Iced coffee has always been more popular than cold brew, that is, until now. With major players like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts hopping on the cold brew train, this is the year that the good stuff goes mainstream. Unfortunately, this means more and more companies will enter the space and try to fake the funk. There will be a surge of mediocre, over-diluted cold brews selling for a high markup. Please, don't get bamboozled.
The search trend for cold brew (blue line) is crossing over with that of iced coffee for the first time ever
Kyoto Style is still relatively unknown. As you can see on the chart below, Kyoto Style is nowhere near the popularity of the two cold coffee elephants. When you Google the terms, "Iced Coffee" returns 15 million results, "Cold Brew," 3 million and "Kyoto Style Coffee" returns only 500,000 results.
But I'm a coffee cup half full kinda guy, so I look at this as a real opportunity.
COLD BREW IS BIG, BUT KYOTO STYLE IS STILL A NICHE PRODUCT
From my perspective, the market as a whole is finally realizing that cold brew is special. Multinational players have been able to brand it as a premium product. This has driven demand to the highest its ever been.
Kyoto Style is even more premium, but most people are just unaware that it exists. It does not scale as easily as conventional cold brewing, making it much scarcer. But that also protects it from the swill peddlers. Kyoto is less profitable, but its flavor is in a different league. So those who dare attempt to bring it to market are doing so out of passion.
I believe that Kyoto Style will remain a niche product, a coffee for insiders. Which is fine by me. I started brewing Kyoto Style because I wanted to make the best cold brew possible. And it was clearly the best method.