from kyoto to new orleans: a Kavnia origin story.
Kavnia cold drip is steeped (no pun intended) in technology and science. But the origins of our product really start with this work of absolute art- Japanese style iced coffee. Iced coffee and cold brew in particular have been gaining popularity for years in the United States. The total size of this market stood at around 166 million U.S. dollars in 2017. By 2025, this figure was forecast to have increased to around 944.16 million U.S. dollars. But cold brew is only one type of cold coffee. Just how hot coffee has a myriad of ways to prepare, from French press to espresso- cold coffee has just as many fun variables to play with and nuances to explore.
On a trip to New Orleans, Kavnia founders Olivia and Jackson had their first encounter with cold brew’s older and wiser sister- Kyoto-Style cold drip. Now you may be thinking… isn’t it all the same? Cold coffee is just cold coffee. But you’d be wrong. Not only are Japanese style cold drip methods like the Oji or Yama Tower visually stunning, they make coffee that is almost on the complete other end of the flavor spectrum as cold brew. They had a vision for a kyoto style, cold drip brewer for the home.
Cold brewing is usually done over a period of 12-24 hours, where ground coffee is fully immersed in water. Without heat of boiling water to help the extraction, this method relies on steeping time. There isn’t as much control over the brew aside from how long you let it steep for before straining or the grind size that you’re using. Cold brew can mellow a coffee’s acidity, highlight those deeper chocolate-y notes… but it can also taste a bit flat or one note.
Kyoto-style cold drip still uses room temperature or cold water, but instead of grounds being fully immersed, water is dripped through a bed of coffee at a suuuuuuuuuper slow rate. This allows the water to penetrate and pass through the coffee, more similar to most hot brewing styles where coffee is added to a filter and water is poured over. Instead of a muted or mellow cup, these kinds of cold coffee offer a POP of flavor. You can pick up all the nuances that you find in a coffee’s tasting notes, from cherry to clover honey. This is coffee with the dial turned up. A coffee that’s had her coffee. Check out some early prototypes to see how the style works.
This brewing style is not new, it’s been around for centuries, but it does have its drawbacks. The equipment used to brew is generally made of glass- it’s beautiful and elaborate to look at, but hard to clean, easy to break, and a little too complex for your every day kitchen. You’ll sometimes see these brewers in third wave coffee shops as a show piece, and generally these were the only places you could enjoy this special brew. If you’re a barista who’s ever worked with one- you know that they can be pretty tricky to dial in, as you need to get the gravity-fed water to drip over your coffee at exactly the correct rate. Lots of valves and glass parts are NOT the easiest thing to navigate.
That’s where Kavnia stepped in. We can’t tell you too much about our patented brewing technology, but we took ALL the best parts of the traditional Kyoto-style brewers and brought them into the 21st century. Our brewing process allows us to play with all of the variables, extracting all the best parts of the beans and highlighting the exact flavor notes that we choose to. No muddy or dull cold coffee here!