Ahoy all cold coffee lovers, Sonali Pimputkar has tumbled upon a formula that will both refresh and quench you!
Are you among the thirsty souls who can’t get out of the bed in the morning without a cup of coffee? Or find coffee your best companion in happiness and sadness alike? Whichever category you fit in we have an interesting dose of gyaan for you.
If you are a coffee connoisseur you might be aware of drip, filter, aeropress, and what not… But do you know what ‘cold-brew’ is? Not to be confused with the usual ‘cold-coffee’, prepared in hot water/milk by adding instant coffee powder, sugar and crushed ice. But what makes ‘Cold-brew’ different is that the coffee grounds are brewed in water for 12 to 24 hours (depending on the strength) in room temperature to make a concentrated coffee essence and is served chilled by adding about 50 per cent water. The coffee produced is less acidic, smooth and has natural sweetness in it. Any coffee lover can easily note the characteristic taste profiles that differentiates cold brew over any other conventional method. It is a refreshing way to get your caffeine fix on any day.
Vishal Sainani, an avid ice coffee lover and founder of Brew Ex Machina, who has recently started the venture feels making cold-brew is not a rocket science but making a good one is. “Brewed coffee is the purest form of coffee, it’s the real thing. Having instant coffee is like watching your favourite rock band on television instead of actually attending the concert. The good thing is we bring the rock concert right to your doorstep. I have taken years and tried and mixed over 100 blends to achieve what I believe, what cold brew stands for: Complex, smooth and sweet. Everything else other than these in my opinion defeats its purpose and is anything else but cold brew,” says Vishal.
When asked what inspired him to choose cold-brew over other methods and his journey with Brew Ex Machina, he says, “Being an avid iced coffee lover and living in Mumbai makes me only drink iced coffee, even in our so-called winters. I was bored with the usual iced coffee which was brewed hot then cooled down with ice. This resulted in the ice melting too quick and making the coffee weak but retaining the bitterness for me to still add sugar. I later moved to China to master the art of inner peace and in the journey discovered ‘cold-brew’. Since then I haven’t ever looked back. That’s exactly where Brew Ex Machina comes from.”
All mixed up
Another coffee expert Shannon D’Souza and co-founder of Koinonia Coffee Roasters says, “We currently offer ready-to-drink cold-brew. Our special cold extraction creates a smooth, refreshing and full-bodied coffee. Cold-brew is a great lifestyle product. It can be mixed into a pre-workout, a cocktail or served over ice with friends!”
When asked Shannon about the cold-brew process, he says, “Selecting a coffee for our cold brew starts with our cupping process. We were looking for a dark chocolate profile, that would be round and refreshing. We selected coffees from some of the best estates in India, and blindly cupped them, keeping in mind our end goal. Arabica is definitely the best beans to cold brew. The long extraction requires a bean with a balanced flavour and acidity, which you can’t find in Robusta. A good cold-brew isn’t just about the bean though. It’s about the whole process. We had to look at the roast profile, the grind size, the extraction time, filtration process, and the strength of the coffee.”
As Cold brew is made simply by soaking beans making it sweeter, smoother, less acidic and naturally delicious, it is a perfect ingredient for dessert. You can also incorporate it in cocktails, doughnuts, cakes, sorbet, ice coffee, coffee barbeque sauce and more. The shelf-life of ‘Cold-brew’ is two weeks when stored in refrigeration in 2-6 degrees Celsius and should be consumed within 10 days.
Make your own ‘cold-brew’ at home
Though in restaurant cold-brew is prepared using glass-dripper, you can easily make it at home using some easy steps.
- Take 100 g-150 g of coarsely ground coffee and immerse it in a jug filled with water.
- Cover the jug tightly and store it at room-temperature for 12-24 hours.
- Stir-up the jug every 4-5 hours to move the beans around.
- Later, filter the brew and your cold-brew is ready. When fresh it is high in caffeine so it is advisable to add around 50 per cent water.
- It is said that coffee was discovered by accident in 9th century by an Ethiopian goat herder when he noticed how crazy the beans were making his goats.
- Coffee is a psychoactive. And at high doses it can make you see things… It can also kill you, with the lethal dose of caffeine being around 100 cups.
- Espresso is regulated by the Italian government because it is considered an essential part of their daily life and Hawaii is the only state that commercially grows coffee.
- Brewed espresso has 2.5% fat, while filtered coffee contains 0.6% fat.
- Coffee trees are evergreen and grow to heights above 15 feet but are normally pruned to around 8 feet in order to facilitate harvesting.
- A acre of coffee trees can produce up to 10,000 pounds of coffee cherries. That amounts to approximately 2000 pounds of beans after hulling or milling.
- After they are roasted, and when the coffee beans begin to cool, they release about 700 chemical substances that make up the vaporizing aromas.
- Coffee beans are similar to grapes that produce wine in that they are affected by the temperature, soil conditions, altitude, rainfall, drainage and degree of ripeness when picked.
- Coffee is generally roasted between 400F and 425F. The longer it is roasted, the darker the roast. Roasting time is usually from ten to twenty minutes.
- In the ancient Arab culture there was only one way a woman could legally divorce: If her husband didn’t provide enough coffee.