Food & Drink Wednesday, June 28th Words by: Holland Otik, pictures by: Holland Otik/Instagram - Method Roastery

What is Cold Brew coffee (and where can you get some in Herefordshire)?

Food & Drink Wednesday, June 28th

What is Cold Brew coffee (and where can you get some in Herefordshire)?

Cold Brew coffee is a-booming right now. Food writer Holland Otik went out to find out why, how to make a pot, and where you can get a chilled coffee that doesn't drink like a cup of melted, milky ice cubes.

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Cold Brew coffee is not for those people who say things like, “why buy handmade plates? just use paper ones, it's easier.” Or for those people who have never used coconut oil as a personal lubricant, or for those who want to just walk slowly and calmly into their pre-dug grave at around 67 because it's much less hassle that way.

I refuse to shuffle my way through life in a mediocre and straightforward fashion so that it passes me by as quickly as possible – no – so that's why I'm going to mix my coffee in cold water and wait for 24 hours until it's too strong to drink and I have to mix it with something else so that my brain doesn't explode from caffeine, and then enjoy the fact that it tastes a bit different to normal, because that is how you APPRECIATE YOUR EXISTENCE.

Now that I'm done projecting personal frustrations onto liquids, it's time for some actual researched information. I present: The Herefordshire Live Guide to Cold Brew Coffee and Actually Enjoying Your Life.

The first step on your route to salvation is to learn how to make cold brew coffee, and why you should make cold brew coffee. I got in touch with Method Roastery – Herefordshire-based, ethical hand-roasters of excellent coffee, and asked why anyone should cold brew their coffee at all.

 

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“Good things come to those who wait,” is the Method motto - but why?

“Cold Brew involves making coffee without the application of heat, and this makes for a very different tasting beverage; the balance of flavours extracted changes quite radically," they told me.

"Making Cold Brew does need a little planning and preparation, and for the best results you need to start the brew between 12 and 24 hours before drinking. It’s well worth the wait though - you’ll be enjoying a less intensely flavoured drink - perfect on a hot summers day.”

Cold Brew has very little bitterness and acidity and is naturally smooth and sweet.

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Hereford urban eatery Sensory & Rye not only stock Method coffee beans but they'll grind those beans for you fresh and you get to watch them disappear through a machine which goes 'grr-grrr-grrr' which is incredibly satisfying, and then makes you smell like a productive person with their whole life together as you carry it home wafting fresh-coffee-scent at strangers.

If, however, you don't want to take the beans home and wait 24 hours to try this highly-caffeinated nectar, you can grab some in-house. Nicola Hassenpflug, the owner of Sensory & Rye and full coffee obsessive, told me how they make theirs:

“Our mix is 8:1,” said Nicola, making a new batch for my education. “So that's 800ml water to 100g coffee.

"It must be mineral or filtered water – mineral is best – the coffee needs the mineral in order for it to extract properly. Chlorine kills the delicate flavours, so don't use tap water.

  1. Use very coarsely ground beans, or come and get us to grind them for you in house.
  2. Give it a very good swirl in the mineral water and leave it in a jug or caffetiere for 12-20 hours.
  3. Once your coffee is steeped, strain it out, and when you drink it mix it one part coffee to two parts water. 

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"It's super caffeinated, which is why you mix it – what people don't often know is that caffeine is water soluable, so the longer it steeps the more caffeine.

"People think espresso is strong, because it tastes bitter, but that bitterness is not related to strength.”

You can mix with hot or cold water, but Nicola advises against milk ("I mean, you can, but why? You wouldn't buy an expensive wine to mix with lemonade") but won't slap your wrists if you insist.

"If you really have to have milk, then OK. It's not wrong to drink a spritzer, but the beauty of cold brew is that it's really clean."

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She's right, it's kind of like herbal tea on steroids – the Method Guatemala brew tastes oaky, slightly like burned caramel, and oddly berryish. You can really imagine the whole coffee plant, not just the roasted little bean that we see.

And there you have it, now you can either make your own cold brew, or go and have Nicola do it for you.

What you should NOT do is go to your local Starbucks (which happens to be right next to a PokeGym) and sit there trying every single cold brew they offer, hoping beyond hope that one of them might not taste like either pure sugar or burned meat, because they all taste like either pure sugar or burned meat.

Walk thirty seconds down the road and visit Nicola. Please. You can even get it to take away and go back and knock all hell out of that stupid Blissey that that guy keeps putting back on that gym. 

I hate you, Blissey.

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Now that I'm about six coffees in, I'm going to tell you about a glorious product from the San Diego brewery, Modern Times, who also have their own on-site coffee roastery (dream life, right?). I found some Modern Times Coffee Stout at Hereford Beer House, and shop owner Johnny even proclaims that this is one of his very-top-favourite things in the fridge, so you know it's going to be a belter because there are about a million beers in there.

Is this techincally cold brew, you ask?

Isn't this just an excuse for me to go and get drunk after spending a very hot day with glazed-over caffeine eyes wandering around High Town thinking I might actually be some kind of God now? Well, let me tell you, this most definitely counts as cold brew, thank you very much.

When making beers, you want that delicious fresh coffee smell, and you don't want all the acidity which can come from heating the beans, so most breweries use the 'cold-toddy' method, which is exactly the same as what Sensory & Rye do.

The coffee is steeped in water for 24-48 hours and then either blended with the hops, or added to the bright tanks at the end. Either way, you get to drink beer and coffee AT THE SAME TIME. And if that doesn't do it for you, then how about a cold brew espresso martini? An iced Irish cream coffee? Cold brew and Kahlua?

If you've followed the guide step-by-caffeinated-step, you're probably a little queasy, colours might be a bit brighter than they should be, you might have caught a squirtle, you might be drunk, and you might have met some of the coolest people in High Town - and hopefully you've got about a litre of coffee cold brewing in your house.

What else could you possibly do now than follow this recipe for cold brew ice cream? Or this one for cold brew vanilla mixer. Yeah – you heard me!

So, there we have it. The Herefordshire Live Guide to Cold Brew Coffee and Actually Enjoying Your Life. I hope you're happier now. Also, good luck getting your stomach pumped, I'll see you there.

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