Cold coffee connoisseur

Henry Lee won the gold trophy in the Cold Brew category at the Coffee Awards.

A former pupil of east Auckland’s Macleans College has perfected the art of being a cold brew coffee connoisseur.

Henry Lee spent seven years perfecting his ice brew method.

He told the Times “throughout his quest for uniqueness”, there were multiple challenges through his life.

“It took a long time of constant trial and error and self-belief to create Ice Brew over the seven years,” he says.

Lee owns and operates a cafe, Gourmet Espresso in East Tamaki, where he utilises his love and passion for cold processed coffee.

Gourmet Espresso is normally open on Saturdays from 4pm to midnight and exclusively serves ice brew tastings and a rotating food menu.

“We serve ice brew coffee made with rare exotic beans [and it] takes five days to extract all natural complexities,” Lee says.

Additionally it takes time to sit down and explore all layers and sophistications of the note profiles.

“That is why it’s open during that time frame and day of the week.”

Cold brew extraction, Lee says, is a commonly known method.

“Traditionally most people only know cold brew and ice drip,” he says.

“There hasn’t been much development in any other cold processes for a long time.”

That is why he took his ice brew coffees to the Australian International Coffee Awards, to show the extraction method is superior in creating a better-tasting profile than cold brew.

He won the gold trophy in the Cold Brew category, a category that hasn’t had a gold medal winner in four consecutive years.

“Coffee tasting is like wine tasting, not for people who just need a quick wake-up shot.”

Lee aims to continue being a creative force in cold process coffee brewing and to export overseas.