Cold Brew Coffee Feedback

Intro:
Hi all,
I am designing a cold brew coffee system and would like to get some feedback on my research before I begin my design phase.
I am going to crowdfund my design and have it manufactured in the US. I am leaning towards designing it to be ceramic and produced through slip casting as there are several good ceramics producers in the us and it is a relatively straightforward process.
Let me know what you think! thanks :smiley:

Project: Create a cold brew coffee system that is simple and easy to use.

Constraints: The product must be made in the US at a competitive cost to customer.

A little background on cold brew:

The cold brewing process:

  1. Coarsely grind coffee.
    2.mix cold water and coarsely ground coffee
    3.let set 12-16 hours
    4.strain coffee from grounds
    5.store/dilute/serve

Advantages to cold brewing coffee:

  1. Less acidic coffee creating a smoother sweeter tasting cup of coffee
  2. Cold brew concentrate can be kept in a fridge and used for up to 2 weeks
  3. The coffee can be drank as a concentrate or used in a beverage


    Use case: cold brew can keep in a refrigerator for several weeks. Brewing a batch of concentrate and using it through the week is a great option for the person that wants quality combined with convenience. This person preps their meals and food throughout the month.

Current solutions:
DIY:
Many people use a mason jar as a brewing container and then strain out the coffee grounds using a cheesecloth and strainer.
This method is pretty messy, cumbersome, and inconvenient.

commercially available:

Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker: This Cold brew maker makes use of a removable mesh filter to contain the coffee grounds for brewing and disposal. While it is a very good solution it lacks in aesthetic appeal. Overall a little generic.

Toddy T2N Cold Brew System:
This is one of the original cold brew systems. It is a drip system as opposed to immersion. It uses a specialty filter. the brewing container is quite large and top heavy.

French press :
Many people use a French press to make cold brew. they press the coffee to filter out the grounds and pour the coffee into another container to store.

Design Opprotunities:
• Coffee to water ratios vary from recipe to recipe.
Solution: Add water/grounds markings to the brewing carafe indicating higher and lower strengths

• The process can be messy especially when deal with grounds(both wet and dry)
Solution: the way the filter interacts with the brewer should make loading and clean up easy

• Coffee grounds benefit from a large area of water to disperse and mix
Solution: provide a large filter to mix the grounds and water

• the carafe must fit in a refrigerator easily
Solution: create a foot print that can fit easily into a refrigerator door

Trend:
The aesthetic of the cold brewer should reflect the familiarity and comfort of the morning coffee ritual and also be trendy

let me know what you think!
Thank you for making it to the end of my post! :laughing:

If you can keep the cost down enough I am sure this product can be a success.
It is a good idea to do some user research before starting your concept phase on how people drink their coffee and how currently available products are used. My feeling is that you can compete on volume as well since many people will be happy to be able to store coffee for the entire week without having to rebrew. If done well, it can be an iconic lifestyle product. Your current requirements are a good basis, the product does have to be unique enough so people will buy it over the $20 Amazon version which probably works fine as well. In terms of design also deeply look for opportunities - small details can make the difference in the feeling of a product which is why most people agree that the Kikkoman bottle is one of the best soy sauce bottles and the Stelton tea pot by Erik Magnussen is one of the best in its kind.

@ ralphzoontjens
Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad you think the idea is good. I agree looking at some user research would be good before moving into design.I am going to interview a few friends of mine who currently drink cold brew to see how they use it. I’ll keep this thread updated.
Thanks
R

Are there other details anyone would like to see research on?
i’ll be posting some design stages soon.
Thanks

I have a yama cold drip coffee maker. Was using it a lot in summer, but now it’s winter here it’s being used a lot less.

As far as I know from my experience and talking to cold brewers, the drip method, whereby the water drips once per second over 8 hours or so gives a much better result than the immersion cold brew method.

If you could do a cold drip but make it much easier to use and clean, that would be a great product.

Something I have found from cold brewing is that controlling the drip speed is the greatest impediment to success. If your design was cold drip and could address this that would be great.

Here’s what my setup looks like:

https://www.instagram.com/p/-KzWSen2hz/?taken-by=azrehan

[ Deleted ]

Hi rbid, I just ran into this article that was cross-posted on Endgaget. The Best Cold-Brew Coffee Maker for 2022 | Reviews by Wirecutter it made me think of your project. Hopefully you can get some good research info from it!

I think it’s a good market to look at making a product for. It’s just starting to get mainstream traction. There’s a lot of space to innovate on the method the coffee is pressed and especially the presentation. A lot of it seem to be these very utilitarian products that got a good reputation in niche circles.

It also reminded me of this crazy method. Pressurized cold brew. Like a Presto but for cold brew!

It actually seems to be a fairly common technique for infusion in modernist cuisine.

@louis leblanc

Your article is a great resource! just the sort of information I am looking for. I was leaning toward the submersion method but now i am reconsidering whats the best method.
do you drink cold brew? whats your dream brewer look like?
thanks for the feedback!

@KenoLeon

Yea that is a good point. I think the market is pretty strong. Its becoming more and more main stream. starbucks is even serving cold brew these days.

@Azeran

Thanks for the input. I was hoping to design something that could fit inside the fridge. that drip system is quite large. maybe there is an opportunity to shrink it down some how.

I’ve only tried it a few times with my french press but plan on experimenting with it over the summer.

I’d also veer on the side of immersion, those drip machines are quite big and seem to be really only usable for cold brew, though adding more functionality might be an interesting avenue. I think the product could be much more practical if cold brew is a viable option. In that article, they mention that the french press made decent results with the first coffee type they were using but really fell short with the second. I’m wondering if their recipe was really on point for that second roast or if certain roasts are preferable for cold brew and specifically immersion cold brew. Getting your own drip machine and getting a feel for the different methods might be needed. :wink:

If immersion cold brew is possible, the product could even be more of a filter adaptable to many pots. Heck it could be as simple as filling a big tea bag with coffee.