I started drinking coffee when I was 14 years old. It was the early 1990s and Portland, Oregon was ground zero for the onslaught of espresso bars that was soon to sweep the nation. Boyd’s, one of the early local chains, had a location just a block from my high school and whenever my budget allowed, I’d get myself a latte (often with hazelnut syrup) or when the weather warmed, an iced coffee.
I’ve been a fairly regular coffee drinker ever since. And so, when the nice people at Driftaway Coffee got in touch a few months back to see if we could team up in some way, I said of course. They are a subscription coffee company that will send you installments of freshly roasted beans every two weeks.
They trick is that they like each new subscriber to start with their Rise & Grind kit, which includes four different varietals in one-ounce samples. Once you’ve brewed through each one, you let them know which one you liked best and that’s the one you’ll get in each shipment. It’s a pretty great idea, particularly for people who are just starting to explore single origin coffees.
They sent me one of the two-ounce Rise & Grind kits and once I was finished admiring the packaging (I’m a sucker for good design), I popped open one of the 2 ounce packets and got to work making a batch of cold brew.
I’ve been a cold brew coffee fan for years now (you can see that the first time I mentioned it was way back in 2010) and make it a lot when the days warm. I’ve refined my approach and upgraded my equipment slightly in the last five years, so an updated post on the topic seemed like a good idea.
I’ve found that everyone has their own ratio for cold brew. My preferred recipe is 2 ounces of coarse ground coffee to 3 1/2 cups cold, freshly filtered water. This makes a strong brew that produces enough to last 2-3 days (depending on how many deadlines I’m pushing to meet). I don’t typically add water to thin it out, but instead add a couple of ice cubes and a generous pour of milk and call it good.
I grind the beans and funnel them into a quart jar. I add a splash of cold water and swirl the jar a little to dampen the grounds and let them bloom a little. Once they’ve grown a little, I add the remaining water and put a lid on the jar. I tuck into the corner of the kitchen and let it sit for 12 to 18 hours.
The next day, I perch a cone filter over a clean quart jar and fit it with one of Coffee Sock cloth filters that Cuppow sells. I pour the sludgy coffee through the filter in a couple of batches, until the lower jar is filled with perfect, ready to drink coffee.
One of my favorite things about cold brew is that it has the ability to take mediocre or slightly elderly beans and make them drinkable. However, when you’re shooting for more than just simply drinkable, using good, freshly roasted beans creates a brew that is transcendently good.
For the batch of cold brew that is pictured here, I used Driftaway Coffee’s Guatemalan beans and it was magical. Earthy and a bit chocolatey, with just a bit of acid for lightness. Oh, and if making your own cold brew feels like too much work, I hear that Driftaway Coffee is soon going to be making their own concentrate.
The nice folks at Driftaway Coffee want to give a three-month subscriptions away to one of my readers so that’s what we’re going to do. Here’s how to enter!
- Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’re drinking these days. Cold brew coffee? Homemade kombucha? Hot tea with honey?
- Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog soon thereafter.
- Giveaway open to US residents only. Void where prohibited.
- One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.
Disclosure: Driftaway Coffee sent me their Rise & Grind kit and are providing the giveaway subscription, both at no cost to me. No additional financial compensation has been provided and all opinions expressed are mine alone.