Posts Tagged ‘Coffee’

Cold Brew Coffee

May 15th, 2015

I drink coffee. Lots of coffee. 4 cups in the morning and another 2-3 cups in the afternoon. Sometimes more. I keep it convenient and with cold brew coffee it’s almost too convenient. With the summer quickly approaching I’ll be swigging the cold brew coffee almost constantly. Over the past 3 years I have made cold brew coffee a part of my warm season life. I’ve also perfected the brew.

For those who do not know, cold brew coffee is nothing more than a coffee concentrate brewed slowly at room temperature. The long extraction at a lower temperature will bring out the flavors of the coffee without the bitterness that hot brewing typically does. Best of all, you can make your own cold brew coffee a home with minimal equipment.

 

Cold Brew Coffee Equipment - Nashveggie - Nashville Vegan and Vegetarian

Making cold brew coffee requires very little in the way of equipment and you likely already have everything you need around your kitchen. A gallon jar, a scale for measuring your coffee and a french press for straining the brew. If you don’t have a coffee grinder you can grind your beans when you buy although freshly ground beans are always best.

 

You’ll need:

  • A one gallon jar or other brewing vessel of the same capacity
  • A pitcher or sealable container for storing your cold brew coffee. You’ll end up with about 2 1/2 liters of coffee from this process.
  • 14 ounces (about 400 grams) of coffee. Whole beans best if you have a grinder. You’ll want your coffee to be coarsely ground. Set your grinder for french press or the coarsest grind it will provide Also, medium to dark roasts lend a better flavor for cold brewing.
  • a small scale for weighing your coffee.

 

Once you have your coffee ground and measured the rest of the initial work is nothing more than putting the coffee into your brewing jar and filling it the top with about 3 liters of cold water.  It’s going to seem like you’re adding a very large amount of coffee to a not so great amount of water and that is exactly what you’re doing. Once the jar is filled to the top give it all a good stir so the coffee grounds are soaked well. If your jar has a lid screw it on or other wise cover it with a piece of plastic wrap and put it aside. The entire brewing process will take 24 hours. After 6 hours stir the mixture again so the grounds will settle to the bottom. Stir the mixture once again about 12 hours into the brew.

After 24 hours you are ready to strain the concentrate. I use a french press and find this the easiest way to do so. If you don’t have a french press you can use a screen mesh colander but you will get more grounds in your concentrate. Cheesecloth can also be used but the straining will be a much slower process. After straining the concentrate pour it into a sealable pitcher or container and place in your refrigerator. You can keep it refrigerated up to 2 weeks but a batch seldom lasts more than 4-5 days at my house. You can serve it however you desire but a general rule is 1 part concentrate to 2 parts milk or water. I prefer soymilk, a little brown sugar, vanilla and ice. You can also use the same ratio of concentrate to hot water for a quick cup of the smoothest tasting hot coffee you can make.

Cold Brew Coffee - Nashveggie - Nashville Vegan and Vegetarian

A perfect coffee drink for hot weather. Cold brew coffee, soymilk, a little brown sugar and vanilla over ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trader Joe’s Coconut Creamer

February 12th, 2015

Nashveggie - Nashville Vegan - Trader Joe's Coconut Creamer

 

I love coffee. Anyone who follows my Twitter knows this as I’m always rambling about the bean extract. I don’t typically drink anything in my morning french press but on occasion I’ll try a new creamer if I see one that is interesting.

While at Trader Joe’s a few days ago I saw a new item, coconut creamer. I have tried coconut milks, typically labeled as a beverage so not to get confused with actual coconut milk such as in a can, in the past and have not found one I could stand to drink. They all have an unusual plastic feel which gives me a sense I’m drinking pure fat. The taste is also something I cannot deal with. I thought the creamer would be different so I opted to try it.

To properly cream a 10 ounce cup of coffee required about 3 tablespoons of creamer. When I do use a creamer I don’t like a heavy amount so I felt to attain the light creaminess this was a bit much to have to use. The flavor was exactly as I expected, an acidic aftertaste as I find in all coconut milk products.

I’m sure I can find another use for this little carton so I’m not completely wasting it. Maybe I can use it in our next batch of vegan ice cream. I’m quite certain it is just relabeled  So Delicious coconut creamer. If you have tried So Delicious creamer and like the results then you may save yourself a dollar by buying this version. In the end it’s just not for me. I’ll keep my coffee dark and vibrant.

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Protected: Gingerbread Latte Syrup

November 23rd, 2011

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SoyGo (New & Improved)

November 16th, 2011

SoyGo Soy Creamer Travel Sized Packets

A few months ago I wrote an article on SoyGo coffee creamer. SoyGo is a soy-based coffee creamer in a convenient packet that is easily taken with you so when you find yourself in one of those coffeeshops (or Panera, ahem) that doesn’t offer a soy alternative to the dairy on the condiment bar you can whip one of these out and fancify your brew. While the original formula had good intentions, I felt it missed the mark a little. SoyGo has now revamped their formula to address some of the concerns I had, though honestly I’m sure it wasn’t BECAUSE of me. I just like to think I have that power.

SoyGo Soy Creamer Travel Sized Packets

SoyGo's new formula dissolves much better.

 

SoyGo Soy Creamer Travel Sized Packets

The new formula still leaves a little residue in the bottom of your cup. Not completely dissolved but better than the previous formula.

The new SoyGo still comes in the same small packets but now the amount has been increased from 3.5 ounces to 4 ounces. This addresses one of my issues where there seemed there wasn’t enough creamer to sufficiently give flavor to a full cup.  The powder also seems to blend a little better. While it still needs a vigorous stir a hand blender is not in order. Also, you will still find a little residue at the bottom of the cup but unlike before you’ll not be able to dry it out and return the SoyGo to the packet. It does actually dissolve now.

These are excellent to carry with you on your travels or just keep a few in your car as I do.

SoyGo is available at Whole Foods and Amazon or you can order directly from their website.

 

 

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Your Soy Pumpkin Spice Latte May Not Be Vegan

September 14th, 2011

Fall is on the way and that means the addition of seasonal coffee concoctions to coffeeshop menus. The one everyone looks forward to is Pumpkin Spice Lattes. The most popular seller of this drink is Starbucks but if you’re vegan that’s not going to work for you. Many vegans have only recently discovered that their candy coffee craving for a Pumpkin Spice Latte has been met with the realization that the syrup used contains milk.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Syrup Ingredients

Many Starbucks locations will give you the cold shoulder if you ask for ingredients and it seems corporate isn’t very forthcoming on what makes the drink unvegan.  We sent in convert operatives to bring this dark information to light. It was not a easy task and a very risky one. The image you see above is the result. (Many Bothans died to bring us this information.)  The fact is it contains the syrupy sweet dairy of condensed milk. Not only is condensed milk listed once in the ingredients, it’s listed TWICE. Notice the lack of what should be a main ingredient in that list: Pumpkin. It’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte, where’s the pumpkin OR the spices for that matter? No, natural and especially artificial  flavors doesn’t cut it. More proof that Starbucks is the McDonald’s of coffee.

Still, if you find yourself roaming around and need a sweet coffee fix head over to a Panera Bread as they also have a Pumpkin Spice Latte that can be made with soy and will indeed be vegan.  Be sure to tell them to leave off the caramel syrup topping as more condensed milk can be found in that stuff. Curious about the ingredients of the Panera Bread Pumpkin Spice Syrup? Be curious no more:

sugar, water, pumpkin, corn syrup, molasses, glycerin, natural flavors, spices, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate as preservatives, citric acid, colored with annatto/turmeric extract

Yes, there’s some chemical-ish preservative in there but that stuff does have to sit around until late-December.  An inquiry to Panera Bread corporate did give me the answer that the syrup is indeed vegan if reading the ingredients wasn’t enough to convince you.

I’ve been questioned as to whether the glycerin in Panera’s syrup is vegan. Upon a second thorough questioning they have stated that there are no animal sourced ingredients in their pumpkin spice syrup.

For those of you who would like to eschew the expensive coffeehouse prices, as well as the preservatives, and make your own at home provided you have an espresso machine, hop on over here and give this recipe a shot. It is delicious if I do say so  myself.

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