Small coffee roasteries, independent cafes and hippies have for decades loved drinking and serving cold coffee. Why not? Its very delicious and incredibly refreshing.
Growing up in the crazy coffee cultures of Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington, I was lucky enough to be exposed to some of the best coffees offered on planet Earth. Iced coffee drinks made with espresso have always been a favorite in Summertime. Iced lattes, iced americanos etc. It wasn’t until 2005 in Portland where I discovered cold brewed coffee, which is exactly what is sounds like. Coffee brewed with cold water instead of hot water, over an extended period of time (12 hours or more) yielding a delicious yet powerful concentrate you dilute with cold water, hot water, or milk. The concentrate is quite caffeinated, simply because there is a higher ground coffee to water ratio. Cold brew usually requires one pound (454 grams) to one gallon (3.8 litres) of cold water. Thats a lot of coffee! But please keep in mind the end result is a concentrate, a very strong concentrate! Drinking this without diluting it is not recommended due to its high caffeine content. Unless you have a very dirty home that needs hours of cleaning or you have a cyclecross race to win, be warned.
One of the main attractions to cold brewed coffee is its low acid content compared to that of coffee brewed with hot water. According to one of the leading manufactures of cold brewed coffee systems, Toddy, the cold water extraction method eliminates up to 67% of the acids of normal filter coffee. This makes it appealing to people with sensitivity to acids or individuals suffering from stomach ailments. These acids also can make some coffees taste bitter, and the cold brewing method can make coffee taste much sweeter than hot filter coffee simply by eliminating the acids and showcasing the inherent sweetness in coffee. Of course all of this is relative to the coffee you are using including roast level, growing region, and even varietal of the bean. But trust me, cold brew is very smooth and sweet.
Cold brew was incredibly popular in Portland, many cafes struggled to keep up with demand. Coffee roasters like Stumptown and Blue Bottle in San Francisco started manufacturing and retailing bottled versions of the beverage, usually available in coolers for overheated caffeine junkies needing a portable fix. This proved successful, very successful. The Stumptown cold brew bottle, often referred to as the ”stubbie”, got its name from the infamous Olympia Beer bottle with the same size, shape and fancy bottle cap featuring a puzzle for drunken fun. Although cold brew coffee obviously contains no alcohol, it does go very well with your favorite spirit.
After moving to Helsinki last Summer to roast coffee here at Kaffa, I was surprised to find out this amazing beverage was not more popular in the Finnish cafe scene. So, I made this my mission, my one great contribution to Finland…cold brew. So begins a new generation of coffee drinkers and beverages alike. I proudly introduce Kaffa Cold Brew. Available soon in our cafe in Punavuori. Keep your eyes peeled to our Facebook site for more details and release dates.