Trends & Lifestyle

Cold Brew is taking over Iced Coffee (and other drinks, too)

When it comes to cold coffee, many people use the terms “Iced Coffee” and “Cold Brew” interchangeably. However, these two drinks are not the same. Iced Coffee is the more popular option that involves starting with hot coffee and then cooling it down before serving it over ice. On the other hand, Cold Brew is made by steeping ground coffee in room-temperature water.

Although Cold Brew has gained popularity in recent years, its history can be traced back centuries. Dutch traders introduced coffee to Japan in the 17th century, and locals soon began steeping coffee grounds in cold river water, much like tea leaves. This method gained popularity in Kyoto and became known as Cold Brew, named after the city. The earliest documentation of Cold Brew also refers to it as the Kyoto-style coffee.

What is Cold Brew?

Compared to Iced Coffee, Cold Brew requires at least a 12-hour extraction process. This results in a less acidic and bitter taste, with a smoother and naturally sweeter flavor that often eliminates the need for added sweeteners. Additionally, the floral aromas of the coffee beans remain intact during the Cold Brew process, revealing nuances not found in hot brewing.

Cold Brew ticks all the boxes

Cold Brew’s lower acidity makes it a gentler option for those with sensitive stomachs, and many ready-to-drink Cold Brews contain natural ingredients, appealing to those who avoid artificial flavors or preservatives. This versatile drink can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for drinks like Cold Brew Lattes or cocktails. Its popularity has increased thanks to specialty coffee shops and global chains offering it, making it a favorite of millennials who enjoy it both at coffee shops and at home.

The numbers don’t lie: we love Cold Brew

According to a major coffee shop chain, cold beverages accounted for 75% of its drink sales from April through June 2022.* Even in the winter, cold drinks made up 60% of Starbucks’ beverage sales, and their consumption has moved beyond just the morning hours. While this popularity is often attributed to Gen Z customers, there are other factors at play.

De’Longhi’s survey of coffee lovers worldwide revealed that Cold Brew ranked in the top three coffee drinks, not just as a seasonal fad but as a year-round favorite. Half of Cold Brew lovers even enjoy it during colder months. If Cold Brew was not available, half of those who consume ready-to-drink versions would opt for juice or a soft drink instead. This highlights Cold Brew’s status as a healthier alternative to sugary beverages, with fewer calories than other options. 

Cold Brew at home

The pandemic ushered in coffee’s fourth wave – focused on at-home coffee preparation, as consumers sought to recreate the café experience, improve their skills, and save money. With a plethora of early adopter products like powders and pods available, manufacturers of home coffee products are competing with cafes to offer the “experience” of going out for coffee. While Cold Brew is growing in popularity, the 12-hour preparation time discourages people from making it at home. However, new technology has changed the game.

Cold Brew at home in less than five minutes? Yes, indeed

De’Longhi’s exclusive brand-new Cold Extraction Technology  has made preparing Cold Brew at home easier than ever. According to Plamena Stavreva, De’Longhi’s Global Category Lead, they are the first brand to present this technology for both an automatic machine and a range of manual machines using coffee beans instead of pods.

The fully automatic Eletta Explore and the bean-to-cup manual machine, La Specialista Maestro, both feature this technology, allowing coffee lovers to enjoy Cold Brew at home in under 5 minutes rather than waiting 12 hours. Furthermore, when stored in the fridge, Cold Brew maintains its distinct flavour profile for up to 10 days.

As Cold Brew’s popularity continues to grow, coffee lovers can further develop their at-home coffee, with ease.

(*Source: WGSN)

Eletta Explore

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