Why Isn't All Cold Brew True Cold Brew?

A few months ago, you may remember a post talking about what makes authentic kombucha. Well, as the warm seasons approach us, it’s time to turn our attention to Joyride’s first love: Cold Brew. Cold Brew is relatively new on the market. Most people are still confusing it with their regular watery iced coffee. I would say the two are related but in a very distant cousin way. You both share some similar attributes, but you aren't inviting them to the family holiday party. As we know, with all new markets comes companies trying to take that product and make it fit within their company boundaries. So, this lead us to the question: what makes authentic cold brew?

The beauty of cold brew is that it is (at least in Joyride terms) brewed cold, kept cold, and served cold. This doesn't exactly provide ideal parameters for shelf stable products, which are the norm in todays grocery stores. While shelf stable cold brew products could have been made in the traditional way, eventually they would have to be sterilized in order to survive outside the fridge. Sterilization = exposure to super high heat. The sterilization process is accomplished by heating a product to 275 - 293°F and then quickly cooling it. This sort of exposure gets rid of that flavor so highly sought after in cold brew and depletes the quality that we champion here at Joyride.

Let me frame it in another way: if you were given the choice of freshly squeezed orange juice or a brand orange juice sitting on a room temperature shelf, which would you choose? Did you choose the fresh option? Good, you passed. 

Now this does not mean that shelf stable cold brew products aren't worth trying, but cold brew is more than just a name. Cold brew is an experience — a delicious, flavorful, experience. If companies start slapping "cold brew" on every semi similar product, it’s going to dilute the category. Since cold brew is so new on the market, it doesn’t have an official process or designation (we think it should), leaving room for some convincing imposter products. As a consumer, you see cold brew being advertised and then go to the store and grab something off the shelf that isn't the true thing, it's not going to be worth it. 

If you're looking to give cold brew a whirl, make sure you know what you're buying. At Joyride we make sure our recipe is transparent, using only water and coffee in a process that never requires heat. Brewed cold, kept cold, served cold. 

Are you now craving some TRUE cold brew? At Joyride we make our own cold brew using our roaster’s incredible beans! Learn more about getting Joyride kegs (yes, kegs!) for your office here.

By Emily Cohen, NYC Intern