Coffee Trendsetters: Invention of Cold Brew

by Harley Taff

Cold brew revolutionized coffee as we know it in the past few decades. With its rich smoothness and low acidity, the chilly drink has become a favorite of millions of dedicated coffee drinkers. I happen to be one of those millions. 

There are many reasons why this form of coffee had taken the world by storm.

The way it is brewed takes away most of what some people find distasteful about coffee: the sourness, bitterness, and sometimes burnt flavor. Best of all, the acidity that is present in traditional hot coffee is nearly nonexistent. So those with sensitive tummies, like yours truly, can enjoy the taste of coffee without having to make too many trips to the bathroom. 

Cold brew is prepared by steeping coffee in cold water for at least 14 hours. The process increases the coffee’s shelf life, making it much more efficient to produce and keep than hot coffee. Companies are able to make a huge batch of cold brew, can or bottle it, and keep the product for up to 90 days on their shelves. 

It’s not a surprise cold brew is so popular, especially in the busy United States. However, it has existed much longer than when it became popular in America. 

Origins of Cold Brew: Kyoto-Style Coffee

Although cold brew had just exploded in the US in the past few decades, it was first recorded being produced in Japan in the 1600s. After Dutch traders taught the Japanese how to make cold brew it quickly became popular and known as Kyoto-style coffee. 

The process was quite unique and different from how we do it in the present. Kyoto-style coffee was brewed by slowly dropping water onto coffee grounds in a beautiful glass apparatus. It is easily the most intricate and delicate way to brew coffee. 

This process, however, takes a whopping 24 hours to complete one batch. You could argue that it is worth it for the rich flavor profile. 

(Reference image source: Dripdash

The Rise and Reinvention of Cold Brew

After the creation of Kyoto-style coffee, cold brew began to spread and be re-invisioned. 

In 1840 Mazargan (iced coffee with lemon) was conceived of in Algeria as a way to alleviate the heavy burden of the desert sun. Then in the 1930s Cuba created their own version of cold brew and the coffee started to trickle into the United States. 

That is when the mad coffee genius Todd Simpson came along and revolutionized cold brew into the coffee we know today. Simpson invented the Toddy Brewing System after his trip to Peru in the 1960s. His system simplified the process of making cold brew, yet kept the rich, full taste that Kyoto-style coffee strove to produce. (Reference photo source: Home Grounds

It took till the 90s for cold brew to get any traction in the US and then until the 2000s for popular coffee shops like Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Starbucks to get their hands on it. As soon as it reached coffee shops, cold brew truly exploded in popularity. 

We at Conversatio Coffee Roasters agree that the Toddy Brewing System is the best way to brew cold brew. We even carry our own version of the Toddy so you have while browsing our amazing selection of roasted coffee, you can also purchase your own Toddy to brew the perfect batch of cold brew. 

Cold Brew, In a Nutshell

Cold brew changed the coffee industry in incredible ways, mainly in giving coffee consumers even more ways to chug down the caffeinated drink. With its simple brewing process and ease of access (and ease of digestion), cold brew will continue to be loved by millions if not billions. 

Including us at Conversatio Coffee Roasters

Come and enjoy our own signature cold brew we keep on tap at Farmer’s markets by the cup or growler. If you really love it, growlers can be preordered all year round. Growlers are able to be picked up at Templeman’s Market in Kennewick, WA, or Conversatio’s main address. Available to order here: Conversatio Coffee Roasters Cold Brew  

Leave a comment