Cold Brew, Take Two

July 11, 2011 at 10:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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It’s been a few weeks since I first tried cold-brewed coffee, and I just finished drinking my third batch. (Melanie Brault from Trung Nguyen Coffee wrote a nice short piece on the process here at ineedcoffee.com.)

After the concentrate is made, the procedure is to fill my coffee cup 1/4 or 1/5 of the way with the concentrate, and fill it with boiling water to make a full cup of normal strength really good coffee. However, since I store the concentrate in the fridge, my cup of coffee was delicious at first, but it became colder than I enjoy within 5 minutes of pouring. To fix this problem, I’d just microwave the cup (1/4 full of concentrate) for 22 seconds before adding boiling water. That seems to work fine.

For my second batch, I used a modified version of the recipe in my previous post: only one cup of coffee beans instead of two, and I’m brewed for 24 hours instead of 12. Everything else is the same — I’m brewed in my large French press at room temperature. Note that the measurement is done *before* grinding. You’ll have to experiment yourself if you’re using ground coffee. I’m used Sumatra beans from Wild Rose Coffee Co. in Tucson, Arizona.

So, how does it compare? The finished product is comparable, but I have to use twice as much concentrate as before. So I’m going back to my original recipe.

Cold Brewing Coffee

June 2, 2011 at 8:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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This time I’m brewing coffee! Yes, I know, I’ve been a coffee lover for about a quarter century, but I’m trying something new this time, cold brewing. That’s toddy, for those of you not in the know.

As a guide to this new terrain I used several websites that Jenny sent me. You can find them on my delicious page, just search for “toddy” or “coffee.” I ended up using this method of making toddy in a french press. I used roughly the same ratio, but in a larger press, taking a gamble that I’d like the results.

I did. You betcha I did.

Disclaimer:
This is the first time I’ve ever made this. I’m not an expert, I’m merely synthesizing information from different websites and trying it out. It’s just that my first time yielded such good results, I had to share.

Equipment:
Large (48 oz/1500 ml) coffee press
Coffee grinder

Materials:
2 cups (475 ml) of coffee beans
Filtered water (cold or room temperature)

Procedure:
Grind the coffee on a coarse setting. Add to the press. Fill it with room temperature or cold water. Stir to make sure all the grounds are wet. Wait 2 minutes. Stir again. Let sit 12 hours overnight. Plunge press slowly. Pour into a container and refrigerate. Either strain through a paper coffee filter, or do not pour the last bit of sludge. It will (supposedly) keep up to two weeks.

Consume:
The result is essentially (pun intended) a coffee concentrate. For hot coffee, add one part concentrate to 3-5 parts boiling water. For iced coffee, add a similar amount of cold water and ice.

The result is coffee that is much less bitter, but, since you’re making a concentrate, you can make it as strong as you like. Folks who regularly add cream and/or sugar to their coffee will probably want to add less, if any.

Personally, I have been drinking my coffee black for over a decade. I used one part concentrate to about 4 parts boiling water. The result was a cup of coffee that was among the most smooth and flavorful as I have ever had, and I’ve had some really good coffee in my life. I plan on using the concentrate to make smoothies as well.

Next time, I am going to try doing it with about half as much coffee beans, and I’ll also try changing the brew time, perhaps to as much as 24 hours. I’ll post any relevant observations in the comments. I’d also love to hear about your experiences with cold-brewed coffee!

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