I am always looking for my next fix of coffee, and I particularly get excited when I go off on some international adventure in some far flung place of the planet because then I get to explore even further varieties of the morning wake-up elixir. Unfortunately, Starbucks has made it a point to ensure that, no matter where I go, they will always be there before me. Luckily enough, there are always the brave young start-ups to challenge the multinational conglomerates, and while Johannesburg is experiencing a rise in craft beer, Singapore is rather opting to foster its craft coffee – and this is very well represented by the guys from 7 Kickstart Cold Coffee.
Firstly, I must state that Singapore is HOT. Not just a little warm – damn hot and humid. So, even here, while a hot cup of java is greatly appreciated, on most occasions, you are looking to bring your temperature down. Hot coffee is great, but I have always found it odd that cold coffee has to go through such a long process before it is consumed. Now I am not talking about instant crap, I am talking about the kind of coffee which takes a barista to carefully craft behind an espresso machine. Perhaps it is here where it all starts. The coffee I have fallen in deep love with seems to all originate through the espresso methodology – mixing just the right temperature and pressure to produce a phenomenal cup of PING!-juice. And while this process works well for hot coffees, it has never really appealed to me in the form of cold coffees, as the taste has always been a little to bitter and burnt. Its like toast – great when its hot, but just burned bread when its cold.
So when I can across 7 Kickstart is got really excited. Simply, they understand that the espresso process needs to be adapted completely to ensure that, if you are serving a coffee cold, that the rich full-body flavour is preserved. Also, that in order to coax the coffee from the ground beans with cold water, it will take a great deal of patience. So, doing away with high degrees of pressure and heat, they use a cold drip method – not dissimilar to processes you may find in a science lab, and using pretty much the same equipment.
A particular variety of ground coffee is packed into a large glass beaker that has a spirally glass funnel tube attached to its base. This is then placed into a large wooden apparatus. Above this beaker a second glass apparatus is installed, this one containing cold water. The cold water is then allowed to drip, and I do mean drip, ever so slowly down onto the packed ground coffee, collect, make its way through the multiple layers of coffee, eventually making it s way down the spiral funnel as a concentrate of coffee into a collection beaker. And there you have it, as the name suggests, 7 Kickstart Cold Coffee.
And the taste – incredible. Its like an intense shot of smooth, rich and luxurious caffeine without any burnt or bitter tastes associated with heat and pressure. And does it get you moving – oh yes, a cup of this coffee will certainly get both the muscles and the brain into high gear. I only hope that this may make its way to South Africa – more specifically Johannesburg and Cape Town in time for Summer 2014!