Cold Brew vs Iced Pour Over

iced-chemex-4

By: Gabe Venegas

Wholesale Account Manager and Coffee Educator, Kean Coffee

With summer rapidly approaching, we thought It would be fun to bring up the never-ending battle between Cold Brew vs Iced Pour Over. For this article, we’re not going to tell you which one is better than the other because, at the end of the day, coffee is all about flavor preference. Our main objective is to point you in the right direction depending on how you would like to enjoy your coffee and highlight what each brew method brings to the table… literally!

Cold Brew

toddyThe increasingly popular cold brew has been popping up everywhere from grocery stores, vending machines, and even gas stations. So, what’s all the hype? Why are people flocking to this beverage? To answer these questions, let us dive into what cold brew and how it works.

Cold brew is made using coarse ground coffee and adding either cold or room temperature water and steeping between 12 to 24 hours or using a slow drip process. Cold Brewing devices include the Toddy brewer, Filtron, the Kyoto Drip Tower, Yama Drip Tower, a French Press, or a mason jar (see our retail shelves at Kean Coffee to purchase some of these devices for home use). Unlike regular coffee, cold brew uses time rather than heat for extraction. The result is a very smooth and rich beverage with a heavier mouthfeel, syrupy flavor notes, and low acidity. Because cold brew steeps in water for an extended period of time, it makes it the easiest of all brewing methods and requires no technical skills. If you have fresh coarse ground coffee, good quality water (either bottled, filtered, or reverse osmosis), and a vessel, you can make an amazing cold brew. Additionally, cold brew can last up to two weeks when refrigerated, it can yield many cups, great for gatherings or parties, and it can be easily adjusted to strengthen to preference.

Due to its unique flavor characteristics, cold brew coffee can be used in a variety of ways and has the adaptability to serve many functions. As a concentrate, it can be used as a base for blended drinks. It also can be used to make coffee cocktails, and it can be zapped in the microwave to make it a hot coffee without the bright acidity for those who want a rich and syrupy cup. Lastly, if adding cream and sugar to your coffee is your thing, then cold brew is the way to go. Due to its process of mellowing out the acidity and highlighting the body and sweetness, cold brew is perfect for mixing with dairy as they complement one another.

Iced Pour Over (AKA Japanese Iced Method or Flash Brew)

fretta_iced_coffee

Now let’s talk about what an Iced Pour Over is and how it differs from cold brew. What’s the difference between the two and why choose one over the other? Like we mentioned earlier, flavor preference is a deciding factor to choosing one over the other. However, there are other variables involved that can help you choose what’s best for you.

Iced Pour Overs take only a few minutes to brew and have a brighter flavor than you’d expect from a summer coffee drink. It can be made with several types of manual brewers such as a Chemex, Hario V60 Fretta, or AeroPress (see our coffeehouse retail selection to purchase these brewers). Instead of using only hot water, half the water is already in the pot in the form of ice. This method has the advantages that come with hot brewing, but is instantly chilled as the coffee drips onto the ice, thus giving it its explosion of aromatics in the cup. An Iced Pour Over tends to be fruitier, sweet, crisp, delicate, and not heavy. It is best to enjoy immediately after brewing since it does not last due to the ice cubes. Once the ice melts, your brew will be diluted. This is a great method of brewing if you want something fast and only for yourself or two people. In addition, an Iced Pour Over does not go well with milk since it is a brighter cup with more acidity and less body; adding dairy can overpower the coffee or even make it taste sour.

Opposite of the simple cold brew method, an Iced Pour Over is much more complex and requires a bit more technique. If you can bear with us for a bit, we’d like to touch a little on how this happens. To fully understand Iced Pour Overs, you need to understand solubility, volatility, and oxidation. Let’s talk science!

Solubility

Solubility, in our case, is coffee’s ability to dissolve in water. Coffee grounds release soluble solids or particles that give taste and aromatics of the coffee, thus creating what we know as brewed coffee. Generally, particles are more soluble at higher temperatures and less soluble at lower temperatures. When we brew coffee, we use hot water between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit to dissolve the coffee solids out of the coffee grounds and into the water.  When using cold water, coffee will dissolve slowly and incompletely; many of the soluble substances in coffee won’t make it out of the grounds and into the water.

Volatility

Volatility is the ability of substances to vaporize.  Volatile activity also increases with temperature: that’s why hot coffee is so aromatic.  Problem is, when you’re smelling coffee, it’s losing its aromatics to the air.  When brewing coffee hot and then cooled quickly, the volatility of coffee escapes into the air caused by the hot water, but is instead of being lost for good, it is recaptured by the ice cubes when it begins to cool.

Oxidation

Oxidation leads to rancidity. When oxygen messes with oils, it makes them turn rancid, causing them to taste bad.  For example, the taste of an unclean coffee urn is caused by oxidized coffee oils.  Coffee kept warm takes on these same flavors, since oxidation happens much more quickly at high temperatures.  This is another reason why cooling coffee quickly after brewing is essential.

In a nut shell, Iced Pour Overs work in the following manner: To fully extract flavor, it is brewed hot. To lock in aromatics and prevent off-flavors, it is cooled instantly.

Now that we have covered both brewing methods, here’s a breakdown of a pros and cons list to help you decide once and for all what method you might prefer:

Cold Brew

Iced Pour Overs

Pros Cons Pros Cons
Anyone can do it Takes a long time to make Takes only a few minutes Requires technique (not to worry, we’ll gladly teach you)
Serves more than 1 person Brews only in large quantities (you can’t brew for a single person, but you can serve yourself one cup) Serves only 1-2 people (if you don’t want to share) Serves only 1-2 people (if you want to serve more people)
Lasts for up to 2 weeks Enjoy immediately Can’t store for later
Goes well with or without milk Does not go well with milk (for people who prefer black coffee)
Requires little brewing equipment (less expensive) Requires more brewing equipment (for the brewing gear junkies) More expensive

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

·   Low acidity (not bright) ·  Highlights acidity (tends to be        brighter)
·   Smooth and rich body ·   Crisp and lighter body
·   Heavier mouthfeel ·   Lighter mouthfeel
·   Simple and straightforward ·   Delicate and complex

We hope you have been intrigued by our coffee comparisons and we wish you an awesome caffeinated summer time! Please feel free to share your personal opinions and preferences for Cold Brew vs. Iced Pour Over in the comments 🙂

Advertisements

Coffee Origin Trip February 2015: Shawn’s Adventures in Guatemala

We have been a bit remiss in chronicling our Kean Coffee origin trips over the past several years…just too darn busy roasting coffee!  At some point we will backtrack and share more of our adventures. But here, at least, Shawn Anderson, our wholesale division roaster, has shared some of his experiences on a recent trip he and Martin made. 

My First Origin Trip

Shawn Anderson

When we (Martin Diedrich and I) arrived in Guatemala City the first evening, I had no idea what to expect. After all, this was my first origin trip and, as I would soon find out, Guatemala City is in no way a fair representation of Guatemala and the beauty it holds.

In the cupping lab with Renardo Ovalle at Finca La Bolsa
Shawn and Martin in the cupping lab with Renardo Ovalle at Finca La Bolsa

Our first day began with meeting our wonderful host, Renardo Ovalle (of the Vides family which owns the La Bolsa farm in Huehuetenango). Renardo and his lovely wife own Genera Café in Guatemala City. After a tour and cupping at Genera Café, we took a tour of the impressive facilities at ANACAFE (Asuncion Nacional de Café), the headquarters of Guatemala’s National Coffee Association. Then we were on our way to Huehuetenango to visit the La Bolsa farm.

House and drying Patio in La Bolsa (1024x576)
House and drying patio at Finca La Bolsa

Huehuetenango was the most distant and remote region we were to visit on this trip. It took us an entire day of driving through some of the windiest and roughest roads I’ve experienced to reach the La Bolsa farm. Located in the Cuchumatan mountain range, these coffees are gown in the highest elevation the country has to offer. Though the drive was long and rough, it was well worth it. I couldn’t have asked for a better farm or hosts for my first coffee farm visit.

The La Bolsa farm is breathtakingly beautiful and seemingly secluded from the world. It was getting dark when we finally arrived, but we were still able to take in the stunning view. Nestled in the Cuchumatan Mountains, the farm manages to be both vast and humble at the same time. The Vides family has a lovely little home built on the same patio where they dry the coffee. Standing on the patio, surrounded by mountains filled with coffee trees, I couldn’t help but feel blessed to be there.Guatemala_2015-1-e.jpg.jpeg

Our first day on the Farm began early, with a delicious home cooked breakfast and a walking tour of the farm. We saw the coffee being laid out to dry on the patio after being processed as well as the actual wet mill where the processing occurs. We then hiked through the mountains to see the coffee trees themselves. I had no idea how hard these farmers work until I was actually there. Just getting to the trees can be exhausting and I wasn’t even working! The elevation is extreme and the slopes are daunting at best. Each and every tree at La Bolsa is visited at least 15 times a year; 3-4 times for fertilization, 3-4 times for pest control, 3-4 times for pruning and at least 4 times for the actual harvest. Everything is done by hand. Everything. The same can be said for every other farm we visited on this trip.

The following morning we met up with colleagues from other coffee companies to continue our tour into Atitlan: Ian Kluse from Olam, Darrin Daniel from Allegro Coffee and John D’Roucco from Mr. Espresso, among others.

View overlooking Lake Atitlan
View overlooking Lake Atitlan

Our drive through the hills of Atitlan provided us with stunning views of the three volcanoes surrounding Lake Atitlan: Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro. As we drove through the countryside on our way to Lake Atitlan, we had the pleasure of visiting a few very small farms in the Atitlan region. Each of these farms worked together to form a Co-op. We met many of the farmers and villagers, posing for photos, answering questions and just getting to know people. We then reached Lake Atitlan and Finca La Providencia, owned by the inspiring Juan Francisco Pura.

 

Juan Francisco began his coffee career at the area’s wet mill, which he still owns and operates, before he purchased Finca La Providencia. Located directly beside Lake Atitlan, this farm is beautiful and unique. Unlike the La Bolsa farm in Huehuetenango, there are no drastic slopes to overcome. The farm is flat and easily accessible.

Finca La Providencia
Finca La Providencia

We walked with Juan Francisco through the farm, looking at the different varietals he’s growing as well as some very interesting, new growing techniques he’s trying. I believe the fact that he entered into farming from the processing side of coffee has given him a unique approach to his work and an innovative spirit. After our tour, we drove to his wet mill and cupped some lovely coffees from both his farm and the local Co-op. He also showed us the new raised drying beds he’s been experimenting with. 45 pounds of coffee are in each raised bed, all of which are micro-lots. Juan Francisco and his friends joined us all for dinner before we turned in for the night.

The next farm we visited was as beautiful as it was massive. Ran by Andres Fahsen who jokingly refers to it as a “Natural Reserve which happens to have a coffee plantation on it”, Santo Tomas Pachuj is basically just that.

Pachuj (which means “Place of Mist”) is a stunning 370 acres, 70 of which holds the coffee farm itself. Each coffee tree on this property is visited once a week, which is incredible considering the fact that the 70 acres of coffee are not all together, but sprawled out amongst the total 370 acres of land). Though all the work is done by hand, workers drive 4 wheel drive trucks and a giant old Mercedes UniMog to access their coffees and wet mill.

Like La Bolsa, there are many steep grades on this property. To support the trees and soil, they plant grasses between the rows of coffee. The deep roots of the grass help stabilize the soil. Once the grasses grow tall, they’re cut down and left as mulch for the coffee trees. It’s a simply but ingenious approach.

Martin talking with co-op farmers
Martin talking with co-op farmers

Santo Tomas Pachuj scored an almost unheard of 97 points with the Rain Forest Alliance and won’t rest until they become the first farm to score 100. Besides the 300 acres of natural reserve, they have 400 bee hives on the property which produce some of the best honey I’ve ever tasted. They also manage to produce 100% of their electricity from solar power. Their commitment to preservation and sustainability was truly inspiring.

The last farm Martin and I visited was Bella Vista in the stunningly beautiful city of Antigua.

View overlooking Lake Atitlan
View overlooking Lake Atitlan

Antigua sits in a valley enveloped by the Agua, Fuego and Acatenango volcanoes and coffee farms scattered throughout the foothills. It is one of the most renowned coffee producing regions in the world due to the volcanic soils and climate.

The Bella Vista farm and mill ran by Luis Pedro Zelaya, a fourth generation coffee producer, miller and exporter. Bella Vista is a massive facility with a farm, wet mill and dry mill on the property. It was here, on our final day, that Marin and I really got serious about cupping coffees. Over the course of the day, we cupped 60 different coffees, with nothing but a small lunch break midway through. For me, the cupping was a combination of intimidation (due to the quantity, seriousness and the fact that I was cupping with Martin), excitement and well… just plain hard work. Luckily, we found some exceptional coffees and were lucky enough to secure 274 bags out of our favorite picks.

Cupping at Bella Vista
Cupping at Bella Vista

I embarked on this, my first origin trip, with a bit of trepidation not knowing what to expect of what I would get out of it. I came home with more knowledge than I could have hoped for as well as a newfound passion and excitement for the work I do. It’s hard to explain what it feels like to meet the people who labor year-long to produce the coffees I’m so lucky to roast every day. I’ve spent the last 5 years roasting the coffees produced by these great people and it was an honor to finally meet them and see the life of these coffees before they get to me. These people live and breathe coffee every day. They put their literal blood, sweat and tears into their craft and, without them, I wouldn’t be here.

It’s easy to take coffee for granted. We don’t expect people to understand that 450 pounds of coffee cherries only produce 80 pounds of green coffee to roast and that those 80 pounds will only yield about 67 pounds of roasted coffee. It’s easy to forget how much work goes into providing the “convenience” of coffee. It’s something I’ll never overlook again.

This origin trip was truly a life changing event for me. I have always been proud to be a coffee roaster, but I never felt as much responsibility to be great at my job as I do now. Seeing how difficult it is to produce these amazing coffees, I can’t imagine letting any of their potential go to waste by not roasting them to the best of my ability. I’ve never felt more inspired or motivated to perfect my craft and I can’t wait for my next trip to origin.

Meet the Barista: Ten Questions with GARRETT O’CONNOR

Image
Garrett O’Connor

This is an ongoing series in which you will get to know a little bit more about the fine young men and women who prepare your coffee at Kean Coffee through a set of random interview questions. Garrett O’Connor has been part of the team at Kean Coffee Newport for a little under a year. Garrett loves working with people and honing his craft as a barista. He is multi-talented, multi-faceted, and witty. If he doesn’t pursue a career as a stand-up comic, he will certainly entertain those around him despite it. Garrett can always be counted on for a smile. That’s why we love Garrett!

KC:  What do you like best about being a barista?

GO: The cute girls that come in. Also when I manage to make a really good latte art and people take pictures of it.

KC:  What is your favorite coffee drink?

GO: Italian cappuccino, Napoli style

KC:  What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday (when you have the day off)?

GO: Sleep, or go to an Anaheim Ducks game..

KC: What was your favorite toy as a child?

GO: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

KC:  What is a fun fact that most people do not know about you?

GO: I like to sing in the shower.

KC: What was your favorite Halloween costume ever?

GO: Going as myself when I went to a uniformed private school. I thought it was a clever exploit.

KC: What was your least favorite costume ever?

GO: There are no bad costumes when you get free candy.

KC:  Who was your idol when you were a kid, and why?

GO: Martin Diedrich, pretty self-explanatory. He still is my idol.

KC:  If you had to enter a cooking contest and prepare your best entrée or dessert to impress the judges, what would you make?

GO: Lemon glazed seared halibut with garlic risotto and Bananas Foster (I make the best!)

KC: What was your favorite movie of all time, and why?

GO: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s pretty epic.

Image

KC: Thanks Garrett!

Recognize this guy? Meet Dwayne Carroll!

At Kean Coffee we love our regulars – our guests who come in so frequently and regularly, sometimes spanning many years, that we learn their names and they learn ours, often becoming good friends with our staff members. We value their input and enjoy learning more about them and hearing their stories. Meet Dwayne Carroll, a beloved regular at Kean Newport and Tustin! 

Dwayne chillaxin’ at Newport with the pooch

My first cup of Martin’s coffee was when the Diedrich Coffee opened at Marguerite Pkwy and Crown Valley in Mission Viejo. I was there on opening day. I remember the first manager – a very nice lady, however I can’t remember her name. This shop was always a meeting place for the neighborhood, and always full of young people from Saddleback college being so nearby, always a happening place.

When I heard that Martin would be opening Kean Coffee, I felt it was a blessing even if it meant driving all the way to Newport Beach. Then when the people of Tustin where able to talk Martin into taking over the original Diedrich location on Newport Ave. and he opened a second Kean Coffee there, it was even closer for me, as I live in Mission Viejo. I was thrilled.

I go to Kean Coffee about five times a week, either location. Both are excellent for coffee, and a great staff that promote the quality product. As for me black coffee is my favorite. The best thing about Kean is the coffee, and having met so great people. Our dog is always treated well, with water bowls and tie down rings so you can go in and place an order. The other great experience was meeting my very best friend at Diedrich Coffee when he was going to Saddleback College as a student. Then when he graduated from there he went to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo for two years. Then on to UCI in Irvine to get his Masters. Now he works for Oracle, a success story. When he is in town we now take a drive to Kean Coffee, like old times.

Dwayne Carroll – Mission Viejo, California

Are you a Kean Coffee regular? If you would like to tell us your story and be featured in a future blog post, please let us know by emailing blog@keancoffee.com! 

Meet the Barista: Eight Questions with MANUEL RODRIGUEZ

Image
Manny Rodriguez- out standing in his field

This is an ongoing series in which you will get to know a little bit more about the fine young men and women who prepare your coffee at Kean Coffee through a set of random interview questions. Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez has been with Kean Coffee for two years, as a barista in our Newport coffeehouse. In addition to being an awesome barista, Manny is a high achieving college student who aspires to become a teacher. Whatever he is doing, Manny works hard and always strives for excellence, while at the same time keeping a great attitude. That’s why we love Manny!

KC:  What do you like best about being a barista?

MR: The best thing about being a Kean barista is crafting every single drink from scratch using world class ingredients to make drinks of great quality and taste our customers can experience.

KC:  What is your favorite coffee drink?

MR: Turkish latte is my favorite drink with no doubt. I love the taste of espresso, cane syrup and cardamom in the same drink.

KC:  What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday (when you have the day off)?

MR: It has been a while since I had a Saturday off. However, on a typical Saturday afternoon I go to the gym, read my Bible, and watch sports among other things.

KC:  If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

MR: If I could travel to any place in the world I would go Egypt.  Egypt’s history of pharaohs and archeology have always fascinated me.

KC:  What is a fun fact that most people do not know about you?

MR: Most people do not know I have a great sense of humor.

KC:  Name one of your personal traits or skills that you are most proud of.

MR: I am a good listener.

KC:  Who was your idol when you were a kid, and why?

MR: My idol has always been my grandmother. She raised me and taught me values such as respect, kindness and selflessness just to mention a few.

KC:  If you had to enter a cooking contest and prepare your best entrée or dessert to impress the judges, what would you make?

MR: To impress the judges I would make chocolate-covered marshmallows topped with shredded coconut.

KC: Thanks Manny!

Image
Latte art by Manny of Kean Coffee

Meet the Barista: Eight Questions with RAMONE VALERIO

This is an ongoing series in which you will get to know a little bit more about the fine young men and women who prepare your coffee at Kean Coffee through a series of random interview questions. Ramone Valerio has been a barista at Kean Coffee Tustin for close to two years. Aside from being an awesome barista, Ramone is also a talented musician, and an extremely creative and all around great guy. When he isn’t making amazing coffee drinks for our guests, Ramone can also be found playing music with his fellow musicians in the coffeehouse. A true Renaissance man. That’s why we love Ramone!

Ramone Valerio

KC:  What is your favorite coffee drink?

RV: Caffe Napoli or a “Napiato” (macchiato with a little white chocolate and hazelnut).

KC: What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday, (assuming you have the day off)?

RV: Playing shows/concerts, jamming with the band (I, of Helix).

KC:  If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

RV: England/U.K., and Canada

KC:  What is a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

RV: I like to draw and also enjoy video editing.

KC:  Who was your favorite band/musician in high school?

RV: Between the Buried and Me

KC:  What were your most favorite and least favorite Halloween costumes ever?

RV: Favorite was when I dressed as Luigi from Mario Brothers. Least favorite, John Travolta from Pulp Fiction.

KC: Which of your personal traits or skills are you most proud of?

RV: Playing bass for almost 10 years, writing music, making CD’s/albums.

KC:   Who was your idol when you were a kid, and why?

RV: Jackie Chan, because I wanted to Kung fu around the world.

KC: Thanks Ramone!

Ramone’s famous macchiato art tree

Meet the Barista: Eight Questions with BYRON PIERCE

This is the first in an ongoing series of blog entries in which you will get to know the fine young men and women who prepare your coffee at Kean Coffee through a set of random interview questions. We first shine the spotlight on Byron Pierce, a barista and shift manager who works at both our Newport Beach and Tustin coffeehouses. Byron has also recently begun acting as a barista trainer for Kean Coffee wholesale accounts, to rave reviews.  Byron is extremely dedicated and passionate about what he does. Don’t let this tough guy in the photo fool you, Byron is a sweetheart. That’s why we love him.  

Image
Byron Pierce – barista, trainer and shift manager extraordinaire

KC:  What do you like best about being a barista?

BP: What I like best about being a barista is simply working with fine espresso, steaming perfect milk to perform fine latte art, and just making our customers smile everyday while getting quality coffee on every visit to our coffeehouse.

KC: What is your favorite coffee drink?

BP: A double Italian cappuccino. 

KC: What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday, (when you have the day off)?

 BP: Well… first I cant stay away from our coffeehouse, I go into Kean Coffee every morning to have my coffee to start my day off well. then what I usually do is spend time with family, or simply go for a motorcycle ride up in the canyon areas, to ride and enjoy the beautiful view.

KC: If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

BP: I would love to travel to two places – one being my ancestors country which would be Poland, and I  would also love to travel to Brazil.

KC: What was your favorite toy as a child?

BP: Remote control airplanes!! they were the best.

KC: What is a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

BP: That I’m really energized to get up one day and randomly do anything that I normally wouldn’t do as a hobby. Like rock climbing in Utah. 

KC: Who was your favorite band/musician in high school?

BP: Mike Ness from Social Distortion. 

KC: Which of your personal traits or skills are you most proud of?

BP: Making fine coffee beverages, performing Latte Art, riding sport motorcycles, and speaking out to people with confidence.

KC: Thanks Byron!

One of Byron’s latte art creations