Brewing at home

Updated: Apr 03, 2020, 10:58 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

With simple recipes and techniques, a brewer says cold brews can help you power through a summer in self-isolation

Ashish D'abreo brews with a cloth bag
Ashish D'abreo brews with a cloth bag

A coffee brewer Ashish D'abreo was in the midst of creating a summer cold brew for his Bangalore café when he realised that with the coronavirus outbreak, it would be a long time before it saw the light of day. So, the co-founder of Maverick and Farmer Coffee Roasters decided to share these recipes in a 21-day cold brew challenge on Instagram. "I wanted to make sure people don't miss out on the beauty of cold brews this summer," he says adding, "Cold brews are sweeter with reduced bitterness, higher caffeine and less acidic than hot ones. It is ideal when you want your coffee fix on a work-from-home day but don't want it piping hot."

Though cold brews require a specific blend and grind, in the absence of accesibilty to products, he is teaching people how to get the best of the coffee they have at home. He repurposes an old sanitised grocery bag and uses easily available ingredients. "There are three types of brews I am sharing — the basic blend, infused blends and the third for non-coffee drinkers that includes dairy or non-dairy additions," he says.

Cold brew tonic

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  • 60 ml cold brew concentrate
  • 100 ml tonic water
  • Ice cubes
  • Sweet lime (if possible)

Method: Fill a glass with ice. Add the 100 ml of tonic water. Pour the cold brew on top with care. Add a thick wedge of sweet lime or mosambi into your drink. Stir before drinking.

Cold brew and watermelon (infused)

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  • 60 ml cold brew concentrate
  • 80 to 100 gms diced watermelon
  • A sprig of mint leaves
  • 2 spoons sugar syrup (optional)

Method: In a glass, place the watermelon bits. Add the cold brew. If you like your drink sweet, add the sugar syrup now. Let the watermelon flavour steep into the cold brew for about 15 to 20 minutes. Don't muddle or mush the watermelon bits. After that, add ice cubes, stir gently. Garnish with fresh mint.

Tips and tricks to get the best out of your cold brew

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  • If your coffee is ground very coarse (like crushed pepper), let it steep for at least 20 hours for better extraction. If it's too fine, let it take more time for filtration. The right grind size is the coarseness of table salt.
  • Once, during the 14 hours of brewing, give the mixture a gentle stir (maybe about seven to eight hours into the process).
  • Do not force the cold brew out by squeezing the grounds. Let it filter through on its own, this ensures a beautiful, dark golden-coloured brew.
  • Do not heat your cold brew concentrate. If you need a hot coffee (like a latte), bring the cold brew concentrate to room temperature, and then add very hot milk.
  • There are preservatives, so be careful while storing — don't contaminate the brew.
  • Always keep the cold brew refrigerated.
  • When making sweetened drinks, use sugar or jaggery in syrup form.
  • This dissolves easily.
  • Always keep your ice trays full.

Making the cold brew concentrate

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  • 200 gms medium-ground coffee powder
  • 800 gms cool water (or, for every one measure of coffee powder, four measures of water)

Method: Place the coffee grinds in a jar or narrow vessel. Pour the cool water over the grinds. Mix well. Place in the refrigerator and allow to steep /brew for 14 hours. After this period, filter the cold brew out by using a muslin cloth / fine cloth / fine nylon strainer. If you have coffee filter papers, you could use this to filter out the cold brew. The cold brew concentrate is now ready and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

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