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The cold-brew coffee you can make just about anywhere
Photo: Signe Birck
Cold Brew Kit

This June, join us as we defy the confines of the kitchen and look outside. If you need us, we'll be exploring the Great Outdoors.

Like most good ideas, this portable cold-brew coffee kit was born out of necessity.

Jin and Rim Han, owners of neighborhood coffee shop Crema BK in Brooklyn and online retailer Alkemy Brewlab, were on the road traveling and missing the comforts of home when the lightbulb went off. “We couldn’t find a good cup of coffee near where we were staying,” Jin remembers, “and I decided then to work on a simple, travel-friendly device that could make cold brew anywhere.”

So the couple simply took their cold-brew recipe, already loved at their shop; scaled it down; found the ideal, sturdy food-grade pouch; and thus Alkemy’s cold-brew kit was born. While coffee lovers will appreciate the space-saving, self-contained coffee system, the main draw is surely for those in more adventurous situations, like a summer camping excursion or long cross-country road trip that needs a caffeine jolt. Now you don’t have to pack the bean grinder, thermos or ceramic pour-over . . . or subsist on bitter rest-stop coffee. All you need is water and time (the all-in-one brew bag is even reusable).

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The kit, which comes with two pouches, makes a total of eight cups of coffee and sells for $18. That’s $2.25 per cup of cold brew, or $1.75 if you’re working off the replacement pouches that they sell online—a highly economical alternative to one-off cups from a nearby coffee shop. And besides just being convenient, it actually tastes good. “I want them to conveniently make cold brew in the simplest way possible, while maintaining the highest quality of taste,” Jin says. He explains how cold brew is less acidic than its hot-brewed counterpart (“The over 50 million heartburn sufferers in the U.S. should be pleased,” he jokes), which lets its flavor shine through.

The duo is constantly working to bring new products to their loyal customers, whether they are cold brew-centric or of the spiced chai variety. Right now, they’re working on finding the perfect Ethiopian coffee beans for the kit, to give a fruity contrast to the nutty dark chocolate flavor of the Brazilian beans they currently use.

Stuff a cold-brew pouch in your backpack next to the coffee-ready canteen for your next outdoor adventure. Forget that bulky camping stove—you won’t be needing it anymore.

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