If you haven’t been able to tell from the abundance of birdsong, recently unpacked spikeball sets taking over every public park and my pasty pasty legs walking all over the city, Summer is officially here in Halifax. A season that brings beach days, barbecues and running from pop flies at every baseball diamond in The Commons. Seeing it all laid out in a list like that is absolutely exhausting; how could you possibly find the energy to keep up with everything while also staying cool?
Luckily for you and your summer plans, Java Blend’s cold brew is ready just in time to give you the boost you’ll need to walk that extra mile to your favourite hiding spot on Long Lake. And, as if JB Cold Brew wasn’t already the perfect companion for all your summer adventures, this year it’s available in cans. We’ve reached peak portability people.
This is a pretty big leap forward for us. Traditionally our cold brew has been made in very small batches and only available in cups. This uptick in production has been made possible thanks to help from Propeller Brewing Co. With their brewing infrastructure Propeller is able to brew, keg and can our Cold Brew at a much higher volume than we could on our own. Members of Java Blend’s production/roasting team work closely with Propeller to ensure our standards of taste and quality are met while exploring new possible techniques and recipes.
Brewing standards and practices are important but, like 2013’s theatrical flop Jack The Giant Slayer, it all starts with a magic bean. We’ve experimented with different blends over the years and we have chosen our signature K2 Espresso for this year’s Cold Brew. Currently a single-origin Brazilian, K2 is known for its notes of Dark Cocoa, Caramel and Citrus. But something special happens when coffee is brewed at a lower temperature. Several factors contribute to the bitterness level of coffee including roast level, origin, and age. One of these factors is the temperature coffee is brewed at. By brewing coffee with cold water less of the bitter oils and acids are extracted which creates a naturally sweeter tasting cup. This highlights the citrusy orange notes of the K2 while bringing out a surprisingly malty vibe.
Do It Yourself
If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with making your own cold brew at home I have great news for you: it’s so simple! ABC easy as 1-2-3! In this instance “ABC” means “Awesome, beautiful coffee.”
Previously in my piece about The French Press and why you need one I included a recipe for cold brew concentrate. Concentrate is a concengreat way to keep cold brew on hand while saving on fridge space. But we can make the process even easier with this zero fuss hold the muss cold brew recipe.
For this recipe you will need:
-50g of your favourite coffee
-750g cold water
-A large mason jar or container or french press
-A coffee filter
First step is to grind your coffee fairly coarse, think like a very rough kosher salt. The coffee and water are gonna be in contact for a long time and grinding your coffee coarsely will make sure you avoid over extraction. Once your coffee is ground add it to your container and then slowly pour all of your water over the grinds. We’re using 50g of coffee and 750g of water but you can increase or decrease those amounts to your heart's content. Just make sure you’re always using around a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water. Stir it 2-3 times to make sure all of the grinds are saturated. Now pop it in the fridge overnight or for 14-18 hours and let it get to work.
The only tricky part is separating the grinds from the coffee. If you brewed your cold brew in a french press you can just plunge and serve. Otherwise just strain it through any coffee filter into a separate vessel. If you don’t have any on hand I’ve used paper towels folded into a cone shape in a pinch. Heck even a really fine mesh strainer could do the trick.
Alternatively, companies like Toddy offer really cool (hehe) cold brew kits. Our friends, Halifax-based Fine Grind Filters recently released their own cold brew filter. Think like an extra large tea bag but for coffee and made by a fantastic local company. You can purchase these directly from Fine Grind Filters or at our store.
But of course the most fuss free option of all is to just let us make your cold brew for you. Cans are available now in our North Street cafe. Come grab one (or six) and let the summer begin!