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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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!
It’s the biggest event in coffee, sponsored by the biggest names in coffee, held in what is probably America’s most coffee-obsessed city. It’s every coffee nerd’s dream, and seven of our team from Thanksgiving Coffee Company had the opportunity to attend this year. The Global Coffee Expo is a three day event with all the players in the coffee industry, put on by the Specialty Coffee Association. Roasting, importing, producing, farming, equipment, ideas, publications – there is so much to see and do at this convention.
Above: The SCA logo on cupping mugs at the Global Coffee Expo
Stepping into the launch party on night one was an experience all in itself. At the Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle, thousands of coffee professionals from all over the world flooded the floors. There was a virtual reality farm tour, a video from the board of the SCA, cold brew samples from Starbucks, a latte art throwdown, and networking with some of the most prominent people in coffee. It was overwhelming and spectacular — and a great way to kick off an exciting weekend.
Above: The Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle hosts the SCA Global Coffee Expo launch party
The Specialty Coffee Association turns 35 this year. The years that have gone by have changed the association in many ways, but it remains at its core, a place for people to come together and fight for the greater good of everyone involved in the coffee industry. Thanksgiving Coffee’s Co-Founder and CEO Paul Katzeff was part of the team that founded the SCAA back in 1982, and has been an integral part of the association (and its president twice) through the decades.
Above: Paul Katzeff at the Global Coffee Expo launch party
The weekend was of course a whirlwind, full of lectures, meetings, walking the Expo floor, and naturally, lots of coffee breaks! We tasted coffee from Kenya, Colombia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nicaragua, India, and many more origins. We met old friends and new, listened to lectures from coffee professionals, and visited our Fairtrade certification.
We were also able to take a peek into the newest publications that have featured Thanksgiving Coffee recently: Fresh Cup Magazine’s article on coffee bag packaging, and Stir Magazine’s feature on our Congo Coffee, benefiting the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
One of the main highlights of these conventions is the opportunity to meet with our producers – the human beings behind the coffee farms. Throughout the year, we speak with these folks over email and telephone, but at rare moments like these, we’re able to spend time with them face to face. We get to catch up on life and family and learn how their farms and co-ops are doing. We got some fun shots with a few of our friends:
Above: the SOPACDI co-op team from the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Thanksgiving Coffee team from Fort Bragg, California
Above: Sara Corrales of the Los Pinos Farm in Nicaragua, and Joan Katzeff, co-founder of Thanksgiving Coffee
Above: Jacob Long, Roastmaster and Director of Coffee at Thanksgiving Coffee, and Lucas Silvestre of the Guayab Co-op in Guatemala
Above: Fatima Ismael of SOPPEXCCA in Nicaragua, Joan Katzeff of Thanksgiving Coffee and Nicholas Hoskyns of Etico in Nicaragua
We here at Thanksgiving Coffee want to give a HUGE thank you to the volunteer team that worked so hard at the Global Coffee Expo. Conventions like these simply cannot happen without the help of volunteers, and we are all indebted to you!
Take a peek below at some of the fun we had while in Seattle at the Specialty Coffee Association convention. After the Roasters Guild mixers, morning presentations, photo booth fun, and walking tens of thousands of steps across the show floor, we are going to need the rest of the week to rest and catch up.
The Thanksgiving Coffee team at Global Coffee Expo, with Nicholas of Nicaragua, and Isak of Rwanda
Joshua Long, Jacob Long, Paul Katzeff, Joan Katzeff and Jen Lewis outside the Washington State Convention Center
The Seattle skyline from our Airbnb in Queen Anne
Marchelo Bresciani at the Fairtrade America booth
Jacob, Josh and Nathan inspecting new roasting equipment
Joan and Paul Katzeff, co-founders of Thanksgiving Coffee Company
Jen Lewis with Jennifer Pawlik of Amavida Coffee Roasters, a fellow B Corporation
At the International Women in Coffee Association (IWCA) breakfast
Thank you, volunteers
Jacob Long and Joshua Long with Kenyan dancers at the Global Coffee Expo launch party
Attending the Fairtrade America cupping
We’ll see you in 2018, Seattle!
Stay tuned for some individual posts from our team that attended the show!
April snuck up and overtook us SO QUICKLY that it’s already time for the Specialty Coffee Association’s Global Coffee Expo. The biggest event in coffee starts this week, and we’re sending a pack of people there to represent Thanksgiving Coffee and hang out with all the coffee nerds of the world.
We’ve studied the lecture calendar, we’ve analyzed the exhibitor charts, we’ve RSVP’d to the breakfasts and lunches and dinners and drinks… we’re ready for you, Seattle!
The Thanksgiving Coffee Team
The seven people headed toward Seattle this week consists of a mix of management, marketing, roasting and sales! Meet the crew below:
Heading up the team are our fearless leaders, Joan Katzeff and Paul Katzeff. For the past 45 years, these two have been the backbone of Thanksgiving Coffee Company. Paul was actually a founding member and former president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and has a tendency to get mobbed on the expo floor. When you’ve been in coffee for over 45 years, you find a lot of people who want your advice.
The roastery is sending two to the Global Coffee Expo: Roastmaster Jacob Long and Roaster Joshua Long. Jake has been with Thanksgiving Coffee for over ten years, and has been to the SCA’s expo a number of times. Joshua is a newer addition to the company, since early 2016, but has quickly become an ace coffee roaster and an integral part of our team. Both of these guys will be meeting with the co-ops and farms that Thanksgiving works with, as well as researching new products, brewing methods, innovations in roasting and so much more.
The Marketing Team
From the marketing team, we have our Brand Manager Marchelo Bresciani and Digital Marketing Coordinator Jen Lewis! Both are newbies to this event and beyond excited to dive into the Global Coffee Expo. On their docket are lectures like “Current Coffee Market Trends” and “Telling the Stories of Coffee.” These guys will also be constantly updating our social media channels, so be sure to keep an eye on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on what we’re up to!
On the sales side of things, one of our Wholesale Account Representatives will be joining the team as well. Nathan Nies leads up our sales in Sonoma County and the Bay Area, and is one of the few of the Thanksgiving Coffee employees that doesn’t work out of our Fort Bragg office. Nathan will be on the lookout for new ways that we can support our network of cafes throughout California and beyond.
If you want to meet up while we’re at the Global Coffee Expo, give us a ring! You can reach our Digital Marketing Coordinator by email at email@example.com.
See you in Seattle!
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!
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.
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.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company
The world is lush with coffee growing regions, and inside those regions are thousands of small-scale coffee farmers, growing coffee in hundreds of different micro-climates and soil types. This is where we find the “micro-lot.”
Together with dozens of varietals (air, shade, wind, sun, rain, soil type, etc.), the coffee flavor is created in all its possibilities.
We have been in the coffee game for over forty years, and know the territory well, from Papua New Guinea to Nicaragua.
We know the farmers and they know us. Together we find these small, exceptional “micro-lots” produced by individual farms in quantities of no more than 10-20 sacks (1500-3000 pounds).
We pay the farmer a premium, and everyone involved is happy that a rare and quality coffee did not get lost in the crowd of good and quality coffee.
When the coffee finally arrives at Thanksgiving Coffee Company, our Roastmaster Jacob Long roasts the coffee 3-5 pounds at a time, using his knowledge to bring out the magic from each bean.
So when you see Thanksgiving Coffee offering a micro-lot coffee, you can be certain that you’re purchasing one hell of a great coffee.
– Paul Katzeff
Shop micro-lot coffee online.
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 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.
The holidays are all about spending time with the people you love. It’s the time for ice skating and caroling and snuggling up by the fire with a cup of coffee.
Our friend Sulin Bell created a cookbook that we just had to share: Two Hearts, Four Hands. This collection of thirty recipes was designed for two people to enjoy together. Separate directions for two cooks come together for a collaborative experience in the kitchen: desserts, dinners, brunch, baking and more. And this cookbook isn’t just for couples, but friends, family, roommates and anyone!
Two Hearts, Four Hands:
Put love into your food and food into your love at the same time! This is the first cookbook designed for two people cooking together. Join with your partner, family, friend, co-worker, or new relationship for a fun, creative and tasty experience. A date in the kitchen provides quality time for your relationships while preparing delicious healthy food.
Two Hearts Four Hands is a lighthearted approach to expanding culinary awareness while addressing the time challenges of food preparation in our fast-paced lifestyle. Cooking together allows you the extra time for deeply nourishing yourself and your relationships.
Learn more at www.twoheartsfourhands.com