May 2016 Subscription Letter
Time flies when you’re drinking good coffee, right? We can’t believe it’s already May….hopefully the April showers are now starting to bring May flowers wherever this subscription box finds you.
Now that we’re getting into full-blown Springtime, we thought it would be fun to include a very special blend from a very special partner of ours here at Tinker Coffee. Uel Zing is an awesome coffee company based in Bloomington, Indiana that specializes in delicious cold brew and expertly crafted drinks at their coffee lab. We both share an intense focus on the educational side of speciality coffee, and Uel Zing hosts cupping seminars at their lab that have been a huge hit with customers.
Several months ago, Sam (the owner of Uel Zing) approached us about developing a new blend for their cold brew coffee. He was looking to create a blend that featured three of the most important flavor components in a cold brew: chocolate, sweet berry, and a little bit of smoke. We worked diligently over the next several weeks to source coffees that not only featured those flavor profiles, but also met our extremely high standards for quality, transparency, and fairness all the way from the farm to your cup. After cupping the individual components and several versions of the blend, we decided to feature three lots of coffee from around the world that produce a rounded and well-balanced cup perfect for cold brew.
The bedrock of the blend is a classically full-bodied and chocolate-forward Nicaraguan coffee from the Santa Candida Estate. We sourced this lot through Olam Coffee, one of the world’s leading importers and advocates for sustainable speciality coffee production. To complement the sweet chocolate base of the blend, we found a naturally processed Ethiopian coffee from the Wottona Bultuma Co-Op in Sidama. This lot showcases a richly intense berry flavor profile that complements the chocolate perfectly. Think of a chocolate-covered raspberry when you try it. Rounding out the blend and adding just the right amount of smoke is a Sumatran lot known as Red Badger from Red Goni Coffee. This coffee is a regional lot from Northern Sumatra and we were so impressed by the balance of the flavor profile that we knew we had to have it for our blend. Together, each aspect of the blend comes together harmoniously to produce a super strong, super smooth cold brew that tastes just as good black as it does with milk or sweetener. It’s a winner :)
So, what do you do with this cold brew blend? One thing to keep in mind is that while this coffee was made with cold brew in mind, it tastes awesome as a traditionally brewed coffee as well. Have no fear using it in a normal drip machine… you might find the blueberry/raspberry notes come through nicely when brewed hot. If you want to make a classic cold brew, coarsely grind the entire 12oz bag of coffee and add 9 full cups of water to the grounds (just make sure to use a vessel that can fit it all!). Give the grounds a few hefty stirs to saturate everything completely, then cover the grounds and put them in your refrigerator. After 12 hours or so, give the coffee a good stir, and then let it sit for another 6-12 hours (depending on your taste preference:longer=stronger). When you’re done brewing, filter the coffee through a fine mesh sieve or colander to remove the grounds and you’re all set! This brew method will produce a pretty concentrated expression of the coffee, so don’t feel bad adding a bit of water to taste. We typically shoot for a 1:1 concentrate to water ratio. Happy brewing!