Cold Brew vs Ice Drip
MyDutch Ice Drip
The MyDutch dripper is a Korean product we distribute in Singapore. It was designed as a coffee dripper. We used the product to drip a tea and won in the Tea Master Cup Singapore 2017. Since then, Hured, the Korean parent company, has designed a newer version known as the X5 just launched mid 2017 which has an extra attachment to drip tea. The method of extraction is an ice drip.
We sell a drink and not a bottle at $2.50 for 250 ml
Within Serangoon Garden area, Sun Ray Cafe is the only cafe that produces ice drip coffee and tea. We produce them in small batches, using the MyDutch dripper and the coffee beans or leaves that we, most often than not, import ourselves from the farms. Did we mention that all coffees are roasted in house as well? Due to this cost efficiency, we produce them at a fraction of the usual cost for such drinks you buy elsewhere. Each bottle of 250 ml sells for $2.50. Beside this, we are cognizant that we are selling a drink, not a bottle or a packaging, which is the reason why we use cheap plastic bottles, thus keeping the cost down for customers. There is no preservatives, and each bottle lasts about 4-5 days after production.
There is generally no precise definition of what we exactly mean when we say cold brew or ice drip. But one things is clear enough, that is cold water is used for brewing instead of the traditional method of hot water. This can apply to coffee and tea, and even fruit and spice drinks.
Purely from syntax, cold brew means a cold infusion, like brewing a beer, where cold water, or at least not a hot water, is used to steep coffee or tea. This naturally requires a coarse grind matched with a longer brew (extraction) time or a fine grind matched with a short brew time, the selection and variation of the recipes yielding different taste profiles. The inverse relation between the grind size and brew time is to achieve balance in taste, as a coarser grind size has lower surface area as compared to a finer grind, thus requiring more contact time between ingredient (coffee or tea) and medium (water). Conversely, a fine grind with a long brew time results in an overly bitter and strong coffee, and a coarse grind with a short brew time leads to an overly sour and weak coffee. For a tea with small leaves, a long brew time gives an astringent and bitter tea, but a short brew time for a rolled or twiggy tea gives a weak and sour tea.
The strength of the beverage can be easily controlled in a cold brew via the varying of time. The trick is on balancing the richness of taste. Because nutty, chocolatey and roasted notes are imparted by molecules that are heavier and bigger in structure, they need more 'effort' to be extracted, benefitting a brew recipe that needs a long extraction time. However, any light and fruity notes could be dominated by these heavier notes, and the elegance of high-grown coffees exhibiting natural fruity and floral aromas could be overshadowed. For teas, their natural flavours are flowers, fruits and nuts. Any over-extraction that results in a strong tea is usually overly astringent.
Ice drip is a drip beverage, produced by dripping cold or iced water slowly over the ingredient, almost like a cold water V60 drip but over a long time. As the ingredient is not fully immersed in the extracting medium, there is a more refined selection process in terms of flavour profile. Heavier notes could be reined in which then gives a greater chance for the light, floral and fruity notes to be exhibited. The trick for a good extraction is again in the strength of the beverage, which could be controlled via the extraction (drip) time.
Another important note is that this method uses cold water to make the coffee. It is wrong to chill a coffee dripped using room temperature or even hot water, then calling it a cold or ice drip coffee.
Our Fruity and Floral Preference
Our taste preference is always a floral and fruity coffee or tea, because we believe it best represents the 'terroir' and the climate under which the plants grow. In this way, it best represents the hard work and talents of the farmers.
We are doing some experiments to compare the tastes of different brew methods and time. Stay tuned for our subsequent posts!
Update 7th Dec 2017: Summary of our experiments here!