The hottest trend in coffee is cold, cold brew that is.
Like any emerging phenomenon, you should first learn what cold brew coffee is exactly. It shouldn’t be confused with iced coffee. Iced coffee is hot coffee or espresso allowed to cool and then served over ice. Cold brew coffee is just what it sounds like it is, coffee grounds steeped in room-temperature water for up to 24-hours which produces a concentrated coffee that is then diluted with water, usually by 50%, and served chilled.
The nuances between the hot and cold brewing methods are explained in detail here.
Proponents of cold brew tout the fact that because the grounds aren’t exposed to hot water, the resulting coffee is more flavorful and nuanced along with being less bitter than traditional hot coffee.
A staple among independent coffee shops, cold brew appears to be bursting into the mainstream. National coffee and fast food chains have begun to roll out their own versions of the beverage within the past year and its beginning to gain a foothold in the foodservice arena with consumer data backing that up.
According to research firm Multi-Sponsor Surveys, Inc., overall cold brew coffee consumption has jumped 5% (from 15% to 20% of non-hot coffee orders) in the past two years. Mirroring the demographic of iced coffee, 18-34-year-olds account for the majority of consumption, 31% of cold brew customers which is up from 22% in 2012.
While still a relatively new item in the beverage landscape, cold brew is worth keeping an eye on as consumption numbers heat up.
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