SOFT DRINKS: COLD BREW Cold brew takes its cue

Cold-brewed coffee has become very popular in recent years and analysts expect growth to accelerate, in part thanks to a new breed of consumer with a palate for something different.

It is described as being sweeter and mellower and as it uses no

heat or electricity in preparation, it is arguably a greener option too. And now high street coffee giants all offer their own versions and flavourings.

NITRO Nitro coffee, or cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen, is the latest fashionable cold coffee variety which is finding a loyal following of enthusiasts, and it is being sold on draught in coffee shops or in cans. Keith explains that Bevtek uses a process whereby 100 per cent

Arabica coffee is ground into filter coffee and steeped in cold water for over 24 hours to create a rich and thick liquid coffee extract. The process reduces the amount of acidity and bitterness commonly found in hot coffee. “Taking the liquid coffee extract and mixing it with water creates a nice cold brew coffee. However, by then pulling the coffee through our cold brew dispenser which adds nitrogen to the mix, it creates a completely new creamy, almost nutty tasting coffee with nitrogen cascading up the glass and settling into what looks almost like Guiness.”

The practice of enjoying cold coffee is centuries old and may have been the original way of drinking coffee before electricity or the hassle of starting a fire. So, it isn’t new, it’s simply being rediscovered. But what is cold brewed coffee? And can it be described as a soft

drink, or should it fit into the same category as hot tea and coffee? Well, the managing director of Bevtek, Keith Smith, says: “I believe the cold coffee drink when produced well, is definitely in the soft drink category and not to be compared to, or placed alongside a hot coffee. “The two are completely different in taste, texture, look, appeal and overall mouth feel. In addition, by adding cold milk, syrups or alcohol you can

produce an amazing array of drinks, all cold and all delightful.” Across the globe different countries have their own version of cold coffee. In particular some Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and India have enjoyed iced coffee using either hot-brewed coffee or instant coffee. It is thought, however, that the Japanese introduced true cold brewed coffee, made with cold water. The Japanese brewed cold coffee by administering water drop by

drop to coffee grounds using tall towers, and these systems are now being replicated around the world. Proponents of cold brew argue that it extracts a range of flavours which are quite distinct from those we expect from hot coffee and even accentuates the flavours in a way that hot brew cannot.

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