Hey all,

So, I've spent about the last month and a half experimenting (off and on) with the whole cold-brew idea, and have finally settled on a blend and method that I'm happy with.  

I pretty much just put a pound of medium-grind coffee into a 12Q pot, steep in cool water for 24 hours, and then filter through what amounts to a tea basket.  The final product is smooth, chocolaty, and has a wonderful buttery-but-light body.

Now my task is to adapt my method to be efficient in a café setting.  We're wanting to make this our standard for iced coffee, but the current method is too labor-intensive to implement effectively (it's impossible to pour it through the tiny basket without spilling, among other difficulties).

So I'm wondering, does anyone else do cold-brewed coffee in their shops?  If so, do you have a dedicated setup or do you do it in a way similar to what I described above?

Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

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we charg $1.80 for a 12oz cup of cold brew coffee toddy stile... and no we dont use it as an alternitiv but we can heat it up for pepole who like hot toddy same charg

Derryl Reid said:
Question 1)
I am wondering what is a common price for cold brew?
12oz on ice?

Question 2)
Does anybody offer cold brew as a hot low acid alternative? and if so at what price?

We were a selling a 12oz cup of iced cold brew for $3.50 at the farmers market. But really when I cost it out it should be more like $4.50. We are selling it in compostable cups
At Spro we use four cold brew towers and run them at least once a day. Brew time takes 10-12 hours.
Jay, we have been looking at purchasing some of those brewers. Can you tell me how concentrated the resulting brew is? We currently use the Toddy system with an 18 hour brew time and make our iced coffee at a ratio of about 3:1, water to coffee. Are you using that long brew time on the large 25 cup brewer or have you just found that a longer brew time results in a better brew. I'm just asking because we are trying to figure out what size brewer we will be needing and how many. Thanks for your input.

Jay Caragay said:
At Spro we use four cold brew towers and run them at least once a day. Brew time takes 10-12 hours.
We use the Filtron commercial (larger) cold brew system (http://www.filtron.com/Filtron-Pro_p_9.html). Used to use a home-rigged system, but the Filtron is well priced, can brew around 8 # of coffee at a time. We use a ratio of 1/2 gallon water to 1 lb. of ground coffee- using a flat bottom drip coffee grind, rather than a (often recommended) coarser/ french press grind.

It works well with the coffee we're using, customers love it. I recommend experimenting with different grinds to get your best extraction.
We've directly compared this method with traditional long refridgerated cold brewed. While the method works ok, far prefer traditional cold brewed cup.

Greg Aliff said:
I've just been doubling up on the grams of coffee i use in my pour over and sitting it on a cup of ice. Fast, easy, and taste great.

34g coffee, 8 oz ice in cup, 8 oz 200 deg water, hario pour over is what i'm using. Adjust grams per different roasts of coffee.
The fine mesh nylon staining bags work great for steeping larger batches of our custom chai too.

Simon Ouderkirk said:
We do all of our iced coffee at all three locations via cold brew. We use 5-gallon stainless steel food service urns with spigots, both to brew in and to serve out of. After some experimentation, we arrived on hop straining bags intended for home- and micro-brewers (you can find them a multitude of places online, if you're big enough, buy directly from Crosby & Baker). It works well, is easier and quicker on our closers than other methods (though openers have the added task of cleaning the bags), and produces better iced coffee more consistently.

I know other folks have had success using muslin bags, and other straining bags of various makes and materials.
Our brew towers produce one gallon of ready-to-use coffee every 10-12 hours. It is not a "concentrate" and does not require diluting with water. Simply chill, pour into a cup of ice and serve.

Our method is by no means the simplest, easiest or fastest. However, it produces excellent results and create visual stimulus that captures the attention of our guests and opens the door for conversation.
Thanks, Jay. Sounds like a great additional brew method. I have a better idea of how many we will need now.
My coffee shop uses the Toddy system although we customized it somewhat. We use 5lbs of our espresso blend and put it in a large filter and put it in a 5 gallon bucket. Then saturate the coffee making sure the grounds have all gotten wet (it takes about a gallon of water). We then tie off the filter and let it drop in the bucket and fill the bucket the rest of the way with water and let it set for about 12 hours. This will yield about 3 1/2 gallons of coffee concentrate. Then after you drain the coffee you can do a second brew with the same grounds by filling the bucket about half way with water and letting set for another 12 hours. This second brew will yield about 1 1/2 gallons of coffee concentrate so you get a totally of about 5 gallons. That way is working very well for us and being able to do the second brew makes this method even more cost effective.
3# coarsish-ground (ditting 7) viennese blend, 5 gal cold water, 24 hours. i like to crack out my customers. to smooth the coffee out, toss in a tsp of vanilla extract per half gallon or so of yield.

With three locations rather than the bigger more expensive 124oz Yama Cold Brew Towers we just went with three smaller 32oz Towers for the pizzaz wow conversation factor. We are now the ONLY shops in our area with them. Since output limited to 32oz about every 4 hours the bulk of cold brew will continure traditional less expensive methods. This time of year we would have needed multiple 124's each location to cover demand let alone the smaller ones.


In fact just arrived today. First dial in brewing using a City+ Eth Harrar I roasted 7 days ago. Turned out quite delish :)























That's Katie in the background busily bagging coffee for orders.


And Bry walking by...

This is the same method I'm currently using. It's nice and easy for staff to set up at the end of the day, and then whoever opens just has to get the brew filtering.

The only hiccup I've encountered is that even after straining off a lot of the large particles I find the filtering through coffee filters can take a couple of hours. I've got the space, so not a huge problem, but definitely wonder if there's a faster and more efficient method for filtering.

Jared Lee Hamilton said:

The method I use for cold brewing in a cafe is pretty simple.
You need 2 five gallon buckets, on five gallon bucket lid, a china cap or a bouillon strainer if you want to spend the extra money, a filter basket from a brew unit and paper filters and coffee of course.
Grind your coffee on french press setting 2.5 lbs and place in five gallon bucket add 7 quarts of water and stir to saturate grounds. Put on the lid and let it brew for atleast 10 hours which is about over night at most shops.(you can brew it longer you just have to make it earlier in the day also i like to put plastic wrap on the bucket before putting on lid) when it is done brewing stir and then pour through the china cap. This catches all the big particles. Then pour through paper filter into pitchers add 1/2 water and half concentrate in a pitcher. or use a commercial cold brew toddy http://www.toddycafe.com/business/coffeehouses.php

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