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Kona Cold Brew Marinade for Pot Roast

From Lawrence Bullock

Here’s a cold brew marinade for those foggy summer weekends (or anytime, actually) when company’s coming, and you have a bit of prep time. You will need a full two days for prep, and another ten hours for the slow cooker.

I started by making the marinade, which was cold brewed Kona Blend Coffee. Kona Coffee

Cold Brew Recipe:

One 12oz package of Thanksgiving Coffee Kona Blend, cold brewed for 24 hours. I used our Cold Brew Kit. Once the cold brewing was complete (24 hours) I filtered the coffee using a mesh filter. If you don’t have one of those, simply pour off the cold brew into a second container until you see the sludge. Set the strained cold brew aside. Discard any solids left at the bottom of the cold brew kit, and you’re left with roughly 50 to 56 ounces of cold brew coffee.

I bought two chuck roasts. Chuck roasts are an inexpensive cut, but flavorful.

I put the cold brew into a container that I knew could contain the roasts and the cold brew. A lidded container is preferable, but if you don’t have one, use cling wrap to seal it off. Use enough cold brew to completely cover the meat.

I then placed the meat, covered in cold brew, in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Once the cold brew marinade process was over, I poured the leftover cold brew coffee into a container and set it aside.

As you can see, planning ahead is essential as two 24 periods are involved, and THEN a ten hour cook time.

But it’s worth it.

I then used the directions on a product called Johnny’s French Dip Au Jus. This product can be found in most grocery stores, or online, these days. You only need one little bottle, but I usually buy two and keep one in the pantry. Johnny’s French Dip Au Jus contains: Water, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (Corn, Soy, Wheat), Red Wine Vinegar, Tomato Paste, Worcestershire Sauce. The basic recipe for the au jus, according to the label on the little bottle is two parts water to one part au jus. Instead of the recommended water, I used the cold brew that I had marinated the roasts in. Using those directions, I ended up with 3 cups of au jus liquid. It pretty much covered the roasts. You can make more of the au jus if you wish. Make enough to cover the roast (or roasts) completely.

I refrigerated any remaining cold brew to save in case it was needed. Any product that has touched raw meat should be refrigerated.

Cooking the Pot Roast

I set the slow cooker to ten hours and let it cook. For ten hours.

A coffee-saturated roast beef was the result. The coffee flavor was evident but not overwhelming and taste tests went well. A wide rage of ages (15 to 67) tasted the roast at completion and enjoyed it.

I didn’t really need the extra cold brew marinade so I discarded it. For health and safety reasons, I didn’t freeze it, or save it for later. Any product that has touched raw meat should be discarded if not used in a timely fashion.

You can add carrots, potatoes and any number of vegetables associated with standard pot roast recipes, but I chose to not include them in this recipe because I wanted to taste what a strict coffee au jus and meat only combination tasted like. I’m sure adding the vegetables would be just fine, and I’ll probably do that next time!

Hot Coffee, Cold Coffee: How Does Temperature Affect Taste?

From Lawrence Bullock

Biologists have only recently started understanding how and why temperature affects the taste of food and beverages. No research has been conducted specifically regarding coffee. But there are three main theories; the first holds that lukewarm coffee tastes bad because cavemen didn’t have refrigerators.

Karel Talavera of the Laboratory of Ion Channel Research in Cuba has studied the way that taste receptors inside our taste buds respond to molecules at different temperatures. He and his colleagues found that certain taste receptors are most sensitive to food molecules in the 20 to 35 degree Celsius (68 to 95 degree Fahrenheit) range — in other words, molecules at or just above room temperature. The taste receptors in question don’t always register molecules much hotter or colder than this range, so we don’t taste them.

“This is still an obscure phenomenon that we cannot explain, but that could fit to the fact that taste perception does decrease above a certain temperature,” Talavera says. In short, hot coffee (around 170 degrees F) may seem less bitter than room-temperature coffee (73 degree F) because our bitter taste receptors aren’t as sensitive to bitter molecules in the coffee when those molecules are hot.

According to Talavera, our sensory systems tend to be designed by evolution to perform most effectively at the temperatures we are typically exposed to. “Our ancestors did not eat food at extreme temperatures,” he said. Their meals consisted of mostly foraged berries and freshly hunted meat in the 20 to 37 degree Celsius range — almost exactly the window in which our taste buds are most sensitive. Because piping hot or ice-cold coffee falls outside this realm of maximum taste, our taste buds don’t sense the drink’s true bitterness.

However, the temperature-dependence effect observed by Talavera and colleagues is more pronounced for sweet taste receptors than bitter ones, and so it may not be the only factor at work. Some researchers think tepid coffee’s bitterness has more to do with smell than taste. “Odors influence coffee flavor very strongly, and it is easy to go from sublime to horrible,” Paul Breslin, an experimental psychologist who studies taste perception at Rutgers University, wrote in an email. Even very bitter coffee, such as espresso, tastes great when hot because of its pleasant aroma, he pointed out.

According to Barry Green, a taste perception scientist at Yale University, hot coffee releases more aromatic compounds than room-temperature coffee, so it has a greater chance of impacting taste. He also said that milk, coffee’s frequent companion, tastes worse at room temperature, and a combination of these factors probably explains the nearly universal opinion that lukewarm coffee leaves something to be desired.

One last theory holds that hot coffee’s heat could be distracting us from its strong flavor. As Breslin put it, “It is possible that an attentional mechanism is at work. You do not think about how bitter or sweet [coffee] is when it is hot or cold. Hot coffee may force you to think about temperature, which is a bit of a distraction from its bitterness.”

None of the researchers profess to fully understand coffee’s temperature-dependent deliciousness, but it seems to be at least slightly, only a matter of opinion.


Below: A photo featuring both hot coffee and cold coffee from one of our cafes, The Good Earth Coffee and Tea House in Oroville, California
Good Earth Coffee + Tea

Coffee-Infused Vodka

From Lawrence Bullock

In order to make coffee infused vodka, you will need the Primula Cold Brew Maker to begin. I’ve used it, and for this recipe, it’s essential. If you use another type, you’re on your own. Now that you’ve got your Primula cold brew coffee maker, you will also need:

One bottle of vodka
Inexpensive vodka will be fine. You don’t have buy a huge bottle, the standard size is fine.

One 12 oz package of ground coffee
Any kind is fine, but don’t use a rare Yirgacheffe or some such, as the subtle flavors will be lost in the alcohol. The percolator grind works best for the Primula, so PERC grind it should be.


Place the inner filter of the Primula in its carafe and fill it with the ground coffee. Perhaps to about a half inch from the top. Pour the vodka slowly through the filter until it is gone, or until you’ve filled the container.

Put the lid on the Primula and set it aside for at least 24 hours, but no longer than 48. After that, pull out the filter and set it aside. Pour your coffee flavored vodka back into the bottle if you wish, or any other container you elect to. If you wish to flavor the vodka with vanilla or any other syrup (like a Torani syrup) start with a teaspoon first and then add to taste.

Make sure you wash out the filter and the Primula, so it’s ready for the next use!

Have fun experimenting! Oh, and now that you have a cold brew maker, try making some cold brew coffee too.

Here are some of my favorite uses for coffee vodka:

  • Drink with cola
  • Drink with cream soda
  • Add to a cafe latte
  • Add a little to your favorite cake recipe

Enjoy!

Cold Brew History: The Condensed Version

From Lawrence Bullock

Cold-brewed coffee has become popular in the United States in just the past 10 years or so. But it’s not new.. There are many versions of cold coffee all over the world. Thai and Vietnamese iced coffee, and Indian cold coffee. These methods, however, use either hot-brewed coffee (Thai and Vietnamese iced coffee) or instant coffee (Indian cold coffee). The first instances of true cold-brewed coffee, made with cold water, come from Japan.

Kyoto-Style Japanese Coffee

Kyoto-style coffee, which takes its name from Kyoto, Japan, where it’s extremely popular, is the earliest record of cold-brew coffee. The Japanese were brewing coffee this way in the 1600s, but it’s unclear as to any earlier occurrences. Some think that the Japanese may have learned about it from Dutch traders, who might have made cold coffee in order to be able to take it on long ship voyages.

As time has gone by, Kyoto-style brews have become varied and artistic. Rather than submerging coffee grounds for hours, drop by drop brewing through a convoluted glass tower sets the pace. One drop of water seeps through the coffee grounds at a time. It takes just as much time as the long- immersion method does but is really amazing to watch. Some of the Kyoto cold brew towers are works of art. They are also, unfortunately, expensive and unless your goal is to make a brewing experience people might drive hours to see , it is an extravagance not as suited to an American pace of life.

Cold-Brew Comes to the U.S.

Cold brew has come to the U.S. overnight since the 1980’s. (Yes, that was a joke.) Initially, The Toddy Company method was the go-to cold-brew of choice for years. It was easy for busy restaurants and coffee houses to make, the product cut through milk and sugar and contained a lot of caffeine.

What prompted the cold-brew trend? Who knows? Cold brewing requires little manual labor and therefore is practical for coffee shops, cafes and restaurants, and is a creative way to feature coffee. Since coffee has been trending more towards elements of art (ask a barista who made that swan in your cappucino if they think they’re an artist) it could be that as well.

Is hot coffee necessarily the default brew of choice? Well, hot brew’s not going anywhere but evidence points to the fact that coffee’s been enjoyed cold for at least four centuries. We think it’s fine that people are re-discovering this long-established way of enjoying coffee, and we’re excited to see what cold-brew will evolve into as time goes on. You and (if you’re one of our restaurant accounts) your customers might be excited about it as well.

First Week of Summer: Cold Brew!

Summer has arrived, and that means it’s time to brew your coffee COLD. In honor of the first week of summer, we’re going to be posting one cold brew article every day for the next week: recipes, brewing methods, brewer reviews and the science behind cold brew.

Check back every day on the Thanksgiving Coffee Blog for more information on cold brew! We’ll continue to update this page with all the new items being added.

Cold Brew Coffee

What is Cold Brew

Cold Brew is very simply explained, because the entirety of its explanation is in the name: it’s simply coffee that has been brewed with cold water, instead of hot. While your typical french press or pour over method uses boiling water, the cold brew method simply requires water at room temperature.

There are many methods of brewing your coffee cold, and that’s something we’ll discuss a little more as the week goes on.

Why Drink Cold Brew Coffee

Why!? It’s hot outside. But there are a lot of other reasons to drink cold brew too: caffeine content, acidity levels and versatility in uses. We’ll continue to explore each of these options in the coming days, right here on the Thanksgiving Coffee Blog. Keep checking back for more information!

LINKS: Cold Brew Kit | Cold Brew Versatility | Cold Brew in a Mason Jar | Cold Brew Steak Marinade

For now, let’s celebrate summer with a glass of cold brew!

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee

Versatile, Healthy, Easy

In addition to being simply the best summertime drink, cold brew coffee has the distinct advantage of allowing you to taste more subtle notes in coffee than its hot-brewed counterpart. Some of the delicate tones in coffee can become masked in a hot drink.

The taste of coffee comes down to the chemistry of the brewing process. When you expose coffee grounds to hot water, they release oils. These oils are full of acidic compounds that won’t dissolve at lower temperatures. The bite of those compounds anesthetizes the tongue and prevents you from noticing the coffee’s flavor. The acidity can be nice in hot coffee, but for cold drinks, it’s a decided drawback.

Steep in Hopland serves up Thanksgiving Coffee Cold Brew on a daily basis. Below is a shot of one of their customers’ favorite drinks!

Cold Brew Coffee

Studies have shown that cold brew coffee is 67% less acidic than coffee brewed hot. The burnt flavor is eliminated from a coffee that is cold-brewed. The other upside of not having that acidic taste is that it’s healthier for both your stomach and your teeth.

And since cold brew coffee has never been subjected to heat, the chemistry of it doesn’t change. Hot coffee’s chemistry changes as it cools. Your day-old cold brew won’t taste stale, like a cup of day-old hot-brewed coffee certainly will. Caffe Etc in Hollywood serves Thanksgiving Coffee’s cold brew in 24oz portions to their morning customers. These people take their coffee with them to work, and save half of it in the fridge to consume later. There is no deterioration, and no second trip to the coffee shop this way!

Below is a shot from Caffe Etc in Los Angeles.

Cold Brew at Caffe Etc

Many people will argue that cold brew coffee simply tastes better. Undertones of chocolate, fruit, and nuts dance on the tastebuds more obviously with cold-brewed coffee. Our own preferences for cold brew here at Thanksgiving are single origin coffees, but some of our customers have used our Grey Whale Blend, and even our high caffeine Pony Express in their cold brew explorations. To find your preferred taste, experimentation is important – and cold brew is forgiving enough to allow that. You may even find that your tastes are seasonal.

As we experiment with our coffee for cold brew ourselves, we’d love to hear what your favorite cold brew coffees are! Share with us using our contact page, or on social media.

Another good thing about cold brew: It’s versatile. If you like your coffee hot, just add boiling water to the cold brew concentrate. Voila! Fresh hot coffee without the acid bite. If you’ve perfected your cold brew mix, but don’t want to dilute your drink with ice, freeze the mixture and use coffee ice-cubes. This way the mixture won’t get weaker as it melts – perfect for a picnic or a day on the beach. But here’s something to remember, though:. Ice cubes often pick up taste from the other things in your freezer,so be careful you don’t introduce off-flavors.

For our final little tidbit: A lot of recipes may avoid using coffee as an ingredient because of its acidity, but cold brew coffee, with its lowered acid content can be great for baking or marinating. Also, you can consider using cold brew in cocktails. Experiment with everything! You may discover your perfect cold brew libation. And if you do, let us know about it.

How to Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brewing coffee is easy, it’s fun, and it basically becomes a necessity as we head into summer. We sell a cold brew kit on our website that can get you started right away, with all directions (and coffee!) included. And we’re here to answer any questions you might have about how it works.

Cold Brew Kit from Thanksgiving Coffee Company

Lawrence Bullock
Thanksgiving Coffee Company

Fair Trade: A Movement for All

The following is an excerpt from a post from our fair trade certification: Fairtrade International:

True fair trade is about mutually beneficial relationships rooted in trust and respect spanning geographic and cultural boundaries.

As a global movement, fair trade brings attention to people around the world who work under exploitative conditions and highlights the true costs of goods in global supply chains. Organizations and activists, businesses and brands, farmers, workers and artisans have diligently worked for more than 40 years to bring greater balance to the terms of trade.

In recent months, we have watched as the term ‘fair trade’ has been grossly misused by politicians to energize their supporters while vilifying others. We have seen the term used to exclude people and encourage an isolationist agenda. These ideas stand in direct opposition to the concepts of justice and inclusivity that underlie our movement.

For far too long, conventional trade has maintained a narrow focus on the lowest common denominator. Efficiency at all costs, lower prices, and little consideration for the full social, economic and environmental impacts have been hallmarks of conventional international trade. Massive consolidation of power in supply chains has resulted in fewer options for consumers, farmers and workers, and unprecedented wealth controlled by few. Oxfam’s recent report on global inequality revealed that just eight men control more wealth than the world’s 3.6 billion poorest people combined.

IF WE HOPE FOR A SOCIETY – IN THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD – THAT IS MORE EQUAL AND JUST, WE MUST PRESS TRADE INTO THE SERVICE OF PEOPLE.

Global trade and the trade deals that accompany it are not inherently bad. They provide an opportunity to deliver the benefits of trade more broadly, but only if they are used for that purpose. Fair trade, with its focus on inclusion and empowerment, shows that trade can – and must – be more equitable.

If we hope for a society – in the U.S. and around the world – that is more equal and just, we must press trade into the service of people.

True fair trade creates shared value throughout supply chains.
True fair trade promotes openness and transparency.
True fair trade respects human rights.
True fair trade supports diversity.

We support trade that is truly equitable for all, including artisans, farmers and workers, traders and brands, consumers and civil society. Fair trade will never be about exclusion, but about expanding the benefits of trade for those who need it most.

As the U.S. considers renegotiating or entering into new international trade agreements, we encourage the inclusion of true fair trade principles. We urge all who care about human rights, shared value, transparency and diversity to call, write or meet with their elected officials and make your voice heard.


See the original article from Fairtrade International here, and check out the list of names that have signed on to this agreement!

Seasonality and (Great) Coffee

This is a write-up from the archives (2010) that is worth reading again. Former Thanksgiving Coffee employee Ben Corey-Moran discusses how seasonality affects great coffee.


Like all agricultural crops, coffee changes from year to year due to subtle shifts in environmental factors such as temperature, rainfall, sunshine, and equally subtle changes in harvesting, processing, and preparation by the farmer. This complex dance between farm and farmer produces a fascinating saga of flavor that tracks over time a mosaic of character, sweetness, nuance, and style.

Understanding the seasonality of coffee and working in harmony with its cycles allows us to deepen our relationship with coffee and the farmers who grow it. By focusing on coffee that is origin specific and in-season, we shorten the time and distance that separates us from the production of coffee. Featuring in-season coffees from specific farmers who are close partners transforms the experience of coffee from a generic commodity to a specifically local seasonal product.

Because coffee grows in both the northern and southern hemispheres, the coffee harvest is actually an ongoing cycle whose timing depends on latitude, elevation, and weather. Typically, coffees grown north of the equator are harvested between November and January while coffees grown south of the equator are harvested between May and July. After harvest and processing, coffee requires a resting period of two months before it can be shipped. Together, these steps add another three to four months to the arrival of new crop coffee. Consequently, late in our spring we expect the arrival of coffees from the northern hemisphere, while late in our fall we expect the arrival of coffees from the southern hemisphere.

Our monthly rotation of single-origin coffees features a fresh, in-season coffee produced by one of the farms or cooperatives we’ve worked with for years. Each is a unique expression of the farmer’s craft as it combines with the subtleties of varietal, soil, temperature, rainfall, and sunshine. Each is handpicked by our roasting team to showcase an exceptional example of the benefits that come from working directly with farmers, and the vibrancy of in-season coffee.

We hope you’ll join us as we explore the joys of coffee every month and for many years to come.

Ben Corey-Moran
Ben worked at Thanksgiving Coffee from 2003 to 2012, in charge of coffee buying and supply chain development operations, as well as working with farmers and cooperatives throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Ben is now the Director of Coffee Supply at Fair Trade USA, leading their investment in producer services, industry collaboration, and supply chain development.

Cold-Brewed Coffee Steak Marinade

re-posted from natalieparamore.com

Cold Brew Coffee Steak Marinade

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs skirt steak
1 cup cold brew (use the TCC Cold Brew Kit!)
4 tablespoons Maple Syrup
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, torn
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of kosher salt

Directions:
1. Whisk cold brew, syrup, garlic, rosemary, red pepper, black pepper and salt together. Marinate steak for two hours in the fridge, turning the meat over about half way through.

2. Sear steak on grill or cast iron pan on high heat for three minutes on each side for rare, five minutes on each side for medium.

3. Let skirt steak sit for five minutes after cooking, then slice and serve.

Serves 2-4

Marinade can be made a day in advance.

Buy the Cold Brew Kit

Basic Cold Brew (using our kit)

by Lawrence Bullock, Thanksgiving Coffee

Cold Brew

Here’s an inexpensive and easy way to make astounding cold-brew coffee.

1. Using the Thanksgiving Coffee Cold Brew Kit (the basic container and the mesh bag) grind up the entire 12 oz package worth of Thanksgiving Coffee. We recommend a medium to dark roast, (unless you’d like to experiment with other roasts) at a coarse grind. We’ve already ground the package that comes with your “starter” set. If you purchase whole beans later, and decide to grind your own, you are looking for a grind roughly the same consistency as breadcrumbs. Any finer and you risk cloudy, grimy-tasting coffee.
Buy the Cold Brew Kit

2. Fill the mesh bag with the ground coffee, and place it in the bottom of the empty container like a huge tea-bag, and top up the container with tap water (distilled water would be better — fewer dissolved solids means that it’ll absorb more of the coffee solids, but that’s not a huge difference).

3. Stick it in the fridge overnight. Easy peasy. In the morning, take the bag out of the container and give it a good squeeze to get the coffee liquor out of the mush inside. Voila, an amazing cold-brew concentrate that you can dilute.

4. Dilute 50/50, for example, one cup water to one cup concentrate, etc.

Cleanup is easy: invert the bag over a trashcan or garbage disposal, rinse off the bag, place somewhere clean to dry and you’re done.

This produces very, very good coffee concentrate, with only a little grit settled into the bottom of the container (easy to avoid). It may just be the cheapest and easiest cold-brewing method you’ll try.

Cold Brew Facts:

  • No fancy brewing equipment needed. If you outgrow our “starter” kit, you can expand using common household or easily acquirable items..
  • Big batch or small batch, you pick what’s best for you. The recipe is easy to scale depending on how much coffee you drink.
  • Your cold brew concentrate will last about a week in the refrigerator without losing its freshness.
  • You can mix your concentrate with water or milk, or if you are totally hard core you can drink it straight.

Buy the Cold Brew Kit

How do you take your coffee?

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