New Orleans Cold Brew
Summer is here. Bring on the cold-brew coffee! Below is the recipe from our book Brew. In the book, Brian W. Jones breaks down the history and brewing method of New Orleans Cold Brew.
As Brian W. Jones describes, chicory has been used in times of coffee bean shortages or economic hardship to stretch out precious coffee beans throughout history. The practice of adding chicory to coffee originated in France during a Napoleon-era blockade and was popularized stateside by French settlers in New Orleans when the city’s ports were cut off during the Civil War. The dried and ground root of the blue-flowered chicory plant exhibits some flavors similar to coffee beans, as well as a distinctive roasted nuttiness that works in both hot- and cold-brewed coffees. You can find ground chicory root at many spice shops or specialty markets.
New Orleans Cold Brew
makes 2 cups of concentrate (enough for 6 drinks)
French press or pitcher
Spoon Fine-mesh sieve
Pour-over dripper and paper filter
Serving vessel or storage container
125 g (about 1½ cups) whole coffee beans
12 g (1½ tablespoons) dried chicory root
16 ounces (2 cups) water Ice cubes
Simple syrup or maple syrup (optional; see note)
Grind the beans at a medium-coarse setting and add the grounds to the French press (or pitcher) along with the chicory. Add the water and use a spoon to lightly stir the mixture, making sure all of the grounds are wet. Put the lid of the French press into place and press the filter down just enough to submerge the coffee below the water (or cover the pitcher). Let the coffee steep at room temperature for about 12 hours.
Slowly plunge the filter to the bottom of the French press. If you’re using a pitcher, pour the coffee mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the coffee grounds. Place the pour-over dripper with a freshly rinsed filter over a serving vessel or storage container. Pour the cold-brew concentrate through the filter, letting the coffee drip through. Before drinking, dilute the cold-brew concentrate using 1 part concentrate to 3 parts water and/or milk (or to your preferred taste) and serve over ice, sweetened with simple syrup or maple syrup if desired. The concentrate can be refrigerated for up to 1 week before it begins to degrade.
Note: To make simple syrup, dissolve 1 part granulated sugar in 1 part simmering water and let cool.
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