Grady Laird worked at GQ in production and wrote a blog for them about grooming. After GQ ran an article a few years ago about DIY cold brewing, Grady tried it, perfected the perfect cup, then realized that, due to most people’s laziness, people would buy it. And become addicted.
Grady and his partners, Dave Sands and Kyle Buckley, brought it to Smorgasburg (the Brooklyn Flea food market on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and people did just that – buy it and become addicted. "Smorg really made the evolution happen," says Kyle, "It really is the perfect launching pad for any new food product. You don't need to quit your job or put down a ton on money, just show up on Saturday and see if people like it. Lucky for us our coffee was a hit." Grady’s Cold Brew Concentrate is now a full-time gig for the three of them.
Here’s why cold is better: When heat is used to brew iced coffee, it releases acids and oils that are intensified when coffee is cooled down in the refrigerator, resulting in a bitter brew with a short shelf life. Cold brewing, on the other hand, produces an intense but smooth flavor that lasts two weeks in the refrigerator. And chicory (the root of the endive plant) gives it extra mellowness and that signature New Orleans-style flavor.
The boys source their Ethiopian beans from New York City coffee institution Porto Rico Importing Company. Back in their Williamsburg ‘BrewCo’ (otherwise known as 'Camp Cold Brew'), the grounds steep overnight with chicory in cold water for 20 hours, then are twice-filtered and poured into handsome amber-bottles the next day. Each has a “born on” date so you know exactly when the batch was produced. Dave has said, “They are like little breakable babies to us, so we definitely dote on them.”
Kyle runs around most days making deliveries in their awesome diesel truck (which has a name – Riggins).
The trio – who describe their brand as “leisurely, unpretentious and crack-like” – admits to their own evening addiction: Grady’s Night Coffee (coffee, milk and vodka).