From super-fresh nitro to unique flavors , cold-brew coffee is bringing a new level of excitement to the java world .
BY STEPHANIE KALINA-METZGER
Nothing unites the generations more than food . Boomers , Gen Xers and millennials alike all seem to be obsessed with farm-to-table restaurants , up-and-coming chefs and the beauty of plating for those picture-perfect Instagram feeds . It only stands to reason that beverages would soon have their day in the sun , with coffee now enjoying a moment thanks , in part , to the growing popularity of cold brew .
Cold-brew coffee bears the burden of being misunderstood , with many consumers confusing the product with iced coffee . The differences begin with the brewing process : While iced coffee is brewed quickly and at double strength to stand up to the ice it ’ s poured over , cold brew enjoys a considerably gentler and more leisurely process with a steeping time that ranges between 12 and 24 hours . Cool water is often used , resulting in a slightly sweeter and milder cup of joe .
Tom Ryan , director of operations and co-owner of Ryan Bros . Coffee ( the supplier for Lava Java at Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa and Airstream Cafe at Bahia Resort Hotel ), which got its start as a coffee cart right here in San Diego , is a huge proponent of cold brew , describing it as an improvement over today ’ s traditional brewing techniques . “ It ’ s actually an old method , not unlike making sun tea ,” he explains . “ We brew it at a lower temperature for a lot longer , resulting in lower levels of oil and pulp that can upset the stomach .”
Ryan Bros . Coffee is taking the coldbrew phenomenon to the next level by filling beer kegs with the product and pushing it through a tap system with nitrogen gas . The result is a smooth refreshment with a rich body and foamy head . “ We ’ ve imitated the beer draft system , but with gas ,” Ryan says , adding that the method is more sustainable than others , resulting in less waste . “ In some coffee shops , there is a 15-minute freshness