I have to be honest, the race for the quickest cold brew feels a bit like 7 Minute Abs. Sure, it’s technically faster, but are we really improving anything or just making the most faddy fad to ever have fadded? But there’s one new cold brewer on the market that relies on novel brewing technology to make cold brew in a flash. Using “microcavitation”, the new Osma Pro is a single-serve cold brew maker that can produce a 12-ounce beverage in under two minutes.
More similar in design to an espresso machine—portafilter and all—than basically any other cold brew machine on the market, the Osma Pro is the product of Joey Roth of Portland-based Osma. Per Roth, the Osma Pro is able to achieve 20+% extraction in just 90 seconds for its brews using microcavitation, “thousands of microbubbles forming from the release of co2 trapped in the ground coffee beans, then collapsing within the portafilter, dumping the energy required to extract the widest range of flavor and aroma compounds.”
Roth tells Sprudge that Microcavitation is achieved though three concurrent processes: recirculation, pressure, and harmonics. To create a brew, users load the portatfilter with coffee, placing a 12-ounce glass of ice water underneath it and putting the intake straw/steamwand-looking thing in the glass. That intake straw pulls the water from the glass to be passed through the grounds in the portafilter at 10+ bars (pressure) back into the glass. This continues (recirculation) throughout the brew, letting the same water continue to pass through the puck.
The harmonic aspect is “essentially controlled agitation with acoustic vibration,” states Chromatic Coffee’s Hiver van Geenhoven, who helped in the creation of the Osma Pro. “Funcationally, it's kinda like a percolator and a sound system crossed over.” The resultant beverage, per van Geenhoven, is “reminiscent of cold brew and flash brew, with a little bit of AeroPress character.”
More than just speed, though, Roth states that the Osma Pro creates a best-of-both-worlds cold brew.
“Coffee contains a vast spectrum of flavor and aroma compounds that come to life through brewing. We sought to capture the widest range of these compounds through a rethinking of how coffee is extracted at a physics level”, Roth states. “Traditional cold brew captures heat-sensitive compounds that hot water destroys, but its 12+ hour brew loses time-sensitive compounds. Hot brew methods capture the time-sensitive volatile compounds that give coffee its crisp, bright notes and convey freshness, but destroy the long tail of heat-sensitive compounds before they can be experienced. Osma uses harmonics and recirculation to cold-extract the widest range of flavor and aroma compounds, yielding a bracing and complex cup with espresso-like crema and mouthfeel, with higher extraction yield in two minutes than traditional cold brew can achieve in 24 hours.”
Currently in pre-order, the first run of the Osma Pro will be limited to 1,000 units. Intended for home use—though van Geenhoven states that a commercial version is in the works—the Osma Pro retails for $695. Admittedly there’s going to be a bit of sticker shock, especially since most cold brew makers on the market clock in sub-$50—you can almost buy three Yama cold brew towers for the cost of one Osma Pro—but if you fancy yourself a financially secure cold brew aficionado, the technology and flavor promises made by the Osma Pro may make it a must-have addition to your obviously very fancy coffee setup.