Cold brew is all the rage these days. Cold brewing aka “toddy method” aka “cold press” refers to the process of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period. The theory is that time replaces heat. Since the beans are never exposed to high temperature, the cold water extracts the flavors slowly revealing a more distinct taste profile and excreting less acid than regular brewed coffee.
These days you can find cold brews at any third wave coffee shop. There are DIY kits available in stores, you but got to be prepared to drop a ton of cash. I’ve attempted a homemade version where I put grounds in a cheesecloth to soak overnight, but the results were a little murky with lots of sediment. I had to double strain it. A bit of work required. Since I’m lazy, that was a no go.
Then, I was sent this cold brew coffee kit from a start-up called Collar Cold Brew.
The young brother-sister startup is definitely capitalizing on the trend. They bag the coffee, box it, send you a mason jar and an instruction card that explains how to make your own cold brew coffee at home. It’s SUPER easy.
They launched December of 2014 and their goal was to create an accessible way to introduce everyday coffee drinkers to third wave specialty coffees and use a language everyone can understand — taste.
Founders Rachel and Jonathan Mines decided to focus on cold brew since it is a relatively new-ish product. Brother Jonathan, has over eight years of coffee industry experience having started as a barista in high school, then working as a roaster in college and later becoming involved in the “science” of coffee as well as the marketing of it.
Rachel explains, “Many people don’t realize that coffee has natural flavors – it IS a fruit, after all… We also realized that all the (coffee) names intimidate some people – Colombian, French Roast, Costa Rican etc…” The idea was to get people to choose based on flavor alone and not complicate the decision with other factors.
The product is pretty basic. On the pouch, you get a description of the tasting notes and that’s it. (Side note: As someone who likes to know where my coffee is sourced, I found that I missed knowing which region my coffee was coming from. However, to a novice coffee drinker, one might not care so much.)
The coffee comes in delicate filter-type bag similar to those you’d find in your room in a hotel.
About a 1/2 cup of coffee inside, it allows for you to easily soak the coffee grinds eliminating any sediment (like you might get in a French Press).
When I received the package, I was so eager to try it out that I ripped open the black plastic bag and accidentally also ripped the pouch holding the coffee inside. Open with caution, guys.
Luckily I was sent three samples…
The process is very much like making tea. The longer you steep, the stronger it will be.
The 18 oz mason jar they give you yields about 2 servings of concentrate which then can be served with water or milk, served hot or on ice. The company recommends 8 hours at minimum to create the cold brew concentrate. I found 2:1 to be a good ratio for dilution. (Tip: Try it chilled and pour on ice cream to make an affogato!)
Set it to soak overnight and when you wake up in the morning, you’ve got a tasty caffeinated beverage.
Here are the steps:
Each packet makes 2-3 drinks and costs $3.45 which is less than a bottle of cold brew at a coffee shop.
Overall, cool product. Easy to use. Great for traveling.
[Note: I was sent the product for review. All opinions are my own]