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  • Writer's pictureMegan

Brewing ColdBrew with Five Elephant

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

For our recent newsletter we asked Joel, the head Barista at Five Elephant Coffee Roasters in Berlin, for his best cold brew recipe. Well what he came back was above and beyond what I requested, but too long for the newsletter so here we are!

Joels number one goal was working out how to produce the same taste from small amounts to bulk. Cold Brew is often drunk without milk, as it's seen as a cold caffeinated drink that's easy to pick up any time of the day. But most importantly it needs to be really delicious. Take it away Joel!

Firstly we wanted to choose a coffee that we thought would hold it's complex flavours during the brewing process and also had a bold character that differed from others that are currently available. We decided to use our Kamwangi AA as it had a nice crisp, defined acidity that kept it's own during the long brewing process, which is perfect for brewing cold brew!

As cold brewing requires such a long brewing period due to the water being cold, and also the brewing method being an immersion brew method we found that the brews we had made with a normal toddy system of using only a paper filter didn't filter out all of the finer particles. Thus leaving our 'filtered' coffee without such a refreshing and juicy feeling. We decided that two factors really came into play here that had the most affect on our cold brew. We wanted to control the brew process by having the same amount of time each time which was 16 hours. Alongside this we wanted to make sure that we got the most out of the filtering process.

We decided to use the Brewista cold brew making kit with paper filters, a metal filter as well as having a felt filter on the tap. This allowed us to use 3 filtering methods in our brewing and gave us the crisp refreshing mouthfeel we wanted from our brew. This solved our goal of creating the refreshing aspect, however we found that using the normal brew ratio of 15g to 250ml water (17g water per 1g coffee) we were losing some of the intense flavours we were aiming to gain out of the Kamwangi AA. So we decided that it may be better if we change the brew ratio to create an under-extracted and very intense brew that we would then add filtered water to, and taste at different ratios of water addition. To find the ratio that we think is the most delicious and provides what our concept behind our cold brew was.

We found that after brewing with a ratio of 10g of water per 1g of coffee we had a much more intense brew and we could control the intensity of the brew afterwards by adding water equal to 10% of the total brew weight of the brewed coffee afterwards.

Yay! We had reached our goal of producing a cold brew that really was refreshing, bold and recognisable. We manually produced 1000ltrs of cold brew this way for the whole of the summer. This was a lot of work for two people and a couple of times the toddy's would fall over and cause a huge puddle of cold brew on the floor, which is not ideal!

When this summer came around we decided that we would sell it to our wholesale customers, as well as outsource the brewing as we wanted to produce it on a larger scale. We decided to contact some friends at Good Spirits to see if they could help us really efficiently produce cold brew. They showed us their facility and we knew we definitely wanted to work with these guys. They pump out a mega 300L batch at a time and bag and box it up in either 3L or 10L "casks" just like cheap wine, tapped and all. 

If you're keen to try their Kamwangi AA you can buy it here or if you just wanna drink the good stuff click here!

*photo credits, top: @brothersbrewcoffee, bottom: @she__flys


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