Cold brew coffee has quietly been making inroads into the $5 billion dollar coffee market. In 2017 alone, it captured $38 million, and it continues to gobble up market shares like a latter-day Pac-Man. For the uninitiated, cold brew coffee is, no surprise here, coffee brewed in cold water, resulting in a smooth, rich, flavorful coffee unlike the watery, acidic taste of iced coffee. Immersing and steeping the grounds in cold water brings out all the traces of chocolate, fruits and nuts that are found in different coffee beans. The problem here is that the filters for brewing hot coffee do not work with cold water. In fact, they make an awful mess as the “sludge” that is the mixture of coffee and water spills all over the place.
Max Feber loved cold brew coffee, and there he was, a high school student, enrolled in a New Business Ventures class held by Lawrence Technological University. The assignment was to create a product that solved a problem. Max already had the problem: He was frustrated with the inefficiency, inconvenience and messiness of trying to cold brew coffee with “hot brew” products. He went through many ideas and prototypes and then hit on the perfect filter: BRUW, a double-sided mason jar lid with a filter in the center.
Begin by allowing coarse ground coffee to steep in cold water in an ordinary mason jar for 12-24 hours. When you want your coffee, twist the BRUW filter onto the jar, straw side down and twist the other mason jar on top of the filter. Then it’s “flip, drip, sip.” Let the steeped coffee drip through the filter into the empty jar; the sealed environment eliminates any sludge spillover. Once the grounds are filtered out, you have a coffee concentrate that you can pour over ice or dilute with water or milk. It is not only the cleanest way to cold brew coffee, it is the most sustainable way. Add to that the cost-effectiveness of it as well as the portability. It is a compact system that you can toss into your gym bag for a great pre-workout, fat-burning, metabolism-boosting beverage or pull you out of those afternoon slumps. Take it camping and you’ll wonder how you ever camped without it!
BRUW’s own coffee is available, particularly blended for cold brew with subtle hints of vanilla, almond, sweet chocolate, cinnamon and a very slight taste of strawberry.
Max is now studying Business Administration/Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College, one of the most prestigious entrepreneurship colleges in the U.S. and remains committed to his mission of creating products that celebrate both form and function. He also plans to continue manufacturing products in the U.S. to ensure that working conditions are humane and to source materials from small family-owned businesses.
*Bruw was acquired by Snarky Teas, another company that appeared on Shark Tank.