I love exploring neighborhoods and during the weekend, we walked through Hayes Valley. It’s yet another adorable little neighborhood, just north of the mission. There are tons of shops, restaurants, etc. There’s even a cool teeny tiny park with a giant metal female statue. They also have a blue bottle coffee on a side street that’s basically an alley way. And the shop itself is literally in a garage. Even though it was slightly windy and brisk, J wanted to get the new orleans style iced coffee. Ordering at this particular blue bottle is kind of a mess. There’s no system. It’s just sort of a jumbled free-for-all that really needs to be worked out. Note to blue bottle coffee, please come up with some sort or ordering and handing out procedure. It could use some organization and efficiency.
Oh this is a good drink. So good that we wanted to try to make it. So we scoured the internet for some recipes. Basically, it’s a cold brewed coffee using ground coffee and ground chicory. What is chicory? Well, the root chicory is baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute, but it has no caffeine.
Well, we couldn’t find chicory (although honestly, we didn’t try very hard), but we did find french market coffee which is a premixed coffee and chicory blend. Since we were just experimenting, this seemed like an easy solution.
We found several recipes but didn’t want to use a pound of coffee to end up with tons of the coffee concentrate. So we just did a tiny little experiment. I took 1/4 lb of the french market coffee and mixed it with 3 cups of cold water. You’re supposed to take only part of the water to wet all the grounds, and then pour the rest of the water in, agitating as little as possible. You get this crazy dark coffee slurry. It’s pretty groovy.
After leaving the cold brew out overnight, then you have to strain! You need a sieve with holes small enough that the medium ground coffee/chicory grinds will not fall through. So then you just sieve away. Depending on the recipe, you’re supposed to sieve twice, the second time through an even finer sieve, but we only did it once. It was a pain in the butt even trying to find one sieve, let alone two with finer mesh. Once you’re done sieving, you have your concentrate.
As you can see, it was quite a messy experiment. But then we actually made the coffee. Take 1/4 cup of the concentrate and 3/4 cup of milk. Pour over ice. Add simple syrup to your liking. And there you have it! It turned out quite amazing, if I do say so myself. It’s incredibly smooth, rich, and creamy. There’s absolutely no bitterness at all. It wasn’t as good as blue bottle’s version, but then again, we didn’t use blue bottle coffee. Even with our cheapo version, it turned out quite well. There’s something to be said about this cold brew business!