Mizudashi: The Art of Japanese Cold Brew

  • 2 min read

Mizudashi: The Art of Japanese Cold Brew

Mizudashi is the Japanese technique of extracting flavors using cold water. It’s also known as “cold brewing” and is a method of preparation that can be used to make dashi (broth) and other Japanese style beverages like tea and coffee. 

What is Mizudashi?

Mizudashi is a technique used mainly to make the Japanese broth known as dashi. Dashi is integral to Japanese cuisine as it embodies the umami taste. The term umami means “the essence of deliciousness” in Japanese. Umami was first discovered by Japanese scientists and is considered the fifth savory taste, in addition to sweet, salty, spicy, and bitter. 

Dashi is made by extracting flavor from ingredients, most commonly konbu (kelp), katsuobushi (bonito/skipjack tuna flakes), or dried shiitake mushroom, using hot or cold water.

Mizudashi method uses cold water to make dashi by putting your preferred ingredient in a container with water and leave it in the fridge overnight. The temperature and time draw out the ingredients subtle flavors. Use the dashi when cooking, within one to two days of making it, to enhance the flavors of your home cooked dishes. 

Mizudashi: The Art of Japanese Cold Brew

How to Make Mizudashi Tea

While Japanese tea is typically brewed in hot water, mizudashi tea is a comforting beverage when the weather turns warm. Cold brew tea is easily made by putting tea bags in bottles of water and leaving them in the fridge overnight. Brewing tea with cold water creates a refreshing taste with lower caffeine content.

Mizudashi: The Art of Japanese Cold Brew

How to Make Mizudashi Coffee

Cold brew coffee has been growing in popularity. According to some sources, the earliest record of cold brew coffee came from Kyoto in the 1600s. Some also speculated that the Dutch may have introduced cold brew to Japan when they first began importing coffee. 

Mizudashi or cold brew coffee can be made in two ways. One way is the slow dip process which brews coffee by dripping cold water through the coffee grounds as it extracts the coffee’s full-bodied flavor. Another way is the immersion method whereby coffee is brewed by steeping coffee grounds in cold water. Because of the cold brew technique, the grounds are not being oxidized by heat which results in a sweeter, smoother coffee.  


About the author: 

Wendy Ng

Wendy Ng

Wendy writes about her travel experiences to escape from her city life in Singapore. Her content creator’s journey started when she had the opportunity to live and teach in Okinawa and circumvent the world with Peace Boat. A compulsive-obsessive traveler and culture enthusiast, she believes that when we know more, we travel better. Or in true foodie spirit, when we eat more, we travel better. 

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