Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Review: BodyBrew

As I've mentioned before, I've become a devotee of cold-brew coffee in recent years. Conventional coffee is too hard on my stomach, and frankly I don't care for the bitter edge that much anyway. So cold-brew -- coffee soaked at room temperature for many hours, instead of quickly and harshly in near-boiling water -- suits me well. A good cold-brew produces a strong concentrate that you dilute with water, or in my case milk -- the result is a lovely, smooth iced latte.

So when I came across the IndieGogo for BodyBrew last year, I decided to give it a shot. The idea of a bespoke device for cold-brew seemed a bit frivolous (you can do it reasonably well in a standard french press), but I like the stuff enough that it seemed worth a flyer. I've now had mine for several weeks, and it's a keeper.

The BodyBrew produces a *lot* of cold-brew: you start with 40 oz of water, which results in 24 oz of concentrate. This may not sound like much, but the stuff is *ferociously* strong. Between the recipe (1/2 lb of coffee per batch), a long brew time (you can do as little as 12 hours, but up to 72 for a really strong brew), and the device designed to give it a really good soak, the flavor is at least twice as strong as my traditional french-press brew, as is the caffeine. Indeed, the latter is what reminded me to write this review. Traditionally, I dilute cold-brew with milk as a 1:2 ratio, and that's nice. This stuff, I've been diluting at somewhere over 1:3, and I'm *still* winding up downright jittery if I'm not careful. It's the strongest cold-brew concentrate I've ever come across.

It also specifically allows for re-brewing a second time with the same grounds, which gets you another three cups of conventional-strength coffee; I've been mixing that with the concentrate to stretch it a bit. It's a minor detail, but when I'm using this much coffee per batch, it's helpful.

The design is thoughtful and clever in a number of ways. For example, the top of the hourglass-shaped device unscrews and becomes the decanter, which you keep in the fridge. There's a screw-on decanter lid for that, as well as one for the bottom half in case you do the re-brew thing. It comes with a shotglass for measuring your concentrate. For extra money you can buy a travel canteen for the concentrate, and a timer for tracking how long it's been brewing; IMO, both of those are pointless, and not worth the extra $10 each.

Overall, the device isn't cheap ($60), and it does use a lot of coffee grounds. OTOH, the concentrate is tasty and strong, and I get over a week's worth (maybe more once I tune the strength down a bit) for $5 worth of coffee, so the ongoing cost isn't bad. Assuming it holds up (which it's done decently well so far, including a run through the dishwasher), I suspect it'll prove a good investment. Recommended if you like cold-brew enough to make it regularly, as I do in the warmer months...
Tags: reviews

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