Iced coffee isn’t anything new.
That said, iced coffee and “cold brew” coffee are not one in the same, and I’d argue that cold brew coffee is quickly becoming more popular than that old standard. I hear about it all the time, from fancy coffee chains, to smaller local coffee shops.
Will cold brew take over? I’m skeptical, but it’s a trend worth watching. —Daniela Galarza of Eater
I have to agree with Daniela. While cold brew coffee definitely falls into the “trend” category right now (even if it has been around for a while), I really don’t see it going anywhere. In the same way “pour over” coffee has really taken off as an everyday brew method.
So. Iced coffee vs. cold brew. Is there a difference? The anwer is simple:
Iced coffee is made by cooling regular brewed coffee, and then serving it in a glass over ice. It’s a great way to use leftover coffee from the morning, repurposed as a pick-me-up in the afternoon!
Cold brew is made by actually using ice water to brew the coffee, so it’s never hot at any point. The method extracts the natural flavors and aromatics of your coffee without the bitter flavors, creating a balanced and smooth coffee.
Dripo reached out a few weeks back and asked if I’d be willing to share my experience using their Japanese style slow-drip coffee maker. And, being the coffee fan that I am, it didn’t take long for me to agree. The box arrived, and naturally I was eager to give it a whirl — and not just because of the clever packaging!
Dripo is like nothing I’ve seen before. It’s compact, simple to use, and operates without any sort of batteries or electricity.
The pieces come already assembled, but there’s a set of easy-to-follow instructions to guide you on how to use it. I appreciated that, given I’ve never done any sort of cold brew method before. Seriously, the hardest part of the whole process was waiting two hours to enjoy an icy cold cupful.
Understanding the timing in advance is helpful, especially if you’ve only ever brewed coffee the traditional hot way (which, for me, is ready in about 5 or 10 minutes), because…
A) You can’t expect to cold brew and then run right out the door, though that’s not a deal-breaker.
B) The whole reason cold brew has caught on is because of how the slow drip pulls new flavors from the bean, almost giving a notes of unbitter sweetness to the coffee.
I figure you can prep your Dripo in the morning for an afternoon treat, or you can get it ready the night before if you prefer cold brew in the morning. Just set it up, throw it in the fridge to keep cold, and let it do its work unattended.
It’s really that simple, folks.
And as for the coffee’s taste, it’s smooth and strong when filled with grounds to the recommended level. Though using less grounds would make a less strong cup, and more grounds a stronger cup … quite the pedantic comment, I know.
I also love that I can use my regular coffee grounds, because that’s super practical. No need to buy anything different!