So what had happened was, it was hot; unbearably hot. Which for the SF Bay Area is anything over 85 and for me is anything over 65.
Did I forget to mention that I’m a polar bear? Not like I think I’m a literal polar bear, I don’t do those kinds of drugs. I mean I like cold weather, rain, fog and the icy judgmental stares of hipsters so, really, anything warmer than a Vancouver fall is too warm for me.
Anyway, I wanted cold brew be, or at least something resembling cold brew, because it was getting to be 70 degrees outside and I hadn’t made any the night before. This was partly due to the fact that I had left both my grinder and my French press somewhere, not to mention I had already used up all my coffee so I was out until the regular shipment of Valiant Roaster’s Choice which arrived early that morning. Normally my home brew method is to make a very coarse grind, toss it in the French press and leave it overnight but this was obviously out of the question.
The first step was finding a way to grind it. Now I had a former roommate who was super into homeopathy and used a mortar and pestle to grind up whatever herbs or spices or healing vibes or whatever nonsense and he had left said mortar and pestle when he moved out. I could have used that to grind up the coffee but I didn’t have the patience for how much time that would take. Plus, I didn’t want to run the risk of the healing vibes mixing with the coffee vibes. This is a very sensitive process. My current roommate has a magic bullet blender and has a double blade for it. This, I thought, this would work.
So I threw a healthy handful into that and pulsed it until it had a rough grind. For any brew such as I was going to attempt, I would need a fairly coarse grind. This is because a coarse grind is a blunt instrument for processes where you have little control. A fine grind is usually used for something where you have control over almost every factor. I was out of my element using imprecise measurements so I needed to use a metaphorical sledgehammer rather than a scalpel.
Next was to find something to let it brew in. I needed something with a small pouring mechanism so whatever I used to filter out the coffee grounds wouldn’t overflow. I was already using a big mason jar for the coffee (I played a show late the night before and I NEEDED coffee) and besides, that had too large of a rim. I looked around to see if there was something I’d forgotten about and lo and behold, there was an empty Sierra Nevada Growler that my ex had left in my apartment. She said that her ex had left it in her apartment so I assume the expectation is that I leave it in my next exes apartment to carry on the tradition.
After I had ground the coffee I needed some sort of funnel to get the coffee grounds from the blender to the growler. I had a flask funnel but that was too small. I did have the receipt from the Valiant shipment so I just made a “V” with it, poured the coffee grounds onto the paper and slowly funneled it into the growler.
Since I didn’t have time to leave it for 12 hours, I filled it halfway with room temperature water and probably 70-80 grams of coffee. Using room temperature water would speed up the process but not interact with the carbon in the coffee as much so the result should be a hybrid of cold brew and hot brewed flavor profiles. Also, with coffee or tea, the lower the temperature, the longer you should brew or infuse. Same goes for the coarse grind or fine grind. The more coarse the grind, the more time you should use. So since I was using an unusually coarse grind and room temperature water this should have taken me about 25 minutes.
I tasted it at 20 and it was not shaping up too well so I ground about 30 grams to a medium grind (because those grounds are working with less time) and tossed that in.
Fortunately I was using Valiant’s Espresso Blend which is pretty diverse which allowed my blunt instruments to bring out at least a few of those citrusy notes that I really enjoy in Valiant’s espresso.
After tasting it a couple times to make sure it was ready, I poured it through a tea infuser with a fine filter into the large mason jar with about all the ice in my fridge. And there I had my cold-ish brew with none of the regular equipment.
That's all for now folks and, as always,