The post-Starbucks coffee trend of third-wave coffee, popularly embodied by places like Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco and Brooklyn, refers to a meticulous brewing process that’s more chemistry lab, less café. These outposts and their patrons will espouse the benefits of slow-drip coffee as having more flavor and less acidity. It’s especially true during the hotter (albeit now winding down) seasons, when iced coffee orders skyrocket. Most iced coffee, however, is just leftover drip coffee playing dress up with ice cubes.
"Real" cold brew coffee happens one of two ways: Full immersion brewing, which mimics the French press but takes half a day to brew. The second is slow-drip brewing, which more delicately captures the coffee flavor by not flooding the beans all at once. Done right, it's akin to wine (or beer for some): There are notes of different spices, the coffee can be nutty or like caramel. It’s no wonder why the counter-service market has done so well. But the same experience hasn’t been available for at-home cold coffee drinkers, until now: A newly launched coffee maker on Kickstarter—the Cold Bruer—could fill that white space in the market.
"You can walk into a third-wave coffee shop and see these giant contraptions that look like lab equipment, slowly dripping coffee," says Cold Bruer cofounder Andy Clark. "If you want to try the cold brew from these things, you're going have to be willing to pay a pretty high price for it." Consumer options like the Yama produce great coffee, and look astounding, but have elevated price points that don’t appeal to typical coffee drinkers.
Clark and his cohort, Gabe Herz, created the Cold Bruer first and foremost for user convenience—which wasn’t easy: "We were trying to make a piece of equipment that is normally three feet tall shrink down to be able to fit in the refrigerator," Clark says. They also wanted it to work with existing Aeropress filters for consumer convenience. By modeling the Bruer partly after the simple technology of a Chemex, Clark and Herz crafted a 24-ounce borosilicate glass and added their own food-grade silicone adjustable valve to separate the coffee and water chambers—where the actual dripping happens. Then it's just 3 to 12 hours (depending on your preference) until cold, full-bodied, almond-y, herbal-tinged, cold coffee is ready to serve.
Get your own Cold Bruer for $50, through the team's Kickstarter campaign.