Cold Brewed Coffee, Iced Espresso and Coffee Napoletana
Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and the sun is shining - which can only mean that spring is finally here! And, nothing pairs with warm weather and sunshine quite like a crisp, cool iced coffee.
This week at Consiglio’s, we’re celebrating iced coffee with our best tips and tricks for making iced espresso and cold brew coffee, as well as how to make iced coffee with a traditional Napoletana flip-pot.
Cold Brew Coffee
One of the most up-and-coming trends within the coffee world, Cold Brew coffee is exactly that - coffee brewed without the use of heat or hot water. While die-hard coffee lovers might scoff or recoil at the thought, cold brewing coffee has a slew of benefits and ultimately results in a smoother, less-acidic beverage with an increased natural sweetness. By excluding heat from the brewing equation, less of the bitter compounds typically found in roasted coffee beans are dissolved into the beverage - and, since there is technically no chemical change occurring in the extraction process, cold brewed coffee will stay fresh much, much longer than it’s traditional counterpart.
While cold brewed coffee has become widely available at many cafes and coffee chains, it is also remarkably easy to make yourself at home - simply add some cold water to ground coffee, and let it rest for at least 8 hours, filter and enjoy! Most recipes will call for a ratio of 4 parts water for every 1 part of ground coffee - simply combine, rest, filter and enjoy.
Though it’s possible to make cold brewed coffee in any container (tupperware, mason jar, juice jug, etc.), my personal favourite tip is to use a plain old french press, which offers the convenience of already boasting a built-in filtering mechanism - I’ve actually picked up one of the Giannini french presses to exclusively dedicate to cold brew.
Before bed, I combine my one part coffee with the four parts water in the french press, cover with plastic wrap, and stick it in the fridge - when morning rolls around, I simply remove the plastic wrap, insert the french press’ plunger, and enjoy the easiest coffee I’ve ever made! In the unlikely event there is any left over, I simply stick the french press right back into the fridge - covered, it will stay fresh for up to two weeks, though it’s never managed to last that long!
Pro-tip: Freeze leftover cold brewed coffee in an ice-cube tray - the frozen coffee cubes can then be added to iced coffee drinks to cool them down without watering down the beverage!
While cold brew coffee is remarkably easy and straight-forward to make, iced espresso takes a bit more effort to make - but, offers the added benefit of a full, true espresso flavour in a nice, icy-cold beverage!
Making iced espresso begins by brewing a traditional hot espresso - either an espresso machine or stove top espresso maker work equally well. The trick then becomes cooling the hot espresso down rapidly without watering it down. If adding sugar or sweetener to your iced espresso, you’ll want to add it immediately after it’s extracted, while the espresso is still pipping hot. Once sweetened to taste, cool the espresso quickly by adding ice-cold milk and pour into a tall glass of ice to serve.
Pro-tip: For a fast, frothy iced espresso drink, combine the sweetened espresso in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes of frozen milk and shake vigorously - not only will the frozen milk cool the espresso quickly without watering the drink down, but shaking the drink will aerate the milk and produce a nice, frothy and refreshing drink!
Though delicious and refreshing on their own, cold brew coffee and iced espresso can also be used in an almost limitless range of iced-coffee drinks and cocktails. My personal favourite is the Iced Red-Eye - perfect for those times when you could really use a good kick of caffeine, cool your iced espresso with frozen cubes of cold brewed coffee.
Iced Coffee Napoletana
Also known as "flip pot coffee", coffee Napoletana is made using a special pot historically popular in Italy. Unlike moka-style espresso pots, the Napoletana uses a drip-style extraction resulting in an aromatic brew more mild than traditional espresso, but stronger in flavour than coffee made with an automatic drip-coffee maker.
What's neat about the Napoletana is how it works - it's filled with water and ground coffee, then placed upside-down on a heat source; once the water inside comes to a boil, the entire pot is flipped right-side-up so the water drips through the grounds, extracting the coffee. Coffee Napoletana is traditionally enjoyed hot, however can be iced by using the same method above for espresso - sweeten while the coffee is hot to allow the sugar to fully dissolve, then rapidly cool with ice-cold milk before serving on ice.