Toddy Cold Brew

Cold brew is speculatively one of the oldest methods of coffee brewing because unheated water is far easier to come by than hot water in the coffee growing regions of the world. It can be brewed like sun tea, gently warmed by daylight. Or it can be done under modern refrigeration.

We chose the Toddy Cold Brew system because of the quality of its brew and the consistency in which it produces it. Another nice feature is they make commercial sizes up to 5 gallons. This allows a coffee producer like us to offer a smaller version of the same brewer that we use to produce our cold brew.

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee

Iced coffee when done well is amazing. We use what is now referred to as Japanese Style iced coffee. Even though we were doing it way before we were aware of the tag, the name does help differentiate the process more than just calling it iced coffee.

Similar to a Chef putting steamed green beans in an ice bath immediately after cooking; in this method coffee is brewed at double strength over its own weight in ice. This stops the brewing process cold…pun intended.

The benefit of this method is it retains all the flavor of fresh hot brewed coffee just served very cold.

Cold brew never gets hot enough to extract all the flavor compounds and acidity of the hot brew resulting in a sweeter slightly flatter cup of iced coffee. Depending on the way the coffee being used was roasted has a major factor in determining which method of coffee will be more to your liking. The return of lighter roasts coincides with the popularity of cold brew as a brew method.

My recommendation; if you like dark roasts try brewing traditional Japanese Iced Coffee. This will accentuate the little acidity left in the coffee from the longer roast process. For light roasts cold brew will soften the brightness of the acidity in those beans.

A little bit from the Toddy manufacturers:

“For nearly 50 years, Toddy has delighted baristas, food critics, and regular folks alike for its smooth, delicious flavor. By extracting the bitter acids and oils that other brewing methods leave behind, the Toddy Cold Brew System produces a smooth, low acid concentrate ideal for hot or iced coffee or tea.”

The French Press

The Ritual:

Gently preheating with a splash of hot water, coarsely fresh ground coffee, the spiraling swirl from the water kettle, coffee bloom, patience..patience…, separating the grounds from the brew with the press of the plunger. If this is not a tradition in your residence it should be.

A French press produces a cup that is possibly the richest available and not just in description. You can actually see the oils reflecting in the light. The process itself preserves this coffee characteristic. Without a paper filter to absorb the oil and a longer extraction time they have the opportunity to rise to the top.

I start each day with the ritual described above and wouldn’t have it any other way. The French press adds a sense of elegance and intimacy while at the same time possessing a grounding functionality.

Patented in 1929 the French press has gone through many upgrades over the years. My personal favorite is the Bodum Chambord. It’s affordable, sturdily made and quite good looking. All replacement parts are readily available from the manufacturer; screens, extra carafes, plunger parts etc.

Although it can be used to brew tea, I prefer to use it just for coffee.

I hope this helps you,

Daniel

“Improve Your Coffee, Your Margins and Save Time With Our Coffee Program! Message Me With Your Needs Today!”

dan@tendcoffee.com

 

3 Essential Styles of Coffee Drippers

The V style coffee pour over has 3 main styles. The large single brew funnel, the smaller holed drippers and the immersion style drippers. Here are the differences:

The Funnel V Style Pour Over

This brewer gives the user the most control over the brew because almost as soon as you pour the water in it flows through the ground coffee and out the bottom. The downside of this style of dripper is it requires the user to maintain the flow of water throughout the process.

Leading Model Example: Hario V60

V Shaped Dripper

The main difference between this brewer and the funnel pour over is the hole size. The exit holes for this brewer range in number between one and several. The thing to keep in mind is the hole size regulates the flow rate of the brewed coffee limiting your control on the extraction time.

Leading Model Example: Bee house Dripper

Immersion Dripper

This method of brewing is a hybrid between the Funnel V above and a French Press. The immersion dripper typically has a mechanism to “plug” the bottom so when you add your hot water all the coffee is in contact with it. It produces an equally clean cup of coffee without the need to maintain the flow of water for the length of the extraction. Once your water is added, a timer is set. Upon completion the stopper is opened releasing the full amount of coffee into your cup. This is a very convenient functional brew method.

Our Favorite Model: Bonavita

Many new styles are emerging on the market almost daily. Most of them are in the multi-hole V Shaped dripper style. Be aware of the quality of workmanship on some of the cheaper drippers as they can have an adverse effect on the brew quality.

I hope this helps you,

Daniel

“Improve Your Coffee, Your Margins and Save Time With Our Coffee Program! Message Me With Your Needs Today!”

dan@tendcoffee.com

 

 

Chemex

CHEMEX

Although the 3rd wave folks would have you believe pour over coffee is a new thing Dr. Peter Schlumbohm already had it perfected in 1941. The shear simplistic beauty of the Chemex coffee maker has not yet been surpassed. I also love the fact that they are based less than 145 miles away from us in Chicopee, MA.

The coffee that this brewer produces is one of the cleanest cups you will find anywhere. It has a tight mesh filter thicker than your standard variety and really does a great job removing all the particulate matter from the extraction.

Although easy to use, the cleanup is a bit more entailed than using a Vstyle dripper or AeroPress. The Chemex makes it far easier when brewing for small groups though. Available in sizes up to 10 cup, we carry the 8 cup which has been able to keep up with all our demands in a slightly smaller footprint.

Some of the history of the Chemex from the Manufacturer:

“The CHEMEX® coffeemaker was invented in 1941 by the eccentric chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm. Throughout his career he developed over 300 patents, ranging from cocktail shakers to automobiles. His focus was on making everyday objects more functional, attractive and enjoyable to use.

When designing the CHEMEX®, Schlumbohm desired to not only make brewing the perfect cup simple, but also to have the vessel be a thing of beauty. Being a chemist, he studied and understood clearly the chemistry behind the extraction of flavor and caffeine from coffee beans.

It was this knowledge that led him to invent the double bonded CHEMEX® paper filters for a perfect extraction every time. For the carafe, Schlumbohm was inspired by the Bauhaus school of design and non-porous labware that would impart no flavor of its own. Using these elements he fashioned the hourglass shape that has now become an iconic part of American history. Made simply from one piece of borosilicate glass and adorned with a wooden collar and rawhide tie, the CHEMEX® is pure in both form and function. It has been recognized and awarded by both the scientific community as well as the art and design communities. The CHEMEX® can be found in museums throughout the world and is included in the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Museum, Corning Museum of Glass and MOMA, NY.

The Museum of Modern Art displayed it as one of the best-designed products in 1943.

The CHEMEX® coffeemaker was also selected by the Illinois Institute of Technology as one of the 100 best designed products of modern times.”

I hope this helps you,

Daniel

“Improve Your Coffee, Your Margins and Save Time With Our Coffee Program! Message Me With Your Needs Today!”

dan@tendcoffee.com

AeroPress

This posting is part of our series on manual brewing methods and equipment. Here is our take on the:

AeroPress

If you’re like me, what you drink changes dramatically with the weather outside. This manual espresso maker is capable of producing a great shot. Served over ice in the summer it can make a mean Americano and in the cooler months it holds its own for single shots, doppios or espresso based drinks. For Lattes and Cappuccinos you would need to have a milk frothier or steamer.

  • Characteristics of the shot are a bit cleaner than a traditional espresso. I would attribute this to the paper filter absorbing a bit of the oils.
  • Cleanup is super easy with the paper filter. The AeroPress produces a compact puck that can be ejected right into a trash can.
  • In terms of the quality of the brewed coffee this is one of the highest value brew methods on the market today.

From Aerobie the Manufacturer

“The AeroPress coffee maker is a new kind of coffee press that brews coffee under ideal conditions: proper temperature, total immersion, and rapid filtering. This results in amazingly delicious coffee with a wide range of beautiful flavors but without bitterness and with very low acidity. Since its introduction the AeroPress has become a much beloved brewer for serious coffee lovers and coffee professionals around the world.

The AeroPress coffee maker is most commonly used in the home kitchen but it is lightweight, compact, and durable, making it ideal for use when camping, backpacking, boating, or just traveling.”

I hope this helps you,

Daniel

“Improve Your Coffee, Your Margins and Save Time With Our Coffee Program! Message Me With Your Needs Today!”

dan@tendcoffee.com

Intro: The Manuel Brew Series

This is a series dedicated to bringing awareness to various manual brew methods. With all the marketing noise created by various manufacturers to sell kcups, I understand their increase in sales volume. The reason we don’t offer kcups is it failed to garner a yes from one or more of our guiding questions. An answer of no to any of the following questions when evaluating a business decision and the project does not move forward in Tend Coffee:

 

Is this decision right for our people?

Is this decision right for our clients?

&

Is this decision right for our coffee?

 

In this case we are not concerned with their sale-ability, they just don’t produce the level of quality we demand from our coffee. The coffee used in that method of brewing is not only pre-ground but also degassed causing staleness and loss of volatile aromas. Plus, just about ANY manual brew method will produce a far better cup of coffee with a far lower price tag. We didn’t even touch on the 9 Billion kcups that ended up in the landfill or the ocean every year, 9 billion…

 

What we will cover in this series

 

AeroPress

Chemex

V Style Coffee Pour Overs

Immersion Drippers

French Presses

Cold Brew

And more…

 

I hope you’re excited as I am!

 

Daniel

“Improve Your Coffee, Your Margins and Save Time With Our Coffee Program! Message Me With Your Needs Today!”

dan@tendcoffee.com

5 Steps To French Press Success In Your Restaurant

1. Know How Much Coffee You Sell

Print your coffee sales from last week and increase by 25%. This is what our clients typically report back as an average increase from switching service to Tend Coffee. We will use this number on step 4.

2. Hot Water

Make sure you power on your hot water source so it is ready for service. This takes anywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on your machine. Whatever water dispensing system you use, the water should taste good on its own and be in the range of 208 degrees. Consistent temperatures give you consistent extraction times.

3. Grinding Coffee

Depending on your setup, the grinding can be done before service although ideally it would be done by order. If you are using a gravity fed batch coffee grinder step 4 can be skipped. Be aware that gravity fed grinders are highly inaccurate, especially on smaller batches and not recommended.

4. Portion Coffee

If you use a 34oz French Press this step is very straightforward. Using the number from step 1, we are going to weigh out that many portions of coffee and put into bags or cups. 1/8th or .125lb is a good starting weight and can be adjusted from there. As stated above depending on your setup this can be done with ground coffee or beans.

5. Execution

Preheat the French Press with hot water. Dump the water and add the coffee. With a swirling motion pour fresh hot water into the French Press until full. Loosely place the top assembly onto the carafe. Set a timer for 4 minutes and attach to the top of the extended plunger post. When the timer sounds, remove it and slowly compress the press on a stable surface. Although the pressing can be done at the table I recommend doing it in the service station area. Dining room tables are unpredictably unstable. Finishing preparation in the service station is also useful if any cleanup is necessary before bringing the press out to the table.

Preheating the cups with warm water is also a nice touch for guests and helpful in keeping the temperature of the coffee. You can review our earlier article on tips of accompaniments that could and should be offered to guests here.

 

I hope this helps you,

Daniel

“Improve Your Coffee, Your Margins and Save Time With Our Coffee Program! Message Me With Your Needs Today!”

dan@tendcoffee.com

4 Benefits of French Press Coffee Service

1. Sensory Impact

It’s difficult not to be impressed by well executed French press coffee service. The visual is stunning, the aromas are pronounced, the flavor is rich and the tactile is intimate.

2. Value Creation/Satisfaction

Value is created because all of the above happen before it’s even tasted. It’s presented as something special because it is.

3. Redundancy

The fact that you only need press pots, properly ground coffee and hot water removes a lot of potential problems with traditional coffee service. If your hot water supply goes down, hot water can easily be found in the kitchen with a kettle or pot until your equipment is back online.

4. Portion Control

I am preparing a separate article on setting up a French press station for food service. For now just know that because this type of coffee service is scaled and brewed to order, waste can be greatly reduced.

We are licensed distributors for the full line of Bodum French Presses and accessories. If you would like to talk about the benefits of beginning this style of coffee service in your business send me a message today!

I hope this helps you,

Daniel

How NOT To Get Ripped Off By Your Organic Coffee Supplier

Chain Thinking

If the farmers, distributors, handlers and producers all keep the integrity of the organic certification the product can become certified organic. If one piece of the chain is broken the certification for the end producer is no longer possible for that product. This is why it is so important for the producer to have a certification. As an example, a Certified Organic coffee roaster like ourselves sees lots and lots of bags with organic stamped all over them.

If, let’s say a distribution warehouse lost their certification for any number of reasons, contamination, flooding, pesticide use you get the idea. Those sacs are still emblazoned with Organic Logos all over them from the origin country, but they are no longer organic. This is why when an uncertified roaster holds up a bag with the organic stamp from origin saying “see it’s organic” is false. It WAS organic. If the roaster does not carry a third party certification then what they did at origin is irrelevant. The chain has been broken. It’s the inspector’s job to ensure the integrity of the organic chain has held until it reaches the consumer.

Why Producers Lie

I said it , it’s a bit harsh but that’s what it is a lie. Organic Certification is a type of virtuous cycle. Our payment to them is high value. We pay the certifying agency 1% of GROSS income on all the organic product we sell plus a registration fee which can be large. So that’s gross income, before taxes, payroll, electric etc. That payment funds the inspectors all along the supply chain route keeping the integrity of the chain. They also do tones of other educational work, including training for farmers etc. You can see what our certifying agency NOFA-NY does here.

Now if a producer were to pull the “look it says organic right on the sack from origin” routine and charge their customers for organic coffee, well that­’s fraud. The client paid for an organic product with part of that cost funding the inspectors along the supply chain but instead the producer pocketed the difference.

What You Can Do

Check to see if the supplier is registered as Certified Organic on the USDA’s website. You can see ours here. There is so much confusion out there regarding organics I just wanted to shed some light on the situation from a Certified Organic coffee roasters perspective. I will leave the rest up to you.

I hope this helps you,

Daniel

P.S. We offer a full line of Certified Organic Coffee and would love to welcome you to the family. Click here pick some up today!

Beat Amazon by Doing 3 Things

Amazon’s  strengths are distribution and convenience. Distribution is expensive. In order to combat this they take in very large shipments and warehouse them for fulfillment. This is where you come in.

1. They are Bigger, You are Fresher

If you are a smaller operation of 1-4 units you don’t want that much inventory tying up your cash flow anyway. Find suppliers that are willing to work with you to keep your inventory low and fresh. Our love of specialty food stores was instrumental in our no-minimum coffee ordering policy. Generally it makes sense to order at least 1 full case for shipping reasons. We encourage our retailers to keep enough product on hand to keep the shelves full but that’s it. Fresher coffee is better coffee.

2. Seek Out Respectful Suppliers

When researching new products make sure the manufacturer is not undercutting their own MSRP on Amazon. We don’t sell on Amazon out of respect to our retailers.

3. Sample. Sample. Sample.

We suggest all our new retailers take advantage of our free quick start sample kit included in your first order. It includes everything you need to have a successful tasting. Just add a brewer. To become a retailer, send us a message at info@tendcoffee.com.

Hope this helps,

-Daniel