The coffee industry is doing a happy dance! The coffee market that was slowing down after the mad moments of lattes, espressos, and mochaccinos, has been given a jolt of caffeine — by cold-brewed coffee!
As innkeepers we know that coffee is the blood that runs through our inns’ veins. So here’s the scoop.
What makes cold-brewed coffee different from iced coffee? Its slow steeped — “brewed” with cold water, ideally one drop at a time – resulting in a smoother, less acidic coffee that packs a lot of buzz for the buck.
To truly enjoy a cold-brewed coffee you can stroll to your nearest Starbucks. Then again you can buy Guinness-style cans that have been pressurized with nitrogen gas. Or you can easily make it at home (but without the nitrogen). And the mutations are seemingly endless!
It’s the process that sells the coffee. And it’s richer because of the bean-to-water ratio and because of the long brewing time. Time, as opposed to heat, extracts more of the coffee’s oils, sugar, and, of course, caffeine.
Can you make it at your inn or at home? There are systems you can purchase ($35-$130 or more, oh, yes, yet another device to squeeze into your high tech kitchen), but you really don’t need them.
- You need a large container, French press, or Mason jar deep enough to hold the coffee and water.
- Ratio: Grind ¼ pound coarsely ground fairly fresh lighter roast beans to 4 cups of room-temperature water (easily doubled, tripled, whatever.)
- Place the coffee grounds in your container. If you are using a French press, pour the coffee into the bottom of the canister.
- Gradually add the water.
- Gently stir to just moisten all of the coffee.
- Cover and let stand for 12-24 hours.
- Use a cheesecloth or even pantyhose to line a fine mesh sieve. Place over the container. Pour the coffee through the sieve, making sure that all the coffee has filtered out. If you are using a French press, press the plunger down to separate the grounds from the water. Pour.
- This concentrate keeps up to two weeks covered and chilled.
- When ready to serve, dilute — 1:1 ratio is suggested –and add ice, milk, whatever you like.
Cold-brewed coffee is the current buzz word! Enjoy the buzz!