NOTE: I know I generally tend to make comparisons between coffee and beer in my musings. And oftentimes I just happen to bring up beer for no particular reason (other than it’s awesome.) But despite the misleading title, I will NOT be mentioning beer in today’s column. Except for just now. Beer is delicious.
When I elected to take on the coffee topic for DWH, part of me worried that eventually I would run out of stuff to talk about. Really, how many different types of beans and roasts are out there? A metric crap-ton, actually. And by Joe, I plan on trying them all! Well, except maybe that one that’s pooped out by rodents. They don’t pay me enough around here to look past my innate misgivings about drinking butt beans.
So yeah, there’s a lot of coffee out there to try. But geographical origins aren’t the only fascinating thing about these bad boys. You see, coffee may very well be one of the most multifunctional items imaginable. There are different ways to roast the beans for a variety of different tastes and potency, and even different ways to brew in order to achieve a purer, fruitier, and considerably more aromatic result.
Basically coffee is the potato of the beverage industry.
One particular means of brewing has intrigued me greatly as of late, and that is the COLD BREW. Sure, I was just as reticent as the next guy at such a notion. After all, cold coffee SUCKS, right?
Well, I suppose that would be true if you hot-brewed a pot, poured a cup, and then forgot about it for a while (but really, it’s YOU that sucks for that, not the coffee; let’s not blame our dear cup o’ joy, shall we?) Well, here’s the thing about that: we’ve inundated ourselves to believe coffee should be hot, because somehow the high temperature helps to quell that inevitable tinge of edgy bitterness. But what if I were to tell you that same edgy bitterness may have been put into your coffee BECAUSE you brewed it hot? The cold brew houses a deep flavor that is gentle and smooth. And actually, that same calmness makes it pretty good to drink cold!
But in the interest of dumb white husbandry and our stubborn everything, you actually CAN drink it hot. The cold brew method simply (yet time-consumingly) creates a concentrate that will keep for a couple of weeks. You dilute the concentrate with hot or cold water or milk -if your weenieness insists, of course- at a ratio of 3 parts dilution to one part concentrate. Or 2:1, if you want to be a jittery badass. And, don’t tell Chris Bohlin I’m sharing this, as he might get all huffy and shirtless, but the concentrate itself would make an excellent topping for Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream.
So go on, gents. Be brave. Have an iced coffee au lait, and enjoy the varied possibilities of your beloved java. Just make sure no one is watching.