Monday, July 11, 2022

Chocolate Cold Brew using @lardera_coffee

I "discovered" cold brew coffee a few weeks ago, but it was a hassle to make at home with what I had. Enter Lardera Coffee Roasters and their cold brew pitcher. Simply put your preferred coffee grounds into the stainless steel filter core and fill with cold water (more instructions will be on my blog post - don't worry!) and let steep overnight. The result is smooth and delicious straight (if, like me you like black coffee) or jazzed up like in my Chocolate Cold Brew.

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Like most trends, I'm really late to the party when it comes to cold brew coffee. I'm a hot coffee drinker through and through - and since I drink it black, I'm picky about what I have in my cup. The idea of chilled coffee always felt a bit weird too - I associated cold coffee with when I was teaching and my neglected cup sat ignored on my desk for far too long. 

That changed this summer, when we got a heatwave that gripped us in 40°C (104°F) days and rendered the thought of eating or drinking anything hot impossible. I had seen the ads for Starbucks' cold brew drinks and it inspired me to try making my own cold brew at home, where I could control the ingredients and make a large cup without shelling out $10. My original method of soaking ground beans in water (in my trusty litre Mason jars) then straining it through a filter worked, but was messy and a bit of a pain to babysit. 

When Lardera Coffee (sister company to Adagio Teas and Selefina Spices) approached me with a new cold-brew pitcher, I was immediately sold for a few reasons:

1. Capacity: the pitcher is 44 fl oz, which is perfect for me to sip through on a Saturday (yes, I am a caffeine addict) or to make more moderate sized drinks for a group

2. Material: the pitcher is glass, with a silicone band for grip. The glass keeps the taste of the coffee pure, which I appreciate (and yes, this means the better coffee you buy, the better it will taste). The glass look is also gorgeous to serve from, and the pitcher has a lid that fits snugly on the infuser insert or loosely on the pitcher so it keeps your coffee clean.

3. Cost and convenience: I don't need to tell you that making coffee of any kind at home is going to be cheaper than going to your local coffee shop. The cold-brew pitcher here is only $24USD. Even with buying better beans, you get a lot more bang for your buck this route, and if you're like me, you want to enjoy coffee in your PJs, not schlepping out to the cafe.

My only critique of the pitcher has to do with an absolute lack of instructions. Not having really made cold brew before, I had to look up coffee:water ratios on another website before beginning since there are no guides in or on the box. I found the best flavour (for me) with 105g of ground coffee to the 44 fl.oz of water.

Lardera also offers a bunch of coffee varieties on their website, including samples for those who aren't quite sure what they're after in the flavour department. I sampled both Kenya Washed and Catuai Honey as cold brews, and I prefer Catuai Honey as a straight "pick me up" cup with a bit of ice while the Kenya Washed is perfect for more dessert-y drinks like the recipe below.

If you've never tried cold brew before, I definitely suggest making it at home and playing with it until you find what you like. This summer is going to be a long one, and its a great way to keep cool.