The History of Cold Brew Coffee

By Evelina •  Updated: 06/21/21 •  8 min read

According to legend, Dutch sailors used to prepare cold-brew coffee extract to take on long trips so they would drink coffee on the ship.

Dutch businessmen arrived in Japan, who maintained a historical habit of making iced tea they brought with them a novel technique of manufacturing cold coffee.

The term “Kyoto” refers to the first recorded evidence of cold brew coffee that started in Japan around the 17th century. 

The Japanese often brew cold coffee for hours at a time, getting all aroma from the seed; they also built sophisticated equipment to brew coffee in popular places!

You came to the right place to get informed about your beloved Cold brew! Remember…To be called a true coffee enthusiast is not just about enjoying or making a good cup of coffee, but also to know some facts or history events of that coffee that you are sipping!

What Is Cold Brew?

Cold Brew coffee is simply coffee that is brewed with cold or cool water as opposed to hot water. The idea of making iced coffee has been around for a while now, but it’s just recently that coffee shops have started selling ready-to-drink bottles of cold brew.

In fact, companies like Starbucks have jumped on the bandwagon and released iced drinks made with their own special cold brew concentrate. So what makes this new trend so special? Well for starters its strong flavor profile makes it a great base for mixing cocktails.

Cold Brew Coffee Traveling Through History And Places

16th Century

By this time, ice brewing tea had become popular in Japan. Tea flowers are bathed in cold lake water before being placed to boil.

17th Century

Cold Brew is famous for its strong caffeine levels, and Dutch mariners utilized cold brew extract to keep and preserve caffeine on lengthy nautical trips in the 17th century.

While exchanging cold brew with the Japanese, they were mostly inspired and developed their new brewing process called the Kyoto-Drip.

19th Century

Eventually, in the nineteenth century, cold brew expanded to the American lands and was considered the preferred brewing process for army supplies.

The French in Paris, also experimented with cold brew and developed the refreshing Coffee Beverage (citrus ,cold brew, rum, and water). Cold Brew’s popularity grew around the globe.

Related Article: Cold Brew Coffee Recipe with Aeropress

Cold Brew Coffee in 1920

Cold brewed coffee extract receives a twist in Cuba. Cuban cold coffee is prepared from extra sharp grinds that are continuously soaked in ice water before absorbing.

Cold beverages are also becoming increasingly famous across the world In New Orleans, chicory flower is sprinkled to coffee before mashing.

Chicory plant, in addition to providing taste, cuts the coffee, helping it last more.

Related Article: Best Coffee for Cold Brew

20th Century

The earliest cold brew technology was developed long ago in the twentieth century, inspired by Peruvian brewed coffee. After that, slowly came to Europe finally!

It wasn’t till then that cold brew coffee became the market leader that it is nowadays, starting in 2013. 

Cold brew and it’s methods can now be found in your local coffee shop these days, and all over the world.

Cold Brew Coffee in 2021

Cold brew completes it’s journey. Using a method influenced from tea preparation techniques, the Cold Brew sold in capsules, enable at-home brewing, super easy, like creating your beloved cup of herbal tea, but it’s coffee.

How to make Cold Brew

The great thing about cold brew coffee is that it’s really easy to make at home. You just need a few tools and some basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

-A large container or pitcher that can hold at least 2 quarts

-A fine mesh strainer

-A coffee filter or cheesecloth

-Ground coffee (preferably a dark roast)

-Cold water

To make the cold brew, simply add the ground coffee to the pitcher and then add enough cold water to cover. Stir well and let sit for 12-24 hours. After that, use the strainer to strain out the grounds and then pour the liquid into a clean container. Store in the fridge and enjoy cold.

It’s also possible to make the cold brew ahead of time and store it for up to 2 weeks. Just be sure that you strain out the coffee grounds before putting it in the fridge or into a clean container. It is then ready to drink just like any other cold beverage, however adding milk or cream usually makes it taste better!

If you want even stronger cold brew, use more coffee and let sit for more than 24 hours. This will cause more of the coffee oils and flavors to infuse into the water which will result in a heartier, bolder drink.

Cold Brew vs. Cold Drip

While cold brew coffee and cold drip coffee are both made without heat, the two methods produce very different drinks. Cold drip coffee is made by slowly dripping cold water over a bed of grounds, which takes hours. The end result is a high-quality cup of coffee with a clean acidity and little bitterness.

Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, is made by steeping coarsely ground beans in room temperature or cold water for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, depending on how concentrated you want the final product to be (the longer you steep the grounds, the stronger the flavor).

Because heating evaporates volatile aromatic compounds that contribute to taste and aroma, cold brewing yields a smoother cup with less acidity.

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ

What is special about cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is made with water that is chilled or at room temperature, it takes on a sweeter flavor that many people find more palatable than hot-brewed coffee. Plus it actually contains more caffeine because more coffee grounds are needed to make it in comparison to a regular hot brew.

Cold brew is made by steeping coarsely ground beans in room temperature or cold water for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, depending on how concentrated you want the final product to be (the longer you steep the grounds, the stronger the flavor).

Because heating evaporates volatile aromatic compounds that contribute to taste and aroma, cold brewing yields a smoother cup with less acidity. All these facts make cold brew a very special drink. So if you’re looking for a mellower, more flavorful cup of joe, give cold brew a try!

Why was Cold Brew Coffee Invented?

Dutch tradesmen often used to create cold-brew coffee concentration to take on lengthy trips so that they could enjoy coffee aboard. 

They would boil hot water and utilize this concentration to produce steaming coffee, it is said.

But now we are in 2021 so to make your life easier we made a list with the best cold brew coffee makers so you can make the same coffee in a few steps!

Why Is It Called Cold Brew Coffee?

This form of coffee got the nickname from the coffee’s reputation in the region of Kyoto. For centuries, the Japanese used to brew iced coffee to obtain maximum taste from the coffee bean.

When Did Cold Brew Coffee become Popular?

Its cool serving temperature exploded in popularity among French military men in Algeria in 1840, when soldiers consumed a coffee extract mixed with ice water to combat the extreme climate. For the sake of ease, Civil War troops in America drank an identical sort of coffee years later.

What’s So Great About Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew is still a trendy beverage nowadays. Cold brew coffee is softer, richer, and less bitter than hot coffee, which makes it attractive to youth looking for a caffeinated and quick option to sodas and other chemically sugar drinks.

Last Thoughts

Cold brew coffee has traveled so far away and every colony had the chance to transform it and enjoy it. It’s origin started in Asia and later via American civilization to Europe in the 20th century.

The processing is the key to a deliciously textured cup of brew. The heating rate may have a significant impact on the flavor of the brew. 

As a result, coffee enthusiasts all over the globe have embraced cold brewing as a technique of filtration.

That’s also due to the fact that cold brew produces a subtle and delicious cup of joe that is ideal for drinking.

To be called a coffee lover,is not just enjoying or making a great cup of coffee, but is also to know some coffee history and interesting facts! We are here to teach you our knowledge via trustworthy sources as always.


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.