Brew-It-Yourself: Beat the Summer Heat with Grady’s Iced Coffee
There’s a movement sweeping through the US right now, and it involves the world’s most highly consumed organic beverage. Coffee drinker much? Who isn’t? But this isn’t your ordinary coffee. Sure, you start off with ground coffee, water and a little bit of secret sauce.
But where things diverge completely from a standard cup of joe is in the brew-it-yourself method, and I’m not talking about pressing the start button on your drip coffee machine. Nope, this is much less taxing, and the only heat transfer involved will transpire in your refrigerator.
Introducing Grady’s Cold Brew, which empowers anyone to cold brew iced coffee at home. It’s really rather simple: Grady’s Bean Bags are filled with ground coffee beans, chicory and spices. Immerse one bag overnight in 2 cups of water, and 12 hours later, you’ve successfully brewed 3 servings of coffee concentrate. Add one part Grady’s concentrate to one part milk (or water for black coffee), and you’ve got yourself a cup of perfection.
|One tin contains 4 Bean Bags that yield at least 12 servings of coffee concentrate|
Honestly, you can’t mess it up. Too strong? Add more water or milk. Too dilute? Add more concentrate. The 1:1 ratio is a great starting point, and then adjust to taste. And in this sweltering heat and humidity—yuck!—there’s really nothing more refreshing and stimulating than iced coffee.
|Iced coffee = 1 part cold brew + 1 part milk + ice cubes (Photo source)|
Still not sold on the whole cold brewing process? Let’s get technical for a moment as I convince you cold brewing is actually superior to heat brewing—I know, this is going to undo years of blind hot coffee consumption. When heat is used to brew iced coffee, it releases acids and oils that only intensify when the coffee is cooled in the old icebox. The result is a bitter brew with a short shelf life.
Contrarily, cold brewing produces an intense but smooth flavor that blends with milk and retains its freshness for a good month in the fridge.
Grady’s cold-brewed concentrate is particularly distinctive because of the addition of chicory, the root of the endive plant. Roasted, ground and brewed for centuries as a coffee substitute, chicory is now heralded for its natural subtle sweetness and ability to temper dark-coffee roasts.
Fine, Beirutista, but I like my coffee hot in the morning, no matter how scorching it is outside.
Fair enough. You can still make hot coffee with Grady’s Cold Brew. The obvious method is to heat the mixture of Grady’s concentrate and milk or water in a microwave (1 min) or on a stovetop until hot but not boiling. For a cup of café au lait, New Orleans style, combine one part milk to one part concentrate in a sauce pan. Heat to just before boiling and serve. Nifty, isn’t it?
But who is Grady? Precisely what I was asking when I came across their catchy tin cans at Wesley’s Wholesale. After a bit of online sleuthing, I discovered that Grady Laird and co-founders Dave Sands and Kyle Buckley founded Grady’s cold coffee brewery in 2012. Originally, they crafted small batches by hand that were then sold at the Brooklyn weekend culinary destination Smorgasburg.
|The Grady's bunch: Dave Sands, Grady Laird, and Kyle Buckley (Photo source)|
The concept took off, notably for the drink’s caffeinated zing coupled with reduced acidity. Overwhelmed with demand, Grady’s Cold Brew shuttered its small 600-ft studio and moved to a 6,000-ft space. Today, they’re housed in a new 15,000-ft outlet in the Bronx, where the trio created their own brewing and bottling system.
Lucky for us here in Lebanon, we can get not only a whiff but a taste of that exceptional Cold Brew, free of sugars and preservatives and superbly convenient and portable. Wesley’s Wholesale sells 8-oz. cans containing four 2-oz. Bean Bags for LBP 19,500 (USD 13).
There are also single bags available for purchase so that you can sample before committing to a full tin.
|A single Bean Bag yields at least 3 servings of coffee concentrate|
The Cold Brew Kit pouch is excellent for parties, BBQs, and large get-togethers. All you do is add water and serve via dispenser!
|The Cold Brew Kit yields 36 cups of iced coffee!|
|Simply add water and serve via dispenser|
It should be noted that each bag steeped in 2 cups of water brews at least 3 servings of coffee concentrate—even more if you don’t like your coffee intense. That’s around 12 servings of Cold Brew per can, which must be refrigerated to preserve freshness. And of course, latte lovers can find creamers and milks at Wesley’s to help transform black to beige.
For the culinary creatives among us, there are a myriad of recipes incorporating Grady’s Cold Brew, from breakfast smoothies and buttercream frosting to coffee stout and Manhattan cocktails. Ideal in this sizzling summer weather, coffee popsicles impart a caffeine fix to a favorite frozen novelty.
The bottom line is now you can freely saunter in to the office at any time of day and not worry about your colleagues having sipped every last drop of black gold. You got your own stash in your own home, nestled safely in your funky fridge. Raise a cup of iced coffee to that!
|Find Grady's Cold Brew at Wesley's Wholesale outlets|
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Beirutista is Brand Ambassador at Wesley's Wholesale. What exactly does that mean? Well, if you liked this post, you can look forward to similar ones every month or so. I'll be blogging about a variety of exciting new projects Wesley's has underway, in addition to sneak peeks and product leaks! Expect cool new product giveaways from time to time, and if you're a real Wesley's obsessive like I am, I'll gladly hook you up with 10% off your next visit. Just shoot me a message at any one of my contact coordinates here.