The History of Cold Brew Coffee

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Pre-1600

The reputed cold brew coffee history started when Dutch traders from Indonesia introduced it to Japan in the early 1600s.

Dutch traders developed it to produce large quantities of portable coffee, which they would later sometimes reheat and often serve cold. [1

The 1600s – 1800s

The history of cold-brewed coffee started with a triangle of Japan, Dutch traders and cold-brewed coffee. The Japanese were familiar with cold brew tea before the 1600s. And when The Dutch traders introduced them to cold brew coffee, they became very familiar with it because they were already used to cold brew tea.

The question arises whether the Japanese were already familiar with the Cold Brew or the Dutch traders introduced them to it? I would answer that it was the Dutch traders who introduced the cold brew coffee to the Japanese. And I have a plausible argument for that. And my argument is: cold-brewed coffee is known and sold as a Dutch Drip throughout Japan. And that is my argument: Dutch traders have introduced them to Japan, so it is known as Dutch Drip in Japan and neighboring countries such as South Korea.

Cold Brew Coffee in South Korea

And my argument becomes even stronger in this way: John, one of my close friends, recently visited South Korea. “I’ve seen all the places in South Korea where cold coffee is sold, and it’s sold all over South Korea as Dutch Drip,” he says.

My argument became stronger: due to South Korea’s proximity to Japan, cold coffee became popular in South Korea soon after Japan. And also, it may have been introduced by Dutch traders in South Korea as well. That is why it is known as Dutch drip in South Korea.

The Japanese are sharp and wise. They found out that man is very impatient, where he will wait 12 to 24 hours for coffee beans to steep into the cold water. So they did a great job on cold coffee and tried to come up with many alternatives for the betterment of human beings: Kyoto coffee, drip coffee, and pour-over coffee.

The 1800s – 1900s

The History of Cold Brew Coffee in the US

That was before I wrote this article.

One day I suddenly queried on Google, “The History of Cold Brew Coffee in the US”. I started reading the article, which was in the first position. (I don’t know at which position that article is now? Because the position of websites’ articles on Google SERP keeps changing.)

Oh! What did he write? I was shocked!

The author writes that cold brew coffee became popular in the United States only ten years ago. He denied any relationship of cold brew coffee with the US in the past.

Oh my God! It is not true. Then what is the truth? Let me tell you!

Research has shown that cold-brewed coffee has been introduced in the US for at least 160 years. I will go ahead and prove it in my article. Complete my article carefully. You’ll find the proof. 

Cold Brew Coffee Relation With Civil War

The time from the 1800s to the 1900s was the time of wars. During this time, the USA fought four major wars. The War of 1812 – 1815 was fought between Britain and the USA. The war of 1846–1848 was fought between the USA and Mexico, which was won by the USA. The part that fell into the hands of the US in this war is today called California.

From 1861 to 1865 the largest war of the century was fought between the North and the South. Soldiers on both sides were killed in large numbers. In 1898 a battle was fought between Spain and the USA, which the USA won.

Like the USA, the UK spent the 1800s in battles. Britain fought 36 wars in this century. [2]

During these wars, soldiers desperately needed coffee to keep themselves fit. And it was a very difficult task for the soldiers to prepare the coffee syrup on the fire. So here comes the method of cold brew coffee invented by Dutch traders.

And the name of the syrup from which the United Kingdom and the USA, in particular, kept their soldiers awake – nothing else – is your well-known beverage – cold brew coffee.

Cold-brewed coffee was bottled and delivered to European and US military bases. Once Cold Brew’s stock arrived, the soldiers’ two weeks passed comfortably.

Cold Brew Coffee Relation With Hawaiian Kona Coffee

One of Hawaiian coffee, the most famous coffee bean globally, is now known as Kona Coffee Beans. I had studied the history of Kona coffee: when Brazilian coffee beans were attacked by disease during the wars of the 1800s, and it became difficult for the US military to meet the demand for coffee, at that time the Kona coffee beans were the only coffee beans that met the needs of the US soldiers.

US Army soldiers enjoying cold brew coffee
 US Army soldiers enjoying(maybe cold brew) coffee at their coffee time.

And from there, Kona coffee beans also gained fame. Now bloggers write articles on it under the name of Best Kona coffee beans. I have also written an article in great detail on Kona Coffee called “The Best Kona Coffee Beans.”

The relationship between cold-brewed coffee and Kona coffee is that Kona coffee beans accounted for the largest share of the coffee beans that served the needs of US troops during the US wars. And Cold Brewing was the method by which Kona Coffee beans’ syrup was made. So it turns out that the best and fit coffee beans for the best cold brew are The tastiest Kona Coffee Beans.

US Army soldiers at their Coffee time
 US Army soldiers at their Coffee time

Let me tell you the real story! Coffee beans were often roasted and sent to military camps. Ordinary civilian servants were stationed in military camps to grind coffee beans. They grind coffee beans as needed and make cold brew coffee concentrate for soldiers, which the military soldiers use for one or two weeks.

Once the syrup finished, a new cold brew was made. Remember that this was a cold brew coffee concentrate used by the US military mixed with water or milk.

Because the Cold Brew was so easy to make, every US soldier made his own Cold Brew with great passion and ease. And let me tell you–it wasn’t really hard to make Cold Brew coffee. It’s very simple and easy.

If you want to make cold brewing coffee at home, there are two steps. The first step is to buy coffee beans and it’s a bit complicated. But here are some guides to help you get started:

What is coffee cherry?

How to buy coffee beans for your cold brew?

How many types of coffee beans are there?

What is the difference between coffee beans?

What is the difference between Arabica and Robusta beans?

And there are a number of guides relevant to coffee for your help on the Coffee Aim blog.  

Oh, it happened so much so you won’t be fed up. So don’t fall into the trap of reading so much and follow my instructions for brewing cold brew coffee.

A Simple Recipe For Your Cold Brew Coffee

Buy whole coffee beans from the market. Grind them in a home grinder by your hands. Mix one cup of coffee grounds and four cups of water in a pot. Keep these coffee grounds mixed with water at room temperature for 12–24 hours. After 12 or 24 hours, filter the water thoroughly. Your cold brew coffee concentrate is ready. Put it in the fridge and use it in a week or two.

Do not buy pre-ground coffee beans from the market. Because you should know what is the difference between buying whole coffee beans and pre-grounds? If you are in a hurry, it is good to make cold brew coffee with pre-grounds, but they will not make a delicious taste.

Oh! Looks like I’ve gone too far! My topic then is the history of Cold Brew Coffee. Let’s get back to our topic.

I would say that in the 1800s, the needs of soldiers were met with cold brew coffee. I’m not doing this on my own. I have proof of that.

You can read this book, “Civil War Recipes: Recipes from the Pages of Godey’s Lady’s Book.” By reading this book, you will understand my position. I have also included a picture of the title of the book in the article. And the page picture of the article I am referring to has also been included in my article to easily understand my point of view by studying this page picture.

Louis Antoine Godey
 Louis Antoine Godey (June 6, 1804 – November 29, 1878) Owner and founder of Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine
Sarah Josepha Hale
 Sarah Josepha Hale. (October 24, 1788 – April 30, 1879) editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine.

About the book “Civil War Recipes.”

About The Author

Lily May Spaulding was a retired registered nurse. She operated a restaurant in Vermont in the 1940s.

Her son, John Spaulding, was a clinical psychologist, and he is also the author of two volumes of poetry. He worked for the Phoenix Area of the Indian Health Service when he wrote this book.

About The Book

The title page of the book "Civil War Recipes."

The title page of the book “Civil War Recipes.”

This book is about recipes used by US troops in war food during the period around 1862. Or the recipes that were used to provide food to the US soldiers are mentioned in this book.

About The Publisher

University Press of Kentucky, US, published this book on February 10, 1999.

Lily May Spaulding, the mother of the author of the book, wrote the book’s preface, and John Spaulding wrote the entire book. John Spaulding describes in this book a coffee recipe which he calls “Coffee Syrup”. 

page no. 50 from the book Civil War Recipes

This is the picture of the page no. 50 from the book Civil War Recipes. The recipe of Cold brew coffee is described on this page.

You can also read his written recipe once in his words. He wrote: “This confection is exceedingly handy to travellers when proceeding on a long journey. Take half a pound of the best, roasted, ground coffee; boil the same in a saucepan containing three quarts of water until the quantity is reduced to one quart; strain the latter off, and, when fined of all impurities, introduce the liquor into another clean saucepan, and let it boil over again, adding as much Lisbon sugar to it as will constitute a thick syrup, like treacle; remove from the fire, and, when cold, pour it into bottles, corking the same tight down for use. Two teaspoonfuls of the syrup introduced into a moderate-sized teacup, and filled up with boiling water, will be fit for immediate use. If milk is at hand, use it ad libitum. Use regular granulated sugar.”

US Army soldiers enjoying coffee

US Army soldiers enjoying (maybe cold brew) coffee

Although the recipe mentioned above is not a complete cold brew recipe, it is definitely similar to a cold brew coffee recipe.

So the above conversations prove that cold brew coffee has been in the United States for 160 years. But the difference between the old days and the present is that before it was not popular, now it is popular. The second difference is that the cold brew has been used as a necessity before and is now being consumed as a fashion. Earlier people used to use it sometimes only for long journeys, but now it has become their lifestyle in their daily routine.

The History of Cold Brew Coffee in the UK

Camp Coffee poster

A Camp Coffee poster, among other advertisements on a tenement building in the UK, in 1929.

In British forces like the US, we also find evidence of the use of cold-brewed coffee. An article titled “A History of the World” was published on the BBC site, [ ] which tells the history of Cold Brew Coffee and its relationship with the British forces.

The article states that Campbell Petersen received a request from Gordon Highlanders, a British regiment fighting in India: The regular process for making coffee for the British troops fighting in India was the big problem.

It is not an easy task for soldiers to roast coffee beans, grind them, and brew them differently. Can you tell us an easy way to meet our coffee needs and save time? So at the request of Gordon Highlanders, Cold Brewed Coffee was produced.

Cold-brewed coffee was brewed in the UK. It is then bottled and shipped to military troops. England’s first cold-brewed coffee was named Camp Coffee. The word camp refers to a camp of soldiers. Camp coffee means Soldiers’ coffee.

The History of The World’s Oldest Cold Brew Coffee Brand

Camp Coffee

Original label of Camp Cold Brew Coffee

Original label of Camp Cold Brew Coffee. 
Disclaimer: We have applied this image for study purposes only. It is not our intention to insult any section of society.

Camp Coffee was the world’s first cold brew product produced in 1876 by Paterson & Sons Ltd in Glasgow, England. It is the world’s oldest and most famous cold brew coffee company. The Company produced cold brew coffee bottled and shipped for British Army troops fighting in India.

The Brief History of Modern Cold Brew Coffee Brands And Products

Stone Street Coffee Company

Stone Street is artisanal quality coffee for every New Yorker. With an unparalleled approach to freshness, every bean they roast right over the bridge in Brooklyn.

Stone Street Coffee Company

Stone Street Coffee Company, Brooklyn, NY, United States.

Stone Street Company sells more than 28 types of whole coffee beans, six types of coffee pods, twenty types of blends for cold brew, and a lot more. Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian Supremo Coffee is one of the most famous coffee products of the Company.

Cafe Du Monde Coffee Company

Café du Monde was owned by the Fernandez family, founded in 1862. 

Café du Monde, New Orleans, United States.

Café du Monde, New Orleans, United States.

It is a renowned open-air coffee shop located on Decatur Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Café du Monde coffee with chicory is one of its famous products widely available in the continental United States.

Tiny Footprint Coffee Company

Tiny Footprint Coffee is the world’s first coffee company that is producing a carbon-negative coffee product.

Tiny Footprint Coffee Company, Brooklyn Center, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States

Tiny Footprint Coffee Company, Brooklyn Center, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States.

Roastery 7 and the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation had jointly created the Company in 2010. Tiny Footprint Coffee

Organic Cold Press Elixir is The Company’s famous product for its carbon-free entity.

Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee Company

Alex and Andrew “The Two Bizzy Boys”

started making cold brew coffee out of true love of the cold brew coffee in their cramped apartment in 2013. 

Alex (left) and Andrew (right) co-founders of Bizzy Coffee Company.

Alex (left) and Andrew (right) co-founders of Bizzy Coffee Company.

Afterwards, they developed a great coffee brand, “Bizzy Coffee.” Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee is Their Company’s renowned product.

Death Wish Coffee Company

Mike Brown founded Death Wish Coffee Brand in 2012. 

Death Wish Coffee Company's new headquarters

This building in Saratoga Springs, NY, was built in 1889 by Franklin Webster Smith.
This historic building is Death Wish Coffee Company’s new headquarters – 260 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Death Wish Coffee Company is producing the “world’s strongest coffee.” The product is available both online and in grocery stores across the United States.

Intelligentsia Coffee Company

Doug Zell and Emily Mange founded Intelligentsia when they moved from San Francisco to Chicago in 1995. 

Intelligentsia Coffee Company US

Intelligentsia Coffee Company US

The Company is well-known for its worldwide famous coffee product “Intelligentsia Frequency Blend.”

Cold Brew Lab Coffee Company

Rachel Gutierrez is the owner & founder of Cold Brew Lab coffee company. 

Rachel Gutierrez, Owner & Founder of Cold Brew Lab coffee company

Rachel Gutierrez, Owner & Founder of Cold Brew Lab coffee company.

Bom Dia Brands LLC owns this Company. The Company creates delicious products for other coffee lovers. Cold Brew Lab Organic Coarse Ground Coffee is one of their most famous products.

Koffee Kult Coffee Company

Koffee Kult Coffee Company
Jamie Mardis, founder of Koffee Kult coffee company

Jamie Mardis, founder of Koffee Kult coffee company

Jamie Mardis founded Koffee Kult coffee company in 2010 in Hollywood, Florida, United States. Koffee Kult Coffee Beans is their renowned coffee product. 

Coffee Bros Coffee Company

Dan Nick founded Coffee Bros Coffee Company in 2018 in New York, United States. 

Dan (left) and Nick (right) co-founders of Coffee Bros Coffee Company

Dan (left) and Nick (right) co-founders of Coffee Bros Coffee Company

 

Their mission is to provide Corben-free coffee to humans. Coffee Bros Cold Brew is the best product of the Company.

Lifeboost Coffee Company

Dr Charles Livingston, CEO of Lifeboost Coffee, founded Lifeboost Coffee Company in 2015 in Noblesville, Indiana, United States. 

Dr. Charles Livingston, CEO of Lifeboost Coffee Company

Dr Charles Livingston, CEO of Lifeboost Coffee Company.

Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean Medium Roast Coffee is the Company’s product that is famous worldwide.

Cold Buzz Coffee Company

Eli Rosenberg and Ben Gruber are the founders of Cold Buzz Coffee Company. “Hazelnut Coffee For Cold Brew” is this Company’s popular product.

Metropolis Coffee Company

Jeff Dreyfuss and Tony Dreyfuss are the founders of Metropolis Coffee Company. 

Metropolis Coffee Company office Rockwell Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, US

Metropolis Coffee Company office Rockwell Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, US.
Tony Dreyfuss Co-founder of Metropolis Coffee Company.

Tony Dreyfuss Co-founder of Metropolis Coffee Company.
Jeff Dreyfuss, founder of Metropolis Coffee Company

Jeff Dreyfuss, founder of Metropolis Coffee Company.

 

They founded this Company in Chicago, IL, in December 2003.

Cold Brew Blend, Dark Roast (Whole Bean, 12oz Bag) is the most popular product for cold brew.

Peet’s Baridi Blend Coffee Company

Alfred Peet Founded Peet’s Coffee Company in Berkeley, California, the United States, in 1966.

Peet's Coffee Company's store in Berkeley, California, United States

Peet’s Coffee Company’s store in Berkeley, California, United States
Alfred Peet Founder of Peet's Coffee Company

Alfred Peet Founder of Peet’s Coffee Company

Now this Company is owned by JAB Holding Company. Peet’s offers bottled cold brew.

Over 14,000 grocery stores across the United States sell Peet’s cold brew coffee. Peet’s Baridi Blend is the most popular product of the Company for cold brew.

Final Thoughts

I have tried to tell you the complete historical background of cold-brewed coffee. And I’ve also tried to dispel the misconceptions people have about cold brew coffee and bring the facts to you.

In my opinion, Cold Brew is a coffee brewing method that is more than four hundred years old and has been used by our ancestors. And according to my research, this is the way to brew coffee which is more beneficial to our health than other brewing methods.

The good news is that the trend of cold brew coffee in our new generation is growing day by day. Now we need to get so familiar with Cold Brew that we make no mistake about making coffee. Of course, only a fresh and healthy cold brew can improve our health and mood.

Stay fresh! 

Stay caffeinated!

FAQs

Who was Sarah Josepha Hale?

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (October 24, 1788 – April 30, 1879). She was an American writer, activist, and influential editor. She served as an editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the first successful American women’s fashion magazine from the 1837s to 1877s.

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale wrote the preface of the book “Civil War Recipes” Her period was (October 24, 1788 – April 30, 1879)

Who was Louis Antoine Godey?

Louis Antoine Godey (June 6, 1804 – November 29, 1878) 

He was an American editor and publisher and the founder of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the first successful American women’s fashion magazine.

What is Godey’s Lady’s Book?

Godey’s Lady’s Book is the first successful American women’s fashion magazine. It was published in Philadelphia, US, from 1830 to 1878.

References:

[1]The Guardian 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/sep/09/coffee-cold-brew-hot-new-thing

[2]https://www.britannica.com/topic/list-of-wars-2031197

[3]Original label of Camp Cold Brew Coffee

https://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/XG1CiGSCTzqb05nDwIhhjg

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