why brewing with cold drip makes a better cold brew
How is cold drip better than cold brew?
Cold drip extracts the complex flavors from coffee beans that brewing with an immersion device (e.g., french press, mason jar) can’t achieve. While cold drip makers today are a bit challenging to use, Jova is trying to change that with our first device!
Here at Jova, we’re making a cold drip cold brew maker. While we know that our brewing style is able to extract flavors from coffee that other brewing styles can’t, we’ve become acutely aware that terms like infusion or cold drip aren’t familiar to a lot of folks. So to better explain why we think our cold brew coffee maker is so good, we thought we should start by explaining what’s special about how we’re brewing.
To figure out how you’re brewing, ask yourself two questions: what temperature is the water, and what is that water doing:
Temperature: Cold brew uses cold (or room temperature) water, and hot coffee uses hot water (typically just under boiling).
Activity: If water is just stewing with the beans, it’s immersion (i.e., a french press). If water is moving through the coffee, its infusion (i.e., an automatic coffee maker).
But What Works for Cold Brew?
Immersion is basically the only widely used cold brewing method right now, and most people think of the two as the same. But why?
The ubiquity of using immersion to brew cold comes down to how cold or lukewarm water brews coffee: much... more... slowly. It’s easy to brew a hot infusion coffee, because hot water extracts coffee solubles more quickly.
But cold water extracts solubles much, much more slowly, which means that you either need a device that can move water through the beans very, very slowly (that’s what we’re doing!), or you just drop the coffee in water and wait. If you were to do a Chemex with cold water, you’d get a gross cup of watery, coffee-flavored tea.
Brewing Cold Drip
There are devices that do a cold infusion today. We refer to this style as cold drip, because they drip water into the beans slowly, and let gravity pull the water through the beans.
If you’ve visited a Blue Bottle, or your favorite local premium coffee shop, you might have seen a cold drip tower - made of glass and wood, three feet tall, and looking like someone stole it from the chemistry lab. These devices have their challenges - they’re not super friendly to use, for one - but they make damn good cold brew.
Which is why we want to bring cold brew into the routines of people who love coffee! The methods of extracting the beans with moving water is able to extract complex flavors from the beans that you can’t get through a simple immersion extraction. It’s a more efficient way of brewing. If you care about brewing the best possible cold brew, an infusion approach is the way to go.
We like good coffee, we like cold brew, and we know that cold drip is the way to get the best of both worlds.
Have you tried cold drip? Where was it? What did you think? Tell us in the comments!