The Method: Cold Brew Science

Jun 29, 2017

Cold brew coffee requires a steeping time measured in hours.
Credit Mike Carlucci/via Flickr Creative Commons

Cold brew coffee is about four hundred years old, but right now, it’s enjoying its latest renaissance. Exactly why cold brew is back en vogue isn’t clear – theories range from young consumers who want to replicate the experiences of cold sodas to the influence of international coffee growers.

Last year, we wanted to know about the science behind hot coffee. We heard from Pierce LaMacchia, who owns two coffee shops in Knoxville. He said two of the major factors that determine the unique experience of coffee are temperature and time: Hot water, brought into contact with ground coffee for just a few minutes.

Cold brew's process is exactly the opposite: cooler water and a steeping time measured in hours. What gives? To help us learn about the science of cold brew, Pierce is back for this edition of The Method.