International Coffee Day: We try to locate some of the finest cold brews in Kolkata
Luxury brew-turned-breakfast-staple, the cold brew coffee is one of the biggest hits in the millennial culture. While this variant has been dominating the global market for quite a few years now, it started making its presence felt in Kolkata only a couple of years back. The cold brew (not to be confused with iced coffee, which is quite simply cooled down coffee over ice) is essentially made with coarse ground coffee that has been steeped in cold water for 10 to 14 hours. It’s then filtered out and leaves behind a coffee concentrate which can be served over ice and milk or infused with some other flavours.
Cold brews usually taste much less acidic than your regular cup of cold latte, and definitely smoother and complex. While the west popularised the cold brew, the technique actually originates in the east - 17th century Japan, to be specific. The Kyoto-style slow drip coffee is very similar to the cold brew and shares several aspects of its recipe; the Japanese have been using this brewing technique since the 1600s.
And luckily you can now find a cold brew a few miles from your home in Kolkata. Here are just some of the cafes serving up a true-blue cold brew in the city
8th Day Cafe & Bakery
Location: Park Circus
8th Day Cafe was the first cafe in Kolkata to introduce the Nitro Cold Brew in 2017. It’s basically cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen to give it a richer and creamier density, and a more robust after-taste. You’ll also find a regular 8th Day Cold brew on their menu, which is made with coffee steeped in water overnight for a more full-bodied aroma.
Pocket pinch: Rs 139 onwards
The Lighthouse Cafe
Location: Prince Anwar Shah Road
The Lighthouse Cafe uses organic Arabica coffee grown at an altitude of 1300 metres at one of India’s oldest estates near Chikmagalur. The bean lends itself to the process producing notes of stewed berries and dark chocolate with a hint of citrus following.
“At the Lighthouse, since we opened our doors last year, we’ve been fine-tuning the Kyoto drip as our method of choice for cold brewing. This process, first conceived in Japan, and it extracts the delicious flavour compounds and the caffeine but leaves behind the myriad of bitter oils and fatty acids that are usually a byproduct of coffee grounds being exposed to high temperatures during extraction. Our 6 and-a-half-hour extraction results in a distinctively smooth coffee,” we are told.
Pocket pinch: Rs 150 onwards
Artsy - Coffee & Culture
Artsy Cafe’s diverse menu has been known to features some exotic Asian variants like the Vietnamese Iced Coffee, and also serves four different kinds of flavoured cold brew, Regular, Sweet Lime, Milk and Cold Brew Cold Coffee, although we are told the Sweet Lime and the Milk cold brew are their bestsellers.
Pocket pinch: Rs 175 onwards.
Sienna Store & Cafe
Sienna keeps it traditional when it comes to their cold brew. Their team tells us that they keep the ground Arabica coffee in the cold for about 18 hours to bring it to perfection.
Pocket pinch: Rs 145 onwards
Minto Park’s beloved European bistro Piccadilly Square is serving up some of the most delicious cold brews. They also use Arabica grounds which are soaked overnight for about 10 hours; you’ll find two variants on their menu, namely, Iced Cold Brew and Watermelon Cold Brew.
Pocket pinch: Rs 155 onwards