A DIY Cold Brew Guide

We encourage you to enjoy drinking Fazenda Original or Nitro cold brew coffees sold at our customers’ cafés, restaurants, and gourmet food markets. But maybe you’d also like to experiment with making it yourself. This blog post will show you how to make your own batch of cold brew at home.

The right equipment

Great news!  You probably have all the equipment you need to make cold brew in your kitchen. If you already grind your own coffee, have a large mason jar and a way to filter it, you are ready to make cold brew coffee. But if you want to buy some new equipment, here are a few highly rated products to get you started:

OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Filtron 30L Cold Water Coffee Concentrate Brewing System

Toddy Cold Brew System

Bodum Chambord French Press

Hario Cold Brew Pot

Tasty coffee beans

Fazenda spent months creating our own special blend of cold brew beans we’d love you to try.  You can buy them at our online store here. However,  if you want to try beans you already have, just keep in mind that medium roasts tend to produce the better balanced cold brews.

Grind, baby, grind

Because your brew time will take hours instead of minutes, a coarser grind will allow many of the coffee flavors to fully extract, resulting in a better cold brew.  So you’ll want your grinds between a medium (used in drip machines) and medium-coarse (used in French presses) level for your cold brew.  

Filtering

Depending on what you’re using to make cold brew, this process will vary, but it’s important to remove the coffee grinds and sediment once the coffee is finished brewing. Some of our recommended devices actually have their own filtering mechanisms, so be sure to check the directions on them.  But if you’re using a French press or a Mason jar to brew, you'll want to pour the finished brew into a sealable container, straining it through a fine mesh sieve with a paper coffee filter or a cheesecloth for a clean cold brew experience.

The Method

Fazenda’s cold brew recipe calls for a grinds to water ratio of 1 part coffee to 3 parts water. What you’ll get is a concentrate that you can then dilute to taste.

Grind: Grind your beans to the desired coarseness and pour the grinds into your container or device.

Pour: Pour cold water slowly over the grinds.

Stir: Immediately after pouring, stir the mixture to make sure all the grinds are wet. Then a few minutes later, give the grinds another gentle stir in the water for about 10-20 seconds, making certain they are all submerged under the water.

Steep: Refrigerate the cold brew mixture for at least 12 hours. Note that some people will leave their cold brew to steep at room temperature on the counter; note that doing so will shorten your steeping time.  Our recommendation is to let the cold brew steep refrigerated for 12-18 hours.  If possible, part way through the steeping process, give the cold brew mixture another quick, gentle stir to help with the flavor extraction.  

Filter: Filter the cold brew according to the directions on your cold brew maker or with the fine mesh sieve with the paper filter.

Basic serving suggestions

Now you have a delicious cold brew concentrate to enjoy at your leisure for up to a week in the refrigerator.  You may wish to add ice, a little cold water, and/or your milk of choice to dilute the cold brew to your liking.

Fun cold brew recipes

Try these recipes using cold brew, just for fun. Enjoy!

Butter Mocha from Zenbelly-A decadent drink, for sure.

Mocha Sorbet from Offbeat+Inspired-Nothing like a tasty dessert with your favorite cold brew

Cold Brew Coffee Ice Cream-A Vietnamese cold brew as ice cream

Boba Cold Brew-Like bubble tea? Give this cold brew variation a shot!

Coffee Barbecue Sauce-Try this on your favorite meats. Use cold brew for the “strong coffee.”

Cold Brew Baked Beans-A perfect addition to your summer menu

Do you love making cold brew at home? What are your experiences? Any helpful tips? Tell us here on the blog!


 

Fazenda Reserve July/August 2017: Ethiopia Yukiro Cooperative

The legendary birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia today produces some of the finest coffees in the world.

No exception to the rule, our latest Reserve offering hails from the Yukiro Cooperative in the Agaro region of Jimma, Western Ethiopia. The Yukiro Cooperative is a prime example of a successfully self-sustainable coffee cooperative in Africa. For us, their success as a cooperative means the farmers and workers are being paid transparently and well for their high quality product. We can all feel good about enjoying this Reserve coffee.

You’ll note that this coffee is labeled as an Heirloom varietal, but in Ethiopia, the term is not as specific as other varietal labels from other coffee-growing regions. Why, you might ask? Because coffea arabica has been growing wild in this region for centuries, easily cross-pollinating in the high altitudes, vast genetic variation not yet tested nor documented is out there. So what we call Heirloom could actually be one of any thousands of genetic varieties in Ethiopia.

This particular Heirloom varietal, however, is grown at a high altitude between 1,900 and 2,100 meters by the Yukiro Cooperative. It’s also washed, meaning that the beans are first pulped to remove the skin’s first layer, then fermented with the mucilage for a day or so, and finally washed of the mucilage when the beans are perfect. Our end result delivers tempting citrus and stone fruit flavors. You’ll also savor its floral aroma with notes of apricot, peach, and jasmine. This Reserve is a truly exceptional coffee you won’t want to miss.

Want to try this delicious coffee for yourself? Buy it here. Then tag a photo of your drink with #fazendareserve on Instagram and tell us how much you love it!

Yerba Mate

This October, we are featuring one of our favorite caffeinated beverages. Yerba mate, which is cultivated from the South American plant with the same name, is often referred to as the “drink of the gods” for its nutritious benefits. This plant is a member of the holly tree family and has been consumed for centuries by indigenous South Americans —particularly in the subtropical rainforests of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.

Like coffee & other teas, yerba mate packs a punch of caffeine and can be brewed in its green form but can also be aged or even toasted. According to a study by the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1964, no other plant in the world can deliver as many minerals, amino acids, and vitamins as yerba mate and as such, it can be considered one of nature’s most balanced stimulants.

Our offering is an organic product from Brazil. We would describe it as “invigorating and nourishing with a complex, earthy body and a smooth, mellow finish.” We recommend brewing in water that is at a slightly lower temperature —  similar to green tea — around 158-176 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on your desired strength, you can brew for anywhere from 3-10 minutes.

Grab some today and give it a try! 

Decaffeination

Decaf Beans
Columbia Decaf

Take a look at these two samples of coffee beans. What if I told you that these are both green (unroasted) beans? The darker sample is an example of decaffeinated coffee beans. Why the darker color? There is more to decaf than what meets the eye -- It's all about the process. 

Coffee Beans can be decaffeinated in a number of ways, but here are two common methods: chemical or water-processed. We refrain from saying “natural”, because one of the chemicals, ethyl acetate, can legally be labeled as natural. Our beans are decaffeinated through a Mountain Water Processbut more on that in a moment!

In most of the methods, there is a common flow. Green coffee beans are immersed in water to extract the caffeine, yet the flavor oils are also extracted. This “charged” water is then carried to a tank where it is either treated with a chemical, or run through a filter. Here, either the solvent works on the caffeine, or it is organically filtered out. What you have left is the water with no caffeine, but all the flavor oils. The beans are then reincorporated into the water where they will reabsorb their original flavors, and are then sent to dry. After having gone through all of that, you can see why the color of the beans is different!

The chemical process is achieved with either Methylene Chloride or Ethyl Acetate acting as the solvents. The coffee beans either come in “direct” or “indirect” contact with these solvents. Decaf made with these chemicals was the only choice available for many years, but there have been significant efforts and improvements to natural decaf processing over the last couple of decades. The demand for better overall quality has opened the door for the following water-process methods: the Swiss Water Process and the Mountain Water Process. 

The Swiss Water Process (SWP) began in Switzerland around 1933, and for a long time, it was the only company removing caffeine without the use of chemicals. They have since moved to a plant in Canada. This method achieves decaffeination with water, a form of Green Coffee Extract (GCE), and carbon in the form of activated charcoal which has been designed specifically to catch only the caffeine molecule.

The Mountain Water Process (MWP) is a method of indirect decaffeination pioneered by Descamex, a company based in Córdoba, Mexico. Green coffee beans are immersed in glacial water from the Pico de Orizaba mountain, creating a solution of coffee oils and caffeine. After the solution is filtered to remove the caffeine, the water-soluble oils are returned to the coffee, preserving the coffee’s natural flavors and aromas.

A more recent method uses CO2, carbon dioxide, as the solvent to extract the caffeine. This method is a higher-cost process because it requires the investment in heavy-duty equipment for pressurization and monitoring, as well as high energy costs to operate the decaffeination tanks at the forces needed to compress the gas.    

Decaf coffees often get a bad rap for lacking the complexity of flavor of their caffeinated counterparts, but our Mountain Water Process Colombian Decaf is surprisingly bright and vibrant, with notes of citrus, hazelnuts, and magnolia. We hope that you enjoy our decaf as much as we do!  

References:
Coffee Confidential
Descamex
I Need Coffee
Roast Magazine
Swiss Water


 

 

Fazenda at Whole Foods

While you can always #FindFazenda coffee at your local Whole Foods Market, you can often catch us doing a demo!

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We typically choose two distinct coffees from our collection to sample, and brew via our nifty Chemex Ottomatic Coffeemaker

If you see us, be sure to come talk to us to learn more about our coffee offerings, roasting philosophy, brewing suggestions, or to just nerd out about all things coffee!  

Here are a few tips for shopping for Fazenda Coffee at Whole Foods:

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  • Look for the green labels for our “Reserve Coffees”

  • One Reserve Coffee - Rwanda Kivu Belt Farm - is purely a Whole Foods exclusive! It’s the only place you can get it.

  • All our coffee is sold as “whole bean” for maximum freshness. If you don’t have a home grinder, you can grind your Fazenda beans using the store’s bulk grinder to grind for anything from french press, to auto-drip, to espresso.

  • In case you're running low or in need of filters, most Wholefoods locations sell filters for cone brewers, Chemex brewers, and auto-drip machines.

Be sure to follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram to see where we will pop up next. 

See you soon in a Whole Foods near you!