to straight coffee and creamer consumption we know coffee to be. Moving away from its corporate American office staple, cold brew recipes have expanded as consumers experiment with its acidity, consistency, and flavor profiles to see what creations they can make. From lattes to cocktails to ice cream, cold brew’s potential is limitless!
Cold Brew 101
Cold brew’s uniquely smooth taste begins with its detailed brewing process different from its hot brewed counterpart. Discovered by Japanese coffee enthusiasts in the 1600s, cold brew is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period of 12 to 24 hours in room temperature water or cold water to create a rich coffee concentrate. This rich “cold brew concentrate” is then diluted with water, adding more or less water depending on the cold brew strength and caffeine levels desired. Cold brew coffee is a fully cold process as the brewing method makes a big difference in the ratio of liquid to caffeine, bringing out the best flavors from the beans, resulting in a brew that is less acidic and smoother on the palate.
Cold brew’s smoothness, range of flavors, and premium nature make it a big hit amongst a wide range of customers. From Gen-Z to Gen-X, cold brew coffee represents a trendy and affordable luxury that enhances the typical coffee experience as coffee is a staple of many people’s mornings or mid-day breaks. For instance, Gen-Z consumers love cold brew’s indulgent and less-sweet nuanced flavors that are also offered in greater variety than hot coffee drinks. In fact, according to a 2021 Mintel report, 18% of consumers under 35 primarily drink ready to drink (RTD) coffee types as well as nearly a third (32%) of young consumers say cold coffee consumption is part of their routine. This shift in popularity has also spread to Gen-X consumers whose career and financial situations differ from those of Gen-Z yet are still large consumers of cold brew coffee. In addition to enjoying the less acidic and less-sweet taste, Gen-X is typically more focused on their personal finances than any other generational group and are therefore most interested in purchasing premium coffee beverages at an affordable price.
A Symphony of Tastes
Cold brew’s natural flavor is acidic and mellow which makes it perfect to drink on its own for a smooth and refreshing taste only enjoyable cold. Nitro cold brew’s smooth finish allows for coffee enthusiasts to customize as well as newcomers to explore their palette and be their own barista. From sugar add-ins, plant based creamers, or flavored almond and oat milks, the options for cold brew personalization are endless. According to the same Mintel 2021 report, the creamer market saw adjacent growth with coffee sales after and during the pandemic as consumers became their own coffee baristas with experimentation during the stay at home order. Plant-based milk sales increased 56.8% from 2016- 2, and sales of oat milk have skyrocketed too as brands offer healthier options and a variety of flavors such as french vanilla or hazelnut. Companies have even ventured further to bringing back nostalgic flavors or experimenting with new niche flavors such as southern butter pecan. In other words, there are unlimited ways to customize your coffee.
However, cold brew isn’t just limited to coffee in the office or at your local coffee shop. We’ve come up with some creative ways to enjoy cold brew to maximize your cold brew’s flexibility.
Cold Brew Espresso Martini
Using high-quality and fresh cold brew makes a Cold Brew Espresso Martini the perfect creative cocktail to serve at parties or to channel your inner barista! Offering more caffeine to a delicious cocktail is a combination you never knew you needed.
- Coffee liqueur
- Cold brew coffee concentrate
- Whipped cream
- Chilled Martini Glass
Place your cold brew ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Next, pour in 2 shots or 3 fluid ounces each of coffee liqueur and cold brew concentrate. Then, shake until the outside of the shaker becomes frosted. Finally, pour your shaken martini into your chilled martini glass. Garnish with whipped cream and as many dark chocolate espresso beans as you'd like.
Cold Brew Ice Cream
Coffee flavored ice cream and desserts are nothing new to consumers. However, this recipe from homegrounds captures cold brew’s finest elements and emphasizes its differences from hot or iced coffee. Common coffee ice cream flavors use iced coffee which oxidizes the flavor and loses the freshness consumers truly enjoy.
- ½ cup of cold brew coffee concentrate
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 12 oz of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp of Kahlua
Mix together the Kahlua, sweetened condensed milk and cold drip, and then whip the cream until stiff peaks begin to form. Next, delicately fold the coffee mixture into the whipped cream and place it in the freezer for 2-3 hours, just as it begins to freeze. Or, use an ice cream maker.
Looking to be more creative? Take your cold brew ice cream mix, before it freezes, and put them into a popsicle mold to enjoy cold brew popsicles in the hot summer sun or at the end of a long day!
Cinnamon Honey Cold Brew
Keeping cold brew at the core, a sweet, spicy, and woody cold brew drink we think you’ll love is this Cinnamon Honey Cold Brew by El Dorado coffee roasters! Combining the health elements of honey and cinnamon with some creative flair, we hope you try and enjoy!
Ingredients and Instructions
You’ll start by making your own simple syrup (don’t worry, it’s easy).
- 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup honey, 3 cinnamon sticks, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Add the water, honey, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. The honey will dissolve in the water.
- Let the mixture come to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for five minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and allow the mixture to cool.
- Remove the cinnamon sticks (and discard).
- You can store the syrup in the fridge until use.
Add that syrup to your cold brew cup, add your favorite milk or cream, and stir to combine. P.S. We recommend Commonwealth Joe’s medium roast shenandoah spring cold brew to make your perfect Cinnamon Honey Cold Brew.
At Commonwealth Joe, we pride ourselves in serving a variety of award-winning Nitro Cold Brew to customers and business who enjoy premium cold brew as an affordable luxury to enjoy as a beverage and main ingredient in creating their own spins on cold brew. Get in touch with our sales team by scheduling a call, filling out a webform, or sending an email to email@example.com to learn more about our products and services for your next cold brew creation!
By: Benjamin Do
Blog post assisted by ChatGPT.