|Ross demonstrates hot brewing techniques at Public Brewing School.
Vita’s own lead trainer and barista extraordinaire Ross Beamish was recently featured on CNN’s Eatocracy with 5 tips for perfect cold brew:
Five Ways to Enjoy Cold-Brew Coffee
1. Order a cup of cold brew from a coffee shop that makes it
This really is the best introduction, and the most consistent way to try different blends and coffee origins. Cold brew is made in a high volume, multi-filtered basin, usually one trademarked by the Toddy company (you will hear cold brew sometimes referred to as a “Toddy”).
A large quantity of medium blend, coarsely ground coffee (5-10 lbs) sits in cold, filtered water and brews from 12-24 hours depending on a variety of factors and variables all carefully calculated by coffee company nerds in quest for the perfect product.
Because of the nature of cold extraction, the absence of heat brings out specific flavors in coffee beans characteristic to their origin in exciting ways. Some single-origin coffees make for a tasty and interesting cold brew. As with hot coffee, people develop their favorite cold-brew origins.
2. Try a Kyoto-style cold-brew drip
This is another cold-brew method, only more specialized (OK, way more specialized). Kyoto-style coffee is produced out of a Japanese crafted “Oji” machine, an impressively eye-catching contraption that looks like something Kevin Costner would have searched out in “Waterworld.”
It’s tall, fragile, made of glass bulbs, brass, nylon netting and stained oak. The Oji brews a 6-cup batch (1500 cc) of cold-brew coffee, literally drip by drip – 48 drips a minute – to ensure the right time to volume, about seven hours.
Because of the extremely high caffeine content and size of the batches, Kyoto is served in four-ounce servings over ice. This method produces a light body and a deep sweetness that’s always highlighted when brewing cold. First timers are always surprised by the smoky or cask flavor, often comparing the brew to flavors of a scotch or whiskey.
3. Make cold brew at home using a French press
Start with a clean, dry French press (6 cup or larger) and add one half pound of coarsely ground coffee. (Conveniently, a French press grind works optimally.) Add 5 cups of cold, filtered water and stir gently. Cover the top of the press with a towel or plastic wrap and let it sit (brew) for 8 hours.
After the brew time has completed, plunge the French press as normal. You’ll want to select a vessel to decant the coffee into, a mason jar with a lid works well. Pour the brewed coffee through a mesh strainer into the container and store in the fridge, the brew will keep well for up to a week.
To serve, dilute two parts cold filtered water to one part cold brew and serve on ice. You can dilute the cold brew with milk for a creamier product.
4. Now that you have cold brew in your fridge, make a cold-brew cocktail
Via this recipe adapted from The PDT Cocktail Book:
1.5 oz cognac (Recommended brand: Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
.5 oz Kirschwasser (Recommended brand: Clear Creek)
.5 oz coffee concentrate
.25 oz simple syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with three cherries on a pick.
5. Try making quick and easy coffee ice-cubes
If you’re in a crunch for time, you can still give your iced coffee a boost with coffee ice cubes. Start by brewing coffee at home and placing it in the fridge to chill. Remove half of the batch and pour it into ice cube trays. Leave the second half in the fridge and once the coffee cubes are frozen, simply combine the two. Typical ice cubes dilute the coffee’s flavor as they melt, but this quick fix ensures pure iced coffee that boasts fuller flavor all summer long.