Trends & lifestyle
There’s no question that Cold Brew’s popularity is escalating, with coffee lovers opting for the cool beverage over classic hot drinks like Espresso or Americano. In recent years, coffee shops worldwide have expanded their repertoire to include a vast Cold Brew selection that satisfies every taste, from simple to flavoured. Gen Z and Millennials, in particular, have gravitated toward the drink and have even started preparing it at home. Their habits helped nudge coffee culture into the so-called Fourth Wave.
The rise of the Fourth Wave
The early 2000s ushered in coffee’s Third Wave, a movement that started to veer coffee off its mostly industrial course. Accordingly, the specialty coffee boom associated with the Third Wave emphasised a focus on quality. It even inspired new signature drinks, such as the Flat White, and brewing contraptions like the AeroPress.
As coffee culture has evolved, coffee lovers have started to lean toward new drinks and habits developed from a less rigid approach–one characterised by more freedom to experiment. As coffee enthusiasts started to forego Espresso and Americano for Cold Brew, they began creative with the latter. As a result, coffee has generally started to play more of a supporting role in this new surge of beverages that characterise the Fourth Wave, but Cold Brew stands front and centre.
The Fourth Wave expands on the Third Wave to forge coffee culture ahead. There’s no question that coffee culture switched gears during the pandemic as the lockdown inspired coffee lovers to recreate their favourite coffee shop creations at home. However, some of the most adventurous took it even further, infusing their beverages with whimsy and playfulness in the form of fruity and floral flavours, colours, cold foams, and even wellness ingredients.
What is Cold Brew?
Coffee’s Fourth Wave has catapulted the versatile, easy-to-mix Cold Brew into the spotlight.
Yet, for all its simplicity, Cold Brew is arguably the most daunting to prepare at home. Unlike Iced Coffee, which calls for adding ice to hot coffee, Cold Brew requires (at least) a 12-hour steep and, consequently, the patience to wait for the steep to run its course. Moreover, since it’s never heated, Cold Brew has less bitterness and acidity than hot Espresso as these two distinct flavours arise from the hot brewing process.
Entering this new consumption scenario, De’Longhi developed its ground-breaking Cold Extraction Technology for coffee lovers who want to experiment with their favourite coffee shop beverages at home. The first of its kind, De’Longhi Cold Extraction Technology, found in the fully automatic Eletta Explore and La Specialista Maestro manual machine, creates Cold Brew drinks in under 5 minutes.
Hashtag #ColdBrew is also multiplying. Cheryl Giles, De’Longhi’s Australia-based Product Trainer, has noticed an uptick in Cold Brew content and recipes on social media. She credits Cold Brew’s light, refreshing, bright taste, especially during the summer, as the motivation for its role in “great recipes that honour the coffee flavour as the hero. Things like Cold Brew with lemon cream or Tiramisu Cold Brew and mocktail-style recipes are really starting to dominate the coffee posts.”
Though the lengthy at-home preparation time is discouraging, Cold Brew’s ever-increasing popularity has prompted home baristas to give it a whirl, even motivating coffee lovers to upgrade their home coffee machines. With the Fourth Wave underway, De’Longhi Eletta Explore makes for an ideal starting point.
Transforming with integrity
De’Longhi’s effort in promoting sustainability in the coffee industry has been realised through Honduras, its first-ever Specialty Coffee developed in partnership with Slow Food