Page 39 - the Noise July 2017
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It’s iced coffee season!
As the days get warmer here in Northern Arizona, many coffee drinkers find themselves switch- ing to iced coffee to get some en- ergy. But perhaps more specifically, they’re drinking cold brew or other iced coffee beverages that don’t just repurpose old pots of coffee, poured over a cup of ice. Let’s look at our cold coffee options ...
Cold Brew
Back in 1964, Cornell graduate Todd Simpson invented what is called the Toddy Cold Brew System. His invention forever changed the world of “iced coffee.” This original cold brew method is used in homes
as well as in cafes, with slight variations in recipes or methods of preparation. Basically, it uses coarse ground coffee immersed in cold or room temperature water for 12-24 hours. Length of immersion time makes up for the lack of higher water temperatures in extract- ing the coffee’s natural solubles.
Many consumers are drinking cold brew because its also easier on the stomach. Peo- ple with sensitive stomachs or who can’t handle much acidity find that cold brew coffee seems to offer an answer. It has roughly 60% less acidity than hot coffee because the lack of cold water is unable to extract some of coffees natural oils and compounds such as chlorogenic acid. This of course leaves the coffee tasting less acidic, which most experi- ence as generally “more smooth.”
Although this can be a favorable aspect, much of the Specialty Coffee industry sees it as a downside because acidity and “brighter” aromatic compounds are what gives every coffee its true personality, setting each one apart from each other, and thus allowing the
coffee connoisseur to distinguish between coffee origins and processing methods. So, it’s really just a matter of taste and preference in the end.
The Bottle and Tap Craze
Bottled cold brew has become widely available in grocery stores and cafes every- where and can come in many forms. Plain, as concentrate, nitro, or with cream or other flavors added for instance. Some come in cans or cartons and most in glass bottles. Give all of them a try to find what you really enjoy, but also be sure to look at the ‘brewed on’ or ‘sell by’ dates to ensure you’re getting a product that’s as fresh as possible.
Speaking of fresh, many cafes and bars are offering nitrogenated and/or regular cold brew on tap, straight out of the keg, the same way you’d get a cold beer on draught. This can be a very refreshing and unique way to try cold or iced coffee, especially when ordering the nitro version of a given coffee. Nitro can be very pleasant due to the foam and froth that’s created from the process.
Iced Pour-Overs
This is my personal favorite. Hot water is poured over a bed of coffee grounds, thereby extracting everything the coffee has available, but simply uses less water in the brewing process since it’ll be made up by the addition of ice during and/or after the entire pro- cess. It’s easy to make at home with your favorite manual brew method. Just experiment with using a finer grind setting, an additional 4-6 grams of coffee, and approximately 100 grams less water per cup. For instance, brew 26g coffee to 220g water for a 16oz pint glass filled with ice. This method can allow us to experience light to medium roast coffees with a lot of personality, but chilled for some relief from the hot summer.
Flash-chilled Coffee
Finally, we have the flash-chilled method which hasn’t reached heightened popular- ity yet, but is becoming more commonplace. Incorporating similar tools used for brew- ing beer, a coiled water pipe system with cold water running through it, cools down the hot coffee as it brews into a large container. This way, the coffee is being chilled right away, without being diluted with ice at all. Neat-o!
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