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California Startup Fogdog Introduces Hydrodynamic Cold Brew

Fogdog cold brew

Fogdog photo.

At the dawn of this year, in an effort to clarify and support the rapidly spreading differentiation and development of cold, RTD specialty coffee beverages, we offered a glossary of the existing methods for brewing. Not even a full quarter later, there’s one more to add to that list: Hydrodynamic cold brew, the method used to create Fogdog Cold Brew, the product of Berkeley, Calif.-based Fogdog.

Fogdog was founded as a company last year, and rolled out its inaugural RTD coffee offering at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show last month. Free from additives, preservatives, dairy or sweeteners, Fogdog Cold Brew is the result of pure ground coffee subjected to a fast, espresso-like flow of water at temperatures lower than 38F. The company describes the beverage as naturally sweet and creamy, with a silky texture and distinctive color, and sells it in 12-ounce bottles, 1.5- and 3-liter handled pouches and 9-liter boxes.

Fogdog founder and managing partner Alex Siow told Daily Coffee News that the exact ratio, pressure and flow rate of the water will differ from bean to bean, roast to roast. There’s also a blooming period of a few minutes before the flow begins, and a proprietary five-phase filtration process at the end.

“Imagine a drip coffee, static brew, method compared to an espresso machine, active brew, but instead of using steam and pressure we applied fast moving ice cold water under 38F degrees,” Siow said. “The cold water prevents any bitterness to release from the coffee or tea.”

Fogdog cold brew

Fogdog photo

The method was originally conceived as a means for making a cold tea product, which the company does also currently sell alongside the coffee. As a patent on the process is currently pending, Siow declined to reveal any more specific details on batch size, blooming temperatures, duration or precise water pressures. The only offering currently available on the company’s website is a dark-roasted Sumatra.

Regarding the company’s current overall volume of production, Siow stated Fogdog can turn out as much as 36,000 servings per week on each of its production “cells.” Coffees for the product come by way of Stone Street Coffee in Brooklyn, New York, where the company was formerly based. Now that the operation is situated in Berkeley, Calif., Siow said that a Bay Area roasting partner will be announced soon. Flavored iterations may also be coming soon, while the company is currently seeking direct and indirect sales partnerships as well as national distribution opportunities.

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