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Learn the Basics of Cold Brew Coffee

Summertime is Cold Brew Time!

Just because the temperature outside is rising does not mean that the coffee slows down. Rather, it changes form to a little something known as Cold Brew.

Before we begin with this lesson, let me clear up some myths and explain some Cold Brew basics. I remember doing a demo at Whole Foods and explaining the Cold Brew process for about 5 minutes to someone, who suddenly proclaimed ”oh, so its like sun tea!” Kinda, sorta but without the sun. I also was at another demo and had a young couple who quickly came up to try my cold brew. After the first sip they both looked at each other and then asked me “where’s the alcohol in this?” This was at 9:30 a.m. but hey, I guess its 5:00 p.m. somewhere.  After doing a number of demos, it became apparent that these are common perceptions.

So with this behind us, lets get started.  Cold Brewed Coffee is a non-alcoholic beverage, furthermore it is a highly caffeinated one that will send you into a highly productive state.

Cold Brew refers to the process in which the coffee is “brewed”. It is the only method where NO hot water is used throughout the entire brewing process. Cold brew is more like a distilling process one in which coffee is added to cold water and sits in the water until the water becomes a coffee concentrate similar in look and color of brewed coffee.  We distill the coffee for 20 hours at 41 degrees and it is double filtered. Similar to a French Press there is always a little sediment left behind which many enjoy.  Since the coffee is never in contact with hot water to remove any essential oils, Cold Brew undergoes different chemical processes to provide a unique flavor profile. The result is a beverage with much less acidity (67% less according to and more of the sweet flavors in coffee.  This unique combination of reduced acidity and enhanced sweetness gives Cold Brew a much livelier and complex taste than a traditional iced coffee which some have described as flat and watered down.

Finally to be fair, Cold Brew is a time consuming and is hard to apply in a fast paced lifestyle or high volume business.  That said, the taste is far superior to any alternative.  In a world of coffee with so many variables, everything matters.  Green Street understands that not everyone will be able to undertake this time consuming process for production.  Green Street decided to begin bottling Cold Brew so everyone can have the opportunity to enjoy a bottle on the go. Now I am going to share with you how we make Cold Brew!

Green Street Coffee Roasters Presents:

Cold Brewed Coffee Method

I prepare this beverage using 5 to 5.5 gallons of water and 5 pounds of coffee. Since not many people are going to make this quantity, I am not going to use ratios but rather have this serve as the methodology which is what seems to lack on the internet while ratios abound. One important thing to note is that the yield is less than the amount of water you start with. 5 gallons of water will usually get me around 3 gallons of concentrate. You can find some credible one on a manufacturer of cold brew apparatus. I use their equipment and some that I created.

Step 1

Determine how much cold brew you want and create a ratio for water to coffee. Hey, you can always wing this and tweak from there. Most great things followed this scientific path!

Step 2

Start with a clean container that is washed and finish wash with cold water to maintain a consistent temperature. Grind coffee on the coarsest available setting.

Step 3

This will vary based on the cold brew system you have. For me it is pouring the coffee into a filter. (It could be pouring water over the coffee in your container if you plan on straining it at the end.) Pour the water over the coffee ensuring that all grounds come in contact with water. Immediately stir the ground to completely mix with water.

Step 4

Allow approximately 10 minutes for the coffee to “bloom” and stir again. All the grounds will stay close to the surface but by the time the water begins to saturate them (a few hours) they will sink.

Step 5

Completely seal off container so that it is airsealed. Like most other things in the culinary world, air is the enemy of great flavor.

Step 6

Put into refrigerator for 12-24 hours. We do 20 hours.

Step 7

Remove container from refrigerator and have a large bowl or pot ready to put the coffee filter in. This will sit for about a half hour to let all of the concentrate out. I then squeezed it like a lemon but it requires more strength, to get every drop I can. Their is a fine balance here because the last thing you want to do is break it and have the rinds go into the water. You will then have to strain the entire thing. Trust me, this has happened to me more than once.

Step 8

Enjoy the Cold Brew. Optimal Flavor will last about two weeks refrigerated. It is best served over ice and diluted with some filtered water. In a 12 oz. glass, I recommend 4 ice cubes, 6oz of cold brew, and 2 ounces of water. You can get crazy and put vanilla ice cream, ice cubes and cold brew in the blender. Will beat any frappawhappa thing by a mile!

If you have any questions, comments or want to share your recipe with me, I can be reached at thomasmolieri@gmail-dot-com I would be really interested to hear about any concoctions that you made with cold brew.

Bottoms Up!

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