Cold Brew 101
The History of Cold Brew Coffee
Every decade or so, there's a trend or hype up of the latest beverage(s) that everyone "must have" in their house or has to drink. In the 90s, it was Tang and Nesquik. In the early 00s, it was SunnyD and Black Cherry Vanilla Coca-Cola (seriously, who actually liked this?!). In this decade, the late 00s, it is Harmless Harvest Coconut Water and, you guessed it, cold brew coffee. While it has become immensely popular in the United States, especially California (or those year-long summer states), it's actually an old idea.
The Way of the Samurai
Long ago in ancient times, 1600s to be exact, the first record of cold-brewed coffee was used in Kyoto, Japan. Of course, there is speculation that the Japanese had actually learned this method of brewing from Dutch traders, but speculation was inconclusive. Nevertheless, given that the Japanese people were already brewing their teas with cold water, it's not a tremendous surprise that they had came up with this method of brewing cold brew coffee on their own. Kyoto-Style brewing became immensely popular over the ages in Japan, for one, cold water was more easily available than hot water, and two, it was relatively more faster to brew than hot-brewed coffee (remember, there weren't any electric coffee makers back in the 1600s). It was also more entertaining and relaxing to watch, as drop by drop, the black coffee would travel down through glass apertures suspended in tower. It was like an art performance!
The British are Coming...and So Are The French!
Fast forward a couple centuries and this is where hot black coffee came into play. One of the great benefits of cold brew coffee is that once the black coffee has been brewed, it can be drank cold, at room temperature, or even hot. The British, the French, and eventually the Americans preferred their coffee hot...like boiling hot. Eventually in the 20th Century, the French developed the concept of concentrated coffee, poured over ice and then add in some sweetener to become what is now known as iced coffee. This concept eventually spread like wild-fire and other nations adopted this idea. For example, Vietnamese Iced Coffee, nicknamed "coffee on crack", gained huge popularity throughout the world. Brewed from concentrate, poured over ice and sweetened with condensed milk. New Orleans had their own style of iced coffee as well, but it's very interesting and baffling.
United We Stand...on Coffee
While cold-brewed coffee back during Ancient Japan was relatively easier to make than hot-brewed coffee, given the discovery of electricity, that fact doesn't apply today. Of course, we have coffee makers now to boil water and brew coffee much faster, but cold-brewed coffee still requires manual labor and calculated timing. In an article by the New York Times, cold brew coffee consists of 65% of a local coffee shop's sales...and that was before the idea cold brew could be bottled, taken on-the-go, and be ready to drink anytime.
How is Cold Brew Coffee Made in 2018?
Well, most commercial chain coffee roasters have factories where they will grind the coffee beans way in advance of brewing, then cold-brew the grounded beans for 12-16 hours, and then use a filtration system to produce their bottled cold brew coffee. Unfortunately, due to the acidity levels, many cold brew products leave a strange sour aftertaste on your palate. The taste is similar to how your hot coffee tastes when it cools down and comes to room temperature. Don't believe us? Next time you drink a cold brew, sip it like you're tasting wine and see if you notice the different notes and the sour aftertaste.
What Makes Master BLK Coffee Different?
Like many other coffee brands, we make cold brew coffee. However, what we differ from other brands is that we focus solely on cold brew coffee. Check out this article by Orange Coast Magazine about our Master BLK Coffee and how we stand out from the competition.
So...how does Black Label Keg Brewing Co.'s premium organic cold brew coffee differ from other brands? Well, we're more than happy to tell you. Master BLK is a proprietary blend of 100% organic French roast coffee beans. To quote the creator of Jurassic Park, "We spared no expense," to provide you with the highest premium quality beans. Our coffee beans (or berries) are completely organic, grown without the use of artificial fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides. Master BLK is completely natural.
Here's how we tame the sour, bitter aftertaste in black coffee! In order to eliminate this awkward taste on our palates, we brew our coffee IMMEDIATELY after grinding. We brew our coffee blend using the purest, filtered water (under 30ppm). Our unique water keeps your cold brew strong, smooth and WITHOUT the sour aftertaste.
The next phase is steeping, which is where Master BLK Cold Brew also stands apart from other brands. Standard steep is 12 to 16 hours; we steep for a full 24 hours to bring you the smoothest and strongest black coffee, without the sour aftertaste. It's also naturally sweet and aromatic.