I've lived in Arizona for going on 27 years now, and every year there is a week that I wonder why I live here and how I could make it through another year. This week may not have been that bad, but it was close. The thing is, I still drink coffee... a lot of coffee. I still enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the morning. But when it's 2 pm and 113 out, that afternoon cup of hot coffee does not sound super appealing. So what do I do to enjoy the coffee in this heat?
I drink it iced. However, I have found that taking a normal cup of coffee and pouring it over ice does not cut it for me. It tastes too watered down and just loses some of what makes coffee great. I use one of a few different brewing methods to make the best cup of iced coffee. Here are my three favorites.
If I'm thinking ahead, I'll make Toddy. A Toddy is a cold brew method that takes 12 oz of ground coffee and 7 cups of water and 12 hours to make a coffee concentrate. This concentrate can keep for several weeks (although, I think it loses something after a few days). It is super crisp and clean and has great flavor. But 12oz of ground coffee is a lot of commitment.
The other method that I use regularly is the Hario iced pour over kit. It works in a very similar manner to a standard pour over, except there is a reservoir for ice and the proportions are perfect for a great pure cup of iced coffee. It's a single cup brewer that makes a fantastic cup of coffee.
The last method is pretty new to me, but I made it last weekend for my kids, and they enjoyed it (is it wrong that my 9-year-old asks, "Dad, what coffee is this" and means which country/region / farm/varietal / process?). It is the Aeropress iced latte brewed with the inverted brewing method. This one is great because there is minimal cleanup, you brew into the cup you're drinking out of, and it takes about a minute to make a cup of coffee. And hey, if a 9-year-old says it's the best cup of coffee he's ever had you know it's good.
I'm hoping to be able to offer all three of these as well as some other of my favorite brewing equipment very soon.
If you're looking for our favorite coffees for these brewing methods, we have a few roasted specifically for cold brew coffee.
When you purchase a bag of coffee (preferably fromSagebrush), you will notice three primary descriptors: the roast profile, flavor notes, and processing method. The processing method is a factor that is relatively unknown and often overlooked by coffee consumers, yet it is critical to the overall flavor profile of coffee. In a brief description, a processing method refers to the technique used to transform a ripe coffee cherry into the green coffee exported to roasters. How coffee is plucked, washed, and dried will influence the mouthfeel, aroma, and taste. There are three processing techniques coffee producers use: Natural (or dry), Honey (or pulped natural), and the widely popular, Washed (or wet) process. Today, we will further discuss the washed processing method.
As some of you may know, Ethiopian coffees are always my favorite. A dry-processed, fruit-forward Ethiopian bean is always a winner in my book. For many years, they have been the world's best-reviewed single-origin premium coffee beans. As the 5th largest coffee producer in the world, Ethiopia has mastered the art of harvesting and processing the beans, and the flavor profiles are perfectly complex and delicious.
Someone once said that "the best things in life never come easy." These words stand true for many things, including the coffee bean. Like wine, coffee has a variety of nuances when it comes to flavor, aroma, and body, and these characteristics are based on multiple factors. From the crop to the cup, the simplest adjustment to any of the steps in-between can create a diverse drinking experience. The primary way coffee flavor is distinguished is how it is processed after the initial harvest. One of the less well-known, but most successful ways to process coffee is called the "honey process."