Cold Coffee. It’s usually what I find at my desk after I have been distracted by other tasks besides drinking coffee. I pour a cup, I sit at my desk and then before I know it I have cold coffee.
Cold Coffee is usually an unpleasant surprise,when you drink what you think is piping hot java juice is actually tepid brown sludge. However, I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I let a cup of our new crop Brazil sit for a while. The coffee tasted sweet as candy and reminded me of peanut brittle and warming spices like clove and cinnamon.
I had recently read a fantastic article in Barista Magazine by Lorenzo Perkins, South Central Barista Guild Chapter Representative and all-around awesome trainer for Cuvee Coffee out of Spicewood,Texas. The article was all about cold brewing coffee. I have never been a fan of toddy or cold-brew coffee, instead favoring the “japanese method” of brewing iced coffee. I tried the methods outlined by Lorenzo in the article, using 63 grams of Brasil coffee, ground for french press to 1,011mL of “liquid. For the “liquid” I used 252 grams of ice and 759 mL of just off boil water. I brewed using a chemex, with the ice in the bottom of the carafe. I also prepared my own method of the “japanese method”, using 66 grams of Brasil on the same grind to 1,040 mL of “liquid”. For the “liquid”, I placed 520 grams of ice in the bottom of the chemex carafe and used the remaining 520 mL of just-off-boil water to brew with.
I asked my co-workers to try both iced chemexes. Everyone I asked said that they liked each brew for different reasons. The unanimous opinion was that the Lorenzo method had more depth of character and could be “doctored” with other accoutrements as sugar and milk without the flavors being lost. The “Emily method” had a briskness and clean refreshing taste that was great without additions, but lacked body and roundness that is so definitive of Brazilian coffees.
I was intrigued with the opinions and feedback that I heard and thought about cold-brew. I set a pound of coffee to brew overnight in our lab’s toddy brewer. The next morning, we tasted the toddy and were surprised by the chocolately, rich, orange zest flavors. The flavors were very vibrant and the body was full and round. There was a little bit of a kahlua-like flavor and I think that I fell even more head over heels in love with this coffee when I tasted it as cold-brew.
The legend of how coffee came to be grown in Brazil is rooted in a love affair. Lt. Col. Francisco de Melo Palheta, from Brazil was sent to French Guiana to try to steal seeds to plant coffee plants. He met the First lady of French Guiana, who reportedly “succumbed to his charms”. They had a brief affair and she hid coffee seeds in a bouquet that was given to the Brazilian man at a farewell dinner. Now Brazil produces more coffee annually than any other coffee producing country.
So for all the cold-brew enthusiasts, keep your eye out for our new crop Brazil that will be available for sale in March.
Read more about manual brewing here:
Everything but Espresso by Scott Rao