Cold Brew vs. "Japanese Iced"

Ladies and Gents,
Let me introduce you to a brand new Craft Coffee blog series….: Pro-Tip Tuesday!

Today, in the spirit of spring to come, we dig into Cold Brew vs. “Japanese Iced”.
Sam Lewontin, our in-house coffee evaluator, has been so kind to give us a preview of his thoughts on the subject. 

Any thoughts or comments? Be part of the conversation! @craftcoffee #craftcoffeetuesdays. 


Cold-brewed iced coffee is immensely popular, and for good reason: it’s easy to make in large batches, and it’s pretty foolproof. Just put the proper amounts of ground coffee and water in a container, steep for around 12 hours, filter out the grounds, and you’ve got a cup that’s consistently pretty tasty.

The trouble with cold brew is that many of the flavors which make coffees distinctive– organic acids, volatile aromatic compounds and so on– aren’t extracted at all when brewing with cold water. This means that, while cold-brewed coffee can be very good, it will generally taste pretty similar, no matter which coffee you use.

If you’re looking for iced coffee that tastes like hot coffee, then, you’ll need to brew with hot water. We do this by changing our brew recipe for pour-over methods so that a little more than 1/3 of the water (by weight) is replaced with ice, which we place in the carafe, so that we’re brewing the hot coffee directly onto it. For instance: our usual Chemex recipe calls for 30g. of coffee and 500g. of water; to ice it, we place 200g. of ice in the bottom of the Chemex, and then brew using 30g. of coffee and 300g. of hot water. We also grind a little finer, to compensate for the effects of the smaller amount of water on the brewing process.

Get brewing and tell us what you think!

Pro-Tip Tuesday: Over or Under Extracted Shot
It’s Tuesday which means Pro-Tip by Alex Bernson!

For all you uber-coffeegeeks out there with an espresso machine in your kitchen, here’s a good way to get a handle on what baristas mean when they’re talking about a shot being “over-extracted” or “under-extracted”.Get ready to make a shot of espresso as you normally would, but get 3 demitasse cups ready.
Have an idea in your head of about how long your shots usually run seconds-wise. Start the shot going and put the first demitasse under the portafilter. A third of the way through the shot (~7seconds) pull the first cup away and put the second one under. Do the same at ~15s with the third cup. 
The first cup will have a dark, dense look to it. If you taste it, it’ll be sour and maybe salty but also have some sweetness, caramel and dark fruit flavors. If your shots tend to taste too much like this you are “under-extracting”.
The second cup will be sweeter and have more of a smooth, round body. A good shot of espresso needs to have a lot of this middle sweetness.
The last cup will be more bitter and sharp. If your shots normally taste too much like this you are “over-extracting”.
Each of these cups will be pretty unpleasant by themselves, but they add up to a delicious shot of espresso when they are all in balance. If your shots are tasting under-extracted to you, try loosening your grind setting, and conversely, try tightening the grind if they taste over-extracted.

Be sure to tweet your thoughts and comments at @alexbernson!  

Paper in my Coffee?
Another Pro-Tip Tuesday has arrived!
Have you ever wondered why people rinse their coffee filters and what it does to the quality of their coffee? Todays pro-tip rant is about exactly that.
Sam Lewontin, take it away:

“Rinsing your paper filter is one of the easiest ways to improve the quality of your coffee at home. Simply put: paper filters taste like paper, and rinsing with hot water before brewing extracts much of that paper flavor, so that it doesn’t end up in your cup.  For a dramatic demonstration, try rinsing a filter and taking a sip of the resulting rinse water. It’ll taste a lot like chewing on whichever filter you’re using.

To rinse, just seat the filter in the brewer and pour a cup or so of brewing-temperature water through it into a carafe (or straight into the sink). Discard the rinse water, and then brew and enjoy!”

Have you ever considered rinsing your filter? Can you taste a difference? Start the conversation on our facebook page or tweet @craftcoffee #craftcoffeetuesdays
Goldilocks Syndrome

Welcome to Craft Coffee’s Pro-Tip Tuesday!

Do you ever wonder if the water you’re pouring over your freshly ground coffee is the right temperature? If it’s too hot you will burn the coffee grounds and if it’s too cold you won’t be able to extract the best taste. How can you get it just right?
Stop worrying, Goldilocks. Try this:

When the water is boiling, take it off the heat and wait until all the bobbles have settled and the water has stopped moving. That means the water is about 205 degrees. Make coffee so good, the bears won’t even notice you slept in their beds and ate their food.

We’d love suggestions on what to talk about on Pro-Tip Tuesday.
Tell us on Facebook or Twitter @craftcoffee #craftcoffeetuesdays.