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Why cold brews are a rage this summer

Drink it on the rocks, with milk or simply at room temperature. It’s time to make the cold brew your go-to summer cooler

HT48HRS_Special Updated: May 18, 2017 20:15 IST
cold brew
Brew Marley at The Daily

We are at a café in Lower Parel, watching Ashish D’Abreo, founder of the Bengaluru-based artisanal coffee brand The Flying Squirrel, at work. He is here to introduce us to cold brews — coffee brewed with cold or tepid water. He folds a muslin cloth three times and places it on a pour-over, which is basically a dripper on a glass kettle. He, then, pours the brew — steeped in a refrigerator for 14 hours — through the muslin cloth. Drink it with milk or simply top it up with a few ice cubes, says D’Abreo.

It tastes nothing like the milky cold coffee we are used to. And it doesn’t feel bitter on the tongue, in fact, it has a natural sweetness, which is unexpected. “This style of brewing draws out the natural sweetness of the bean. For this brew, I used two types of coffee beans — honey sun-dried Arabica and Arabica peaberry,” says D’Abreo.

Read: Why adding activated charcoal to dishes is the newest food trend

Express Noir at the Daily

Origin story

The Japanese were the first to consume cold brews in the 1600s. Prior to this, the Dutch used the technique to transport prepared coffee to which milk was added and heated later.

While India has always been a tea-drinking nation, the likes of Café Coffee Day, Barista, and now Starbucks, changed that in early 2000. Soon, we started enjoying our cappuccinos and frappuccinos over conversations. Though cold brews are fairly new on the menu, the trend is catching up.

While Café Coffee Day has a summer brew on their menu, Café Zoe (Lower Parel), and coffee houses, such as Blue Tokai (Mahalaxmi) and Koinonia (Khar) are pushing the cold brew instead of the good old cold coffee. Restaurants such as Razzberry Rhinoceros (Juhu) and The Daily (Bandra) have chosen the cocktail path to use the cold brew as an ingredient.

By the end of this month, coffee expert Sahil Jatana will launch Svami — a line of cold brews and nitro coffees. “It is coffee infused with nitrogen. When poured from a keg like beer, it has a creamy texture, just like frothy and milky coffee. It’s like how a tall glass of Guinness feels on the palate,” says Jatana.

Cold brew at The Pantry

Cold brew vs cold coffee

At Blue Tokai, customers are curious about the cold brew. Here, it can be paired with milk, almond and soy milk. The cold brew here has an oily aftertaste.

After a lot of research, Jérémie Horowitz, partner at Cafe Zoe, recently launched a few cold brew options. So, while we loved his orange malt cold brew version for its combination of bitter and tanginess, the Cold Brew Affogato is the most tempting one thanks to a calorific combination of vanilla ice cream, biscotti dusting and Belgian chocolate chips. “The best part about cold brews is that there is no one recipe or methodology,” he says.