There’s nothing better than a fine creamy glass of the black stuff! Normally ‘the black stuff’ is usually Guinness but that could all be about to change. There’s a new kid on the block.
The picture featured isn’t Guinness it’s a cold brew! Yes you did read right, a cold brew! What’s more the brew in the glass is poured from a beer pump and stuffed full of nitrogen. It’s a A COLD BREW from a beer pump! And not a Hobnob in sight!
Ok, so many may say I’ve been living under a stone for the past couple of years and maybe I have. All the same I’ve only recently stumbled upon the concept of cold brew coffee. The concept sends my head in a spin yet on the other hand I can’t wait to try it – I love coffee. Then my brain says hang on it’s a cold brew! How on earth do you dunk a biscuit in a cold brew?
I now have total empathy with earlier generations when they were first exposed to Garlic Bread!
So what’s cold brew coffee and why is it all the rage?
Cold brew coffee in it’s simplest form is simply ground coffee that has been left to brew for 12-24 hours in cold water. The reason why cold brew coffee has become such a big thing is the great taste. Cold brewing coffee draws out all the very best flavours of coffee leaving behind many of the more bitter tasting elements. The result is you get a better tasting coffee, a coffee in which you can taste all the nuances, such as the fruit or chocolatey flavours. To those who only drink instant this concept of delicate flavours in coffee may be be equally new to you. If you’re my Dad well, I wouldn’t bother, he’s a certain type of person that simply knows coffee as a hot brown drink you ‘sup’!
You can make cold brew coffee yourself.
You can easily make cold brew coffee yourself, in a cafetiere or French press (if you live in the States). The version below uses a simple mason jar, Le Parfait Jar, Kilner Jar or whatever you like to call them.
- First grind your coffee coarsely you’ll need about 200g then place the grounds in the jar. Next add 1 litre of water (pref filtered water) to the coffee grounds. Gently stir and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours, the longer you leave it the stronger it will be.
- Take the jar out of the fridge and then pour the mixture through a fine sieve or filter coffee paper. If you haven’t got either a sieve or filter coffee paper, try some old cotton or even a pair of tights.
- Pour it in a cup or glass and drink! It’s as easy as that.
- What you don’t drink can be stored in the jar for up to 2-4 weeks.
I’ve tried it myself and the recipe works. The result is very tasty indeed and I can see what all the fuss is about now. Plus, if you don’t fancy it cold you can heat it up in the microwave add a splash of milk etc and away you go. A smoother, taster cup of coffee, with much less bitterness.
Search for cold brew coffee recipes and you’ll find hundreds. Some simply plain cold press coffee recipes, others with different ingredients added.
If you love a gadget you can buy loads online, Amazon sells quite a few cold brew coffee gadgets. Personally I think the jar method works just fine until I want better quality, then I’ll buy from the experts (see below).
So what about the stuff filled with nitrogen.
The evolution from simple cold brew coffee to nitrogen infused isn’t as much of a leap as you may think, especially if you know a bit about brewing. When you taste cold brewed coffee you can easily imagine the benefits of adding a little more creaminess without the cream. Artisan coffee companies such as Brew Lab of Edinburgh, have perfected the art of nitrogen infused coffee. To put it simply, it’s cold brewed, filtered and then treated much like beer. Put it in a barrel condition with nitrogen, dispensed through a pump like the type you see in a pub. and hey presto. The result is cold brew coffee with a smooth creamy texture much like Guinness.
What happens is this, as the coffee is conditioned in the barrel with the nitrogen, the gas reacts with the oils in the coffee to create the creamy texture. It’s another example of culinary chemistry!
Brew Lab make the chemistry work.
Based in Edinburgh Brew Lab is a small artisan coffee company who take the art of coffee to the next level. Started back in 2012 the guys at Brew Lab both shared a passion for hospitality and great coffee. Understanding that a new generation of coffee was taking root in places such as London, Portland and New York, they set about creating their own coffee experience in Edinburgh.
Brew Lab now not only have a coffee bar and training lab, but also supply products in many different locations across the UK. You can find Brew Lab Single Origin Coffee in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Liverpool, Manchester and London.
If you can’t find Brew Lab products near you, you can buy their bottled coffee via their online shop. Supplied in packs of either 6 or 12 250ml bottles the single-origin cold brew coffee, is brewed for 18 hours then filtered three times for a crisp, smooth finish.
They also supply wholesale nitrogen infused cold brew coffee systems to coffee shops, bars and numerous other outlets. Now that’s what I really want to try!
Make it yourself or buy it from the experts.
It seems cold brew coffee is here to stay and will only become more widely available as people start to ask for it. All the same my first initial home-made step into this brewing revolution has been very encouraging indeed. It makes for a very enjoyable and tasty alternative to regular tea or coffee. Add a little ice and you’ve got a great drink at any time day or night, sure beats a soft drink!