Cold Brew, Hot Bloom

October 5, 2010

I’ve been playing around with a cold brew method this week that’s been in Coffee Blog purgatory for a couple of months. Jesse Kahn (of World Bean) and Jesse Raub (of Intelligentsia Millennium Park) tweeted back and forth a while back about this method, but it was hard to get a good handle on brew ratios or the thinking behind the concept in general. I tried it back then with some terrible over-extracted results, any number of things could have gone wrong but I’ll just blame it on my parents Capresso Infinity Grinder that has been heading downhill for quite a while now. Enter a new Bitter Press post by Jesse Raub on the whole concept, based on the experiments he did back in Mid-August. I will HIGHLY recommend reading his blog post before mine for some photos as well as better general intro. In fact, I would just highly recommend reading his blog in general, but even more so now. Anyways, this is just a bit of a catalogue of my experiences, would love some similar experiments! It really doesn’t require fancy equipment which is nice. I used a couple of 500ml highball glasses and my Hario V60 to filter everything in this experiment but you could easily use many other kinds of filtration.

I did two brews yesterday with some leftover Guatemala El Bosque (RD Sep 24) and El Salvador La Illusion (RD Sep 17) from Has Bean’s In My Mug subscription.
For both cups I did a 30 second Hot Bloom with 50ml over 30 grams of coffee, with 250ml cold water on top at the 30 second mark for an 8 hour Cold Brew steep time in Room Temperature. Something I have found helpful when cold brewing is brewing at room temperature rather than brewing in the fridge. Room temperature brewing seems to pull out more of the coffees character as well as shorter brewing times due to the warmer water. The La Illusion cup was nothing special (Coffee was 2 1/2 weeks old) it was still delicious with some winey berry notes and the general cocoa iced coffee taste. The La Bosque on the other hand was ridiculously delicious with notes of spiced apple and creamy cocoa, a super juicy and complex iced coffee; one of the more delicious things I’ve had in a while!

Today I did a side by side of Cold Brew vs Hot Bloom cold brew with Has Bean’s new Kicker Espresso blend (40% El Salvador La Illusion, 40% El Salvador Alaska, 20% Ethiopian Yirgacheffe) the blend descriptors are “Oranges, Sherbet, Lemonade, and Difficult”. 100ml hot bloom for 30 seconds, 35 grams of Coffee, 10 hour cold brew in Room Temperature with 250ml water. Whereas the Cold Brew was flat on the aromatics and had the “Toddy Taste” of cocoa and wet coffee grounds in the sink, it still retained a bit of citrus that is definitely a major player in the blend. On the other side, the Hot Bloom/Cold Brew cup had some rich dark cherry aromatics that reminded me of the rum soaked cherry garnish from a Manhattan. In the cup, the citrus wasn’t as prominent, but heavily sweet in a lemonade like quality with just a subtle pucker of lemon on the finish, as well you could taste some of the distinct raisin-berry flavor (reminiscent of the La Illusion Cascara) in the cup which might be a flip side of the cherry in the aroma. Also a delicious cup but I think I would shorten the brew time back to 8 hours in order to pull out more of the wonderful juicy quality as well as more citrus.

I may stop experimenting with this brewing method after some great results with it due to winter swiftly approaching here in Norther Ireland, but those in warmer bits of the world (read: Texas/Houston) should play around with this some more and let me know what you think! Again all the credit goes to Jesse Kahn and Jesse Raub for their launching point and their generosity in sharing their experiences with it!

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2 Responses to “Cold Brew, Hot Bloom”

  1. randy luck Says:

    Your tweet got me here. And yes, you’re still the 15th result.

    As far as cold brewing goes – check out http://toddycafe.com/. It looks like a total sham. However – I know the guy who invented the whole process after he graduated from Cornell with a Chem E degree.

    You make a really low-acid concentrate over 24 hours that you can then put in milk or water. It makes a completely different, and in my opinion, taste.

    If you don’t wanna cough up for a brew system without trying – I wouldn’t – I have one that I’ll have at home over Christmas break.

    Hope Ireland is wonderful.

    • cmoody91 Says:

      Yeah I was basically doing a ghetto Toddy system. Lots of cafes use them on a large scale for Cold Brewing but I don’t like Toddys/Cold Brews in general because of the lack of Acidity, as it is actually the catalyst for most flavor in coffee, which lead me to do this hot bloom method to bring out more acidity. I understand why most people like cold-brew though, because acidity can become harsh and unpleasant if everything isn’t executed properly. Cheers.


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