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!

Advertisements

Big Update

February 11, 2010

Well, ever since i’ve been up in Chicago i’ve done a very poor job of updating, but you know, i’m in Chicago so it can be excused.
I’ve had some wonderful coffees from Intelligentsia and have yet to visit another cafe that wasn’t completely sub par on every level. A week or so ago Intelligentsia started offering two Burundi and two Rwanda coffees that have been very interesting to taste a couple different ways. I’ve especially enjoyed the Ikirezi, Burundi: Kirundo Muyinga as pour-over and single origin espresso. Tons of oak or cedar on the nose and hits you in the face with a nice sweet clementine orange acidity and some nice bitter chocolate and nuts on the finish. Almost reminds me of a chocolate covered orange candy in that sense.

Besides enjoying some amazing espresso and interesting conversations with the baristas, i’ve also been working on my siphon skills (although i still need a thermometer), as well as trying to modify my Skeleton Hario Hand Grinder, which i’ve finally found a way to have “settings”.
Basically i’ve made a small sharpie mark on the washer that controls the burrs while having the burrs completely closed together, added a mark on the plastic hopper cylinder directly below it that matches up. Then i’m measuring “settings” by half rotations or full rotations from this zero mark. So far i’ve been able to do some tests and determine which settings i generally use for which methods, and now i will be able to modify my grind settings according to taste because i know the settings rather than merely guessing on vague memory and sight.

Thats all i have for now!

Hario V60

December 2, 2009


I’ve been using this method mostly to brew at home recently. It brews a great 5-12 ounces for one person and i’ve gotten better results than Chemex, which I suspect has to do with Hario’s thinner filters as well as something about the design, the ridges seem to give better airflow and room for the coffee to expand during the bloom. I don’t know for sure what it is about the design, but it tastes wonderful!
I’ve been using the method laid out over at Barismo as a general guide and it has been very helpful but i’ve found a slightly higher dose has worked for my taste/grind.
The brew today was the Cruz del Sur, Organic Peru from Intelligentsia. It has been a really great coffee for the past week but i don’t have a great idea yet of everything it can do. It has a really wonderful caramel/green apple aroma even as whole bean, and the tartness of that same green apple is what has continually taken my attention, especially how surprisingly pronounced it came out in a press pot. This week I also want to do a comparison between PT’s Coffee’s roast of the Amaro Gayo next to Max’s Roast from Amaya Roasting/Catalina Coffee!
Anyways, that’s all for today. Just wanted to give an update and encourage everyone to get your hands on a V60 to experiment with for at least an afternoon!

Kenya Thiriku

December 1, 2009


Image by Tonx via Flickr

Roaster: Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea
Producer:Thiriku Factory
Farm:Thiriku Cooperative
Region:Nyeri District, Thigingi area
Varietal:SL-28, SL-34
Altitude:1700 – 1900 m
Harvest:November – January
(from Intelligentsia’s website)

Got a pound of this coffee and a Peru from Intelligentsia, but this one is outstanding. Today at Tuscany Coffee we made a Chemex, a Pourover and pulled a couple shots of it and every manifestation was outstanding.

The dark sweet blackberry and more savory notes came through with the Chemex and in the aroma of the grounds. David from Tuscany observed that the grounds smelled almost like a savory steak rub.

David then pulled 4 or 5 double espressos that were absolutely stunning, though at first it was very upfront with the tropical mango/pineapple fruits and very unbalanced, we up dosed and ground coarser and more syrupy sweetness came through with hints at the savory notes. The espresso still mostly hit the tropical fruits that were not as noticeable in the Chemex.

This coffee is absolutely stunning though, if you are going to pick up or order a coffee from somewhere, this is the most impressive i’ve had in a couple months.