Summer may be in the past, but cold brew lives on!

Break out the flannel, boots, and hot coffee — fall has arrived! The calendar may claim otherwise, but in our book summer has officially come to a close. With long hot days and laidback nights, for some it’s time to say goodbye to one more summertime favorite: cold brew.

As the debate marches on over whether or not cold brew has a season (for us, that season is 12-months-long), we’re looking back on its long, fascinating past.

It may seem like cold brew has only recently taken over the world, but its origins are deeply rooted in coffee’s broader history. As global trade circulated new commodities and ideas at the dawn of the Modern Era, cold brewing as a concept began to take root far beyond its point of origin in Japan.

Pre-1600

Cold brewing tea has been established in Japan by this point. Soaked in cool river water, tea leaves are saturated and left to brew.

1600s

Dutch coffee is a boiled-down concentrate that traders and sailors brought aboard ships in vats. This coffee didn’t need dangerous fire to enjoy and it could be bottled and sold at port.

1640

Soon after the Dutch bring their concentrate over, coffee gains popularity and the Japanese develop their own brewing methods. In Kyoto, they use cold tea brewing techniques for their coffee (tower and tubes utilize gravity for a hands-off approach) and voíla, cold brew coffee!

1800s

In wartime, Camp Coffee is bottled and sent to the European troops. Similar to Dutch coffee, this concentrate is made by boiling off excess water.

1840s

In Mazagran, a French-occupied region of Algeria, sweetened coffee syrup combined with cold spring water is a popular drink to counteract the desert heat. When soldiers returned to Paris, cafés began serving mazagran with milk, lemon, or rum.

1920s – 1950s

In Cuba, cold brewed coffee concentrate gets a makeover. Cuban cold brew is made with extremely fine grounds that are repeatedly saturated with cold water before draining.

Iced drinks continue gaining popularity around the globe too. In New Orleans, cost-saving chicory root is added to the coffee before grinding. While adding flavor, chicory root also cuts the coffee, making it last longer. This trick started in Napolean-era France, but lives on as an American favorite.

1960s

American Todd Simpson, a man of many trades, travels to Peru in 1964 to study the flora. While there, he witnessed cold brewed coffee that was then heated before serving. Simpson loved the light acidity of the drink and wanted a way to enjoy it in his own home. He came back to the US and invented the Toddy.

1969

Vending machines open Japan to a slew of drinkable possibilities. Wielding a brilliant ad campaign and canned coffee, Ueshima Coffee Co. single handedly makes prepackaged, canned coffee a staple in Japan.

1990s

One Seattle second wave coffee house develops a coffee concentrate for their blended coffee drinks and other coffee shops begin following suit.

2010

When café staff complained about the taxing nature of prepping cold brew every night in a Filtron, Stumptown founder Duane Sorenson has a brilliant idea! Inspired by beer stubbies, Stumptown puts their spin on cold brew with pull-tab caps — much to the delight of customers and baristas alike.

2010s

Cold brew becomes accessible nationwide, from third wave coffee shops to the corner store. With our craft roasters at the forefront, cold brew history continues to be made — from precision-blending for taste, CBD-infusions, and beer-canning techniques.

2019

Cold brew comes full circle. Taking inspiration once again from tea brewing methods, our Cold Brew Bags make at-home brewing as simple as whipping up your favorite mug of Earl Grey.

Find new coffee you’ll love for fall!

Posted by:drinktrade