Friday, July 20, 2012

Awww yeah...Cold Brewed Coffee Concentrate!

In my early adult years I was a total coffee snob and I didn't even try to pretend I wasn't. I stayed current on all the fancy brewing methods and designer beans that Starbucks would sell; my staple drink was a 4 shot wet cappuccino. When I traveled, I schlepped along my french press and beans to ensure I had suitable coffee to drink. You get the idea..... It wasn't that I lost my passion for the diesel...but when it became time to try to get pregnant, I realized that 4 shots of espresso each morning probably wasn't going to help. So, I gradually got off the brown stuff...I stepped down the number of shots to 2....then went 1/2 decaf....then went all decaf....and I never really went back to full caff.

Coffee just didn't appear so sexy to me anymore. The ritual of drinking it each morning still remained important to me but in a much more scaled back way. These days, I use Starbucks Via, their instant coffee. It's actually very tasty. There is a decaf Italian Roast which is dark and smokey.

It was just recently however, that Starbucks began selling a blend called Tribute, and for some reason it was appealing to me. It's a blend of an Aged Sumatra from Ethiopia, with beans from both Papua New Guinea and from Colombia. It's luscious. I tried it, and it was delicious! And caffeinated!! I reserved it for special days when I felt a bit of caffeine was in order.
When the July issue of Bon Appetit came in and featured an article on cold brewing coffee concentrate for iced coffee, I knew I had to try it, and use the Tribute blend beans.
When I went in to get the beans, low and behold, Starbucks was sold out and was not going to get any more in. The barista there made a custom blend for me, using a similar mix of beans to that in the Tribute blend. I was set to make my coffee concentrate....

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2012
Makes ~5 cups coffee concentrate, that lasts for up to 2 weeks in fridge
12 oz coarsely ground, fresh beans
8 cups water
Also needed: cheese cloth, fine mesh sieve and coffee filters

1. Place coarse ground beans in a container big enough to hold 8 cups water
 2. Pour 8 cups water (I used filtered water) over the grounds and stir them, ensuring that all of the grounds have been moistened
 3. Cover the container with cheesecloth and allow to sit for at least 15 hrs at room temperature - mine actually sat for 19 hrs
 4. After the steeping time is up, line a fine mesh sieve with the cheesecloth
 5. Carefully pour the steeped grounds over the cheesecloth and drain the coffee concentrate into another container - I had enough cheesecloth so I could pick up the grounds and squeeze out residual liquid; then compost or spread the grounds in your garden :)
 Here is the coffee concentrate before running it though a coffee filter:
 6. Take a coffee filter and pour the concentrate through it - there are fine coffee particles in the liquid that get filtered out - Filtration can take ~30 - 45 minutes - I had to complete this stepwise, as I only had small coffee filters, and it only held so much of the concentrate
 Check out the bottom of the filter- Like Mud!!
You're left with an amazingly dense, but not muddy, coffee concentrate that can be used to make iced coffee - Liquid gold!
Try out a ratio of concentrate/water that works for you. Here is an iced coffee with 4oz concentrate, 4oz water and 1oz half-half:
I'm totally hooked. It's a bit of work with the cheesecloth and filters etc, but it's totally worth it. What you won't get is a weak cup of iced coffee or an acidic cuppa w.a bitter finish....what you will get is a smooth, strong yet soft cup of iced coffee. Definitely worth giving it a go.

1 comment:

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