Coffee Science Foundation begins research into cold brew

cold brew research

The Coffee Science Foundation (CSF) has announced that it will begin a new research project, “Towards a Deeper Understanding of Cold Brew Coffee”.

The project will define the parameters of the cold brewing method, including chemical and sensory analysis.

“Cold-brewed coffee has become an important part of the specialty coffee landscape, and we are excited to investigate the sensory and physical properties that make it so special,” says Peter Giuliano, Executive Director of the CSF and Chief Research Officer of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).

The market for cold-brewed coffee has grown remarkably over the past decade, and innovations in style and process have meant that there is a broad diversity of sensory experiences available to consumers. The CSF says this latest research project is aimed at understanding cold-brewed coffee extraction, preparation, storage, and consumer value, in a more comprehensive way than ever before.

The CSF research plan includes:

  • Two years of research projects led by Ph.D. coffee researchers trained in sensory science, chemistry, physical, and consumer science.
  • A thorough exploration of cold-brewed extraction techniques including temperature during brewing, brewing time, extraction percentage, and concentration, documenting their impact on sensory and chemical attributes using various specialty coffees and roasts.
  • A thorough exploration of the effect of time elapsed during and post brew on the sensory and chemical attributes of cold-brewed coffee.
  • An in-depth look at domestic and international consumer preferences of the various extraction and holding parameters, including preference mapping and potentially price tolerance and premiums.
  • A series of publications for the coffee and popular press, sharing research results, including a cold- brewing handbook.
  • A series of lectures (20+) at various coffee events, by coffee researchers and project leaders.
  • Research findings integrated into the SCA Education Curriculum.

Financial support for this project is led by Toddy and the project will start in the first quarter of 2020.

“For years we’ve known that cold brewing coffee produces a very different cup than traditional hot brewing methods, but it has been difficult for anyone to explain how and why. We’re excited to support this project that will help to understand the science behind the brewing method and shed light on what makes cold brew unique from both a chemical as well as a sensory perspective,” Toddy President Julia Leach says.

“Much of the research in the cold brew space over the past several years has been proprietary. We felt it was important for Toddy to take a leadership role in supporting research that will benefit the overall industry.”

The CSF is a research organisation dedicated to advancing the understanding of coffee and securing its future through research, knowledge-building, and outreach. The foundation is a support organisation to the SCA, serving as a research arm since April 2019.

Research is expected to have similar outputs to that described in the following articles:

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