Author Archives: Aly Curtis

Summertime Coffee: Tips for Making Cold Brew Coffee

Aly Curtis

cold brew blend ashley

At Utopian, we are always striving to generate new ways for our customers to connect with coffee, and this year we decided to create an awesome new blend to highlight one of our favorite coffee drinks: Cold Brew.

Cold brew is a method for brewing coffee that produces a smooth and refreshing cup of coffee totally ready to drink on a balmy, summer day! Similar to making a French Press, cold brew utilizes a full-immersion method, which means the coffee grounds will be completely saturated in water. The difference is you will not need hot water, but you will need nearly an entire day to allow the coffee to allow the brewing to take place!

Our blend is created using an heirloom Ethiopian which brings forth notes of subtle fruits and chocolate, while hearty Colombian beans bring a smooth mouthfeel and hints of lime. The result is a full-bodied and refreshing cold brew that is sure to help you cool down on a hot summer day.

To make Cold Brew you are going to need some basic supplies and a bag of our Cold Brew Blend.

Directions:

Supplies Needed

2 – Large Jars (Approx. 40 ounces)

1 – Paper Coffee Filter or Roll Cheesecloth (or both!)

4 oz Utopian Cold Brew Blend

  1. Grind coffee to a coarse sea-salt like consistency
  2. Pour ground coffee into a clean jar.
  3. Fill jar with approx. 32oz cold water (leave 3” clearance – coffee grounds will degas and will need sufficient room to expand).
  4. Allow to sit in refridgerator for 18-24 hours (keep covered).
  5. After allowing to brew, remove the jar from refrigerator and uncover.
  6. Use cheesecloth or a coffee filter to cover the lid of a new clear jar. Pour the cold brew over the filter and into the new container!
  7. Pour cold brew over ice and enjoy!

If the flavor is too strong, feel free to dilute with cold water, milk or a similar substance. This recipe will yield a bold but smooth beverage. We hope you enjoy this refreshing summertime blend as much as we do! 

*Cheesecloth will remove larger particles – the coffee filter will remove smaller particles giving you a cleaner taste, but this will also take much longer to filter than the cheesecloth. At Utopian Coffee, we suggest trying both and finding what works best for your setup! 

The Best In-Home Coffee Grinders

Aly Curtis

There’s nothing like a cup of freshly ground coffee in the morning.

If you’re one of those people that orders fresh roasted coffee beans and grinds them in your home, odds are you’ve experienced the struggle to find the perfect coffee grinder. Not only does your grinder need to give your gourmet coffee beans a quality grind, but it should be easy to use. And since you’ll be operating it before your morning caffeine fix? A grinder that isn’t crazy loud would be nice too.

We’ve done our research to bring you the best in-home coffee grinders on the market.

1. Baratza Encore

We don’t believe in saving the best for last, so we’ll start with our favorite, the Baratza Encore. Not only is it the least expensive in Baratza’s line of grinders, but it has a gram-at-a-pulse feature that makes it easy for the less experienced coffee makers to make a cup. Plus, the particle consistency is hard to beat.

fresh roasted coffee grinder

Want it? Click here to buy it.

2. Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder

This gourmet coffee grinder is known to be the quietest one on the market, so if you hate loud noises in the morning (like the rest of us), then you’ll love the Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder. Plus, the medium grind setting is consistent and perfect for pour-over or drip coffee lovers.

gourmet coffee grinder

Want it? Buy it on Amazon.

3. Breville Smart Grinder

Last up, the Breville Smart Grinder. This grinder has the highest rated particle consistency for a grinder, and it’s easy-ish to operate. You’ll definitely get your $200 worth with this gourmet coffee grinder.
coffee of the month club grinder

Want it? Buy it on Amazon.

After you find the grinder of your dreams, stop by our online shop to order the perfect, fresh roasted coffee. If you love trying new roasts, be sure and join our gourmet coffee of the month club. What’s your favorite coffee grinder? Let us know in the comments below.

Water Quality Matters in Your Cup of Gourmet Coffee

Aly Curtis

It sounds obvious when you say it out loud, but most people don’t know that the quality of the water used for brewing affects their coffee’s taste.

Image: ShutterStock.com

Image: ShutterStock.com

According to The Telegraph, researchers have concluded that, “The perfect cup of fresh roasted coffee should be made with water high in magnesium and low in bicarbonate.” When they examined the water’s effects closely, high magnesium ion levels improved the process of extracting the gourmet coffee flavor from the bean while high bicarbonate levels slowed the process down.

That same study showed that water with high sodium levels, like water treated with water softeners or most bottled water, also prevented the more complex flavors from the coffee bean from being extracted.

Chemist Christopher Hendon, who is currently writing a book on brewing the perfect cup of fresh roasted coffee, says that while there is no “perfect composition” for the water, “magnesium-rich water is better at extracting coffee compounds and the resultant flavour depends on the balance between both the ions in the water and the quantity of bicarbonate present.” If you’re not sure about the minerals in your tap water, you can look it up here.

Ok, so there’s a lot of science to it, but what does it mean for those of us just wanting to brew the best possible cup of coffee in our homes?

  1. The water you use should be fresh. This means that leaving water out too long or heating it up only to let it cool down again will affect your brew’s taste.
  2. Don’t use distilled or mineral water. The lack of minerals in distilled water will give your coffee a flat taste, and the minerals in mineral water will affect taste as well.
  3. Invest in a water filter like Clearyl or Aqua Prima so that you can filter your tap water appropriately.

Get the most out of Utopian’s Fresh Roasted Coffee by brewing with the best quality water you can find and using the proper brewing ratios. After all, coffee is almost 99% water, so it’s important to consider what you’re putting into it.