Cold brew, but not cold coffee

Bindu Gopal Rao
Thursday, 14 March 2019

As temperatures rise, enjoy cold brews to fall in love with coffee again

My first introduction to cold brew coffee happened a few months ago in Chennai when I visited the Lavazza Coffee Lab and the taste of the brew was so distinct that I have not forgotten even now. And mind you this is not Cold Coffee.

The Brew
Traditionally, coffee is brewed with hot water, however, the technique of cold brewing is taking the world by storm. What differentiates the two is the extraction method. While hot brewing allows for quick extraction of coffee resulting in a more acidic cup, cold brewing involves a slow extraction process. Cold brew is brewed in room temperature or lower, over 12 to 24 hours. This leaves behind a coffee concentrate which can be used for two weeks and the longer the coffee sits, the stronger is the flavour. Also the acidity level is lower than the average cup of hot brew. 

“Cold brew is created by steeping medium-to-coarse ground coffee in room temperature water for an extended period of time and then filtering out the grounds for a clean cup without sediment. Cold brew is never exposed to heat and uses time to extract the coffee’s sugars, oils and caffeine. Cold/ Iced Coffee is an espresso-based beverage served over ice, usually with milk and syrup. However, it can be made using cold brewed coffee also,” explains Abdul Sahid Khan, training manager, Lavazza India.
 
Onkar Samarth, corporate chef, Bombay Coffee House, avers, “One of the major reasons as to why cold brew coffees are so unique is the acidity level. This no calorie drink is not only beneficial to your health but is also a delicious alternative for coffee drinkers worldwide who find it difficult to consume hot beverages. Apart from eliminating the overall acid reflux, cold brew coffee has fewer amounts of oxidants along with a lower caffeine level. That means one can consume more amounts of cold brew coffee in a day as compared to its warm counterpart.”

The Process
The professional means of cold brewing is to use a cold brew tower in which the coffee is slowly brewed out drop by drop. “To prepare a cold brew at home, all you need is one cup of coarse ground coffee, five cups of filtered water and a glass jar. The procedure is as simple as immersing coarsely ground coffee powder in water at room temperature or lower and leaving it undisturbed to slowly extract. Using a 1:5 coffee to water ratio, add the coffee and filtered water to the glass jar and give it a good stir. Next, it must be steeped for several hours. Steeping in the fridge is recommended but room temperature is also acceptable. Strain into a clean vessel. Store your concentrate in the fridge,” says Khan. 

The cold brew incidentally is best suited for warm and temperate climate in India as it gives an option of enjoying your daily dose of coffee day in and day out. 

Gaurav Nerlekar, operations manager, SodaBottleOpenerWala, says, “There are several coffee drinkers who want to have coffee in summer but not hot, that is when cold brews come into the picture. We have concocted a couple of cold brews — one being with Star Anise and the other one is called Mandarin. Cold brews have different textures and different flavours, and at the same time give a caffeine kick.” 

The smoothness and richness of cold brew has a natural sweetness that pairs extremely well with spice-heavy dishes as well. This coffee concentrate can be paired with many other ingredients to make a variety of coffee-based drinks apart from the regular coffee beverages like Frappe, Iced Coffee as well as cocktails and mocktails. 

So get ready to indulge and say cheers in many different ways!

Vodka Coffee Tail
Ingredients

  • Ginger ale.....3 parts
  • Lavazza Qualita Rossa cold brew coffee concentrate.....2 parts
  • Vodka.....2/3-part 
  • Splash of Grand Marnier
  • Splash of simple syrup ( a solution of equal parts water and sugar)
  • Lemon, orange and cucumber, sliced 
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Fresh mint

Method

  • Fill a 12-oz. glass with ice. 
  • In a shaker, combine cold brew, Grand Marnier, vodka and syrup.
  • Pour over the ice.
  • Top with ginger ale.
  • Decorate with wheel or slices of orange and/or a lemon.
  • Skewer cherries and cucumber wedge, garnish with mint.

(Recipes by Abdul Sahid Khan, training manager, Lavazza India)

Cherry Lemonade
Ingredients

  • Sour cherry syrup.....250 gm
  • Bottled lemonade.....375 gm
  • Sour cherries, sliced......4 
  • Diluted cold brew made from Lavazza Qualita Rossa (1:1) (200 ml pure cold brew + 200 ml water)....400 ml
  • Ice, crushed.....400 ml

Method
FOR THE COLD BREW

  • Prepare the cold brew coffee and leave it to brew in cold water for about 12 hours.
  • Next, filter it using a dampened and squeezed-out cloth or paper filter. Fine and large mesh strainers will provide different results, so use the method that best suits your taste. 

FOR THE CHERRY LEMONADE

  • Pour the bottled lemonade and the sour cherry syrup into a large jug and mix well.
  • Fill a glass with crushed ice and pieces of sour cherry.
  • Pour 150 gm of cherry lemonade and 100 gm of the diluted cold brew into each glass.

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