The Origins of Cold Brew

Coffee is more than a drink. Coffee is a product of places and rituals and histories. From bean to brew to you, coffee is on a journey. Along the way, people—spanning continents and cultures—give it character and flavor and meaning.

We want to take you on a very particular journey, one that represents who we are and what we love— and what we hope you love, too.

It starts in the fertile soils of Indonesia, where volcanic eruptions create the rich soil that produces some of the best coffee beans in the world. From there, it hops across the Pacific to New York, where Kopi Trading Company introduces the diverse tastes of Asia to bring you a coffee experience unlike any other.

At Kopi, tradition inspires us, but innovation drives us. This is the coffee we’ve always wanted to drink, which is why it’s the coffee we’re making. Welcome to Asian cold brew for the 21st century.

I think the opening is very strong. I wonder if we rather wax poetic at the start, which I am doubly guilty of, if we lose people’s interest or pique their curiosity.


Cold Brew is Old Brew

What’s cold brew? It’s simple, really.

Take some freshly-roasted, coarse coffee grounds and steep them in water. Let the concentrated concoction sit for up to 24 hours, then add water. The result? A refreshing coffee that’s sweeter, less acidic and lighter on the stomach than the hot stuff. It’s as easy to drink as it is to make.

There’s no doubt that cold brew is having a moment right now, but people have been enjoying it for hundreds of years. And the very first people to try it were in Asia. 

In the 17th century, the story goes, Dutch traders selling coffee from Indonesia to Japan needed to figure out a way to brew large quantities of coffee that wouldn’t expire during long sea voyages. Cold brewing did the trick.

Japan since developed its own approach to cold brew, a coffee known as Kyoto-style. Today, Kyoto-style brewers make their cold coffee slowly, one drip at a time, rather than steeping all the grounds in water.

At Kopi, we’re not looking to replicate the Japanese method. And we don’t claim to know how exactly the Dutch made cold brew all those centuries ago.

But we do know what kinds of beans they used. You’ll find beans just like them in all our coffees.