Alto Cold Brew was born out of a love of cold brew and a desire to make it better. Joey and I saw a lot of problems with the way cold brew was made and a ton of inconsistency in the final products we were tasting. We set out to fundamentally change the way cold brew is produced and provide a forum for other people who love cold brew to share in our journey to elevate the craft of cold brew.
Joey and I were frustrated every time we made cold brew the traditional way. We were tired of babying each paper filter when pouring in the grounds, tired of being afraid to stir the grounds for fear of ripping the sides, and especially tired of re-filtering the grounds whenever a paper filter burst. More often than not, we would find ourselves saying “there has to be a better way”.
We thought of using the stainless steel filters but we could never get past the amount of fine sediments and bitter oils that made it through. We even considered the cotton bags but could certainly taste the difference. No, we were convinced that paper was the best medium currently available so we set out to find stronger paper.
I won’t go into all of the time and effort spent chasing this elusive target, that is a post for another day. After months of searching, we finally located a manufacturer who would use the type of paper we wanted to produce a filter in the size we needed. On the day before our sample run, they expressed concerns that filter paper would be too weak for this size bag and suggested we consider a new material they have been working with instead. After initial research, we found that this material may have potential but our design called for a size, configuration and use that they had never made before. We were excited to try it out, but were convinced that stronger paper filters were the best way to elevate cold brew.
When the new paper filters arrived, I think we were both underwhelmed. Crushed actually. It turns out that paper is still paper. Even the strongest paper we could find still has delicate seams, still tears easily, and still weakens when wet. Our quest to find a stronger paper filter was a failure.
Back to square one right? Not exactly. We still had those new filters, made of a material no one had ever tried for cold brew. These were worth a try before we had to go back to the drawing board so we had to try.