Sunday, January 03, 2010

cold-pressed cardamom coffee

It’s Sunday morning. I have my morning paper and that means the time for lattes is upon us. It’s come-to-Jesus time, my flockmates. Must. Have. Good. Coffee. What’s a die-hard Peetnik to do? Is this it? Will the whole vegan bag be hoisted into the Bay because I pitched a fit over an insufficient coffee option? I seriously worried—veganis interruptus was nigh. Since I have never been crazy about a cup of joe without milk, soy lattes or sugared-up chai seemed the best options. Bleak prospects, both, by way of substitution. (And don’t suggest carob to me, you communists.) I thought all hope may be lost. Then ah, sweet, punk-rock cherub of provision screeching up to the curb gifted me last night at the last possible moment with this cold-filtered concept.

For the uninitiated, cold-filtered coffee—to my knowledge—is indistinguishable from the standard, classic French press treatment of the coffee, only more coarsely ground and left in cold water for twelve-plus hours (rather than steeped for five minutes in hot water). I swear to you: this is a delightful discovery, even for the omnivorous coffee ho.

The brew is totally free of bitterness, not acidic at all, yet full of the robust flavor we fiends cannot do without. My sole warning for the coffee critic is that it lacks that roundness that comes from the oils released with hot-water steeping—it’s thinner. I was okay without that quality, but you may not be. And here’s the stunner: the way I made it, I didn’t actually want milk in it. Whoa.

One other note: I use a thirty-two-ounce French press from Bodum. Peet’s recommends two-thirds of a cup of grounds for that. I am disinclined to add hair to my chest, hence my reversion to one-quarter cup. But hey, do your worst King Kong if two-thirds speaks to you. I won’t judge.

Acid-free Paper

1/4 c. coarsely ground Peet’s Fair Trade Blend coffee
32 oz. water
10 cardamom pods
1/2 vanilla bean

Smash the cardamom so that each pod is cracked open. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scoop out the bits. Put it all in the press pot—grounds, water, cardamom, vanilla bean, scooped bits. I pressed it halfway down before bed, sort of arbitrarily, then pressed the rest in the morning. Poured a cup (I had it up and cold), read paper, saved myself for veganism. God bless. That was a close one.