George Howell wasn’t sure how to make iced coffee work for his esteemed chain of coffee roasters and cafés. The way he sees it, iced coffee is vastly better than cold brew (and he’s not alone), but making it is a pain — you either have to pour hot coffee over ice and dilute the coffee with melting water, or wait for a blast chiller to bring a batch of hot coffee down to 40 or so degrees (which could take 45 minutes to an hour).
Then Howell found the Coldwave.
The $40 pitcher, readily available on Amazon, comes with a plastic insert with a whole lot of white tubes filled with water on it. After the insert is frozen overnight, fresh hot coffee is poured into the pitcher and the insert is dropped into the coffee. A minute and a half later, you have iced coffee.
Howell explains that the consumer Coldwave isn’t an elegant fix to his cafés’ commercial problem, and it certainly isn’t the end-all, be-all solution; after one, 16-ounce chill — about three good-sized cups — the insert must be rinsed off and re-frozen. But he thinks it’s just fine for iced coffee at home.
“It’s the best gadget for this I’ve found so far,” Howell says. “It’s dead simple and … it does the job faster and cleaner than anything else I’ve used recently.”
For home brewing during the warmer months, it still isn’t as easy as batch-brewing cold brew and keeping it in the fridge for a week. But it does allow you to brew your regular pot of hot coffee and chill it without adding much to your morning routine.
“This levels the playing field for iced coffee,” Howell says.