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coffee making methods Archives

Cold Brew Filter Bag

I can’t wait for the season to be here when I can confidently say ‘winter is coming’. Meanwhile, summer’s heat does its best to disagree with me no matter how hard I try to ‘wild bill’ my system with fast cold showers and icy drinks. My main method for a couple of good years was drinking iced coffee, but it’s been a while now since I’ve discovered the total coolness and tastiness of iced coffee’s more charming sibling, the cold-brew coffee.
Cold-brewed coffee is very different from the extended iced coffee family. You know the yummy thing that comes from the big coffee chains, and it comes with tons of sugar and artificial syrups. So please, don’t judge a coffee by its name, cold-brew does not deserve the label that iced coffee is renown for. Cold brew is totally different.

How Is Cold-Brew Coffee Different Than Iced Coffee

The main thing that distinguishes cold brew from iced coffee is a simple one – temperature. While

Iced Coffee

iced coffee is normal hot coffee that is later cooled down, cold brew is actually brewed cold with no messing around with the temperature.
Although cold-brew coffee is even more expensive than iced coffee at your regular coffee shops, that’s really not a reason for discontent. Why do I say that? Well, it’s incredibly easy to make cold brew at home, requires no special skills or machinery (even a regular Mason jar will do), not to mention that if properly stored and refrigerated, you can keep it for up to a whole month without spoiling or losing its properties. You can freeze it into coffee ice cubes, and add water and milk to it, (this is my favorite).

Why Is Cold-Brew Coffee the Queen of Cold Coffee Drinks

First of all, no more disgusting, watery, diluted coffee. As cold brew is prepared cold, it really doesn’t require additional ice. Of course, you can add ice if that’s your thing, but there’s no need for tons of it if you keep your cold brew in the fridge. If ice cold drinks are your thing, just freeze the cold brew into ice cubes, they look gorgeous in a tall glass.

Secondly – and one of my favorite aspects – cold-brew coffee is more potent in caffeine. That’s because we use a bit more ground coffee than with the regular drip joe. Yeah, caffeine is more soluble at high temperatures, so the lower the temperature, the higher the bean-to-water ratio is, and the longer the brew time. If you’re not as much of a fan of strong coffee as I am, adding cream or milk will solve that problem. And for some reason, milk works so much better in cold coffee than in hot. Try it.

Cold brew coffee tastes better, the flavors are more subtle, and refined. That’s my opinion, but you should see what Peter Giuliano says about that here.

Lastly – and a big winner – cold brew is sweeter and lower in acidity. No regular brewed coffee will attain such a low level of acidity as cold brew does, and that all comes down to plain chemistry and how coffee grounds react to boiling water or extreme heat versus how they react to normal temperatures. So, although cold-brewed coffee is higher in caffeine, because of its low acidity, it’s more easy-going on your stomach.

As you may have noticed, cold-brew coffee is truly my summer favorite and I bet that if you would give it a try, it will be yours, too. One more thing: winter, please, come already!

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Ally is a veteran blogger who breaths coffee. She loves to write about her love of coffee, and you can ask her anything on her Google+ page aboput coffee.

Turkish coffee is one of my favorite ways of brewing my joe. People at my work always peek at my coffee mug with curiosity. In North America this strong coffee is almost unknown.

Turkish coffee preparation is similar to the Eastern European, or the Greek, or the Arab coffee. The difference is that the coffee is simmered for a longer time and traditionally, is sweetened. There are variants of the brewing method; I will refer to the most interesting ones.

Cup of turkish coffee

Start by bringing the sweetened water to boil, take it off the stove, add the finely ground coffee and put it back on the stove for the final boil. On the regular electric stoves the lowest temperature is not low enough to prepare a long simmer brew. At high temperatures the coffee froth will overflow every time it reaches the boiling point. To avoid the overflow, you have to take the ibrik off the stove when the froth starts to build up. The overflow starts to build up slowly and progresses very fast. You will need to bring to a boil a few times. Every time you bring to a boil you pour a small quantity into the cups and then proceed to the next boil. This way you get to keep the goodness of each of the steps. The first boil will give you the fine aromas and oils and the foamy layer that are lost at higher temperatures. The consecutive boils will extract the maximum amount of caffeine from your grounds.

Another way to prepare it is to simply raise the foam a few times and pour the coffee at the end. A traditional way to brew Turkish coffee in shops is to simmer coffee for a long time at very low temperatures, near the boiling point on hot sand. This will allow a full extraction while maintaining a full flavor. According to this article about Turkish coffee though, we should only let it rise once.

How does it taste? It is incredibly rich and bold, with a thick body, and people who like clear coffee would definitely not enjoy it. But if you drink espresso and French press regularly, you will probably love it.

Cezve the Turkish Pot – We Call it Ibrik

IbrikThe traditional Turkish coffee pot is a beautiful copper, hand-made, pot called cezve, (we call it ibrik in North America). The cezve can be simple, or it can have beautiful traditional designs. Traditionally, the cezve, is hammered into shape by craftsmen. The fancy ones can be etched with fine traditional motives, and painted with bright colors! Good quality ibriks are lined with tin on the inside. This improves the durability and makes it easier to clean.

When choosing a great ibrik, (cezve), make sure it is made with thick metal. A thicker material helps to stabilize the brewing temperature. Also a thick ibrik will last you longer, since copper wears down at high temperatures.

The preparation

  • Add one to two cups of water into the ibrik and put it on the stove.
  • Add sugar if desired.
  • Bring the water to boil.
  • Take the recipient off the stove and add one to three teaspoons of coffee. The quantity depends on the coffee type, the size of your mug and your personal taste.
  • Put the recipient back on the stove at a high temperature for a few seconds to bring to simmer. Do not boil too much if you want a full flavored coffee; the more you boil it the more flavor is gone, and more caffeine gets extracted.
  • If you want a strong coffee, set the stove at the lowest temperature possible and simmer the coffee longer. The result will be a Turkish style coffee. Be careful, the froth will overflow very fast when it starts to build up near the boiling point.
  • If the brewed coffee is too strong you can always add hot water within the first 30 seconds after brewing.
  • Depending on the coffee type and roast and the boiling time, you will obtain a nice foamy layer as with the Espresso. The foamy layer is the sign of a flavorful coffee.
  • Use a fine strainer to strain the coffee grinds, or leave the grinds settle at the bottom of the cup. The finer the coffee grind the easier the coffee will sink. You need to let the coffee rest for two – three minutes for the grinds to sink. Add a few cold water drops to help the grinds sink.
  • I prefer to leave the grinds sink by themselves, and keep the foam for a nice visual impact. Stirring also helps to sink the grounds.

If you don’t own a Turkish coffee grinder, buy pre-ground. I am not a fan of the pre-ground coffee because it oxidizes faster than whole beans, but in this case it’s better because the grind size is essential with this brewing method. 

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  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Image author owned 

Ahmet is a blogger, and in his free time he makes Turkish coffee for his friends in Chicago. You can also meet Ahmet online on Twitter