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Edible: Grady's Cold Brew Makes A Cool Iced Coffee Concentrate

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A Brooklyn-based mom-and-pop company is specializing in the perfect cup of iced coffee. Edible Manhattan's Rachel Wharton filed the following report.

Grady's Cold Brew in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is one of Brooklyn's coolest new coffee companies -- literally. It makes iced coffee concentrate, sold in refillable glass bottles.

They steep freshly ground coffee beans in cold water with just a tiny bit of chicory, a touch borrowed from New Orleans.

The result is a concentrate with lower acid than regular coffee, which can be blended with water or milk to whatever strength you like. It's so naturally smooth, mellow and sweet, you'd swear somebody added sugar.

"We do a 24-hour a soak on our beans, so it's a much gentler process than the different chemical reactions going on when you heat the beans," says Grady's Cold Brew President and co-founder Grady Laird. "It's just steeping. We do a dual-filtration process to remove the sediment and the grounds. What's left is this really strong coffee concentrate that stays fresh in your fridge for a month."

The business started when Laird's colleagues started begging him to sell them bottles of his home brew. Friends Kyle Buckley and Dave Sands eventually became partners, and after some tinkering with technique, last year a full-time business was born.

They are already poised to outgrow their Williamsburg office and coffee stand, thanks to customers who love it so much they don't even water it down.

"We have people who drink it straight out of the bottle, which to me is a little bit crazy," says Sands. "I remember going to Tumblr, which is one of our first corporate accounts, and remember seeing someone with a straw sticking out of the bottle."

Customers can get bottles delivered anywhere in the country, or find them at Whole Foods, Smorgasberg and Porto Rico coffeeshops, which supplies the beans.

To meet the team in person, check out The Brooklyn Local in DUMBO on September 22, a food fest fundraiser for City Harvest.

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