Cold Brew Flavors in Hot Coffee - Aeropress Soft Extraction Recipe
I always have a hard time dialing in coffee roasted beyond a medium roast with any method except cold brew. However, if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve probably heard me talk about a new Aeropress recipe I put together. Thanks to some brewing trickery, I’ve finally been able to brew some delicious results from darker roasted coffees and I’m stoked about it!
The Dark Side of the Roast
I generally don’t like coffee roasted past City or Full City. Those are the industry terms for medium roasted coffees pulled between the middle and end of the first crack in the roasting process. As the roast moves beyond the first crack and into the second, it starts to secrete oils to the surface of the bean. Visually, I know that if the bean starts to show patches of oil, I probably won’t prefer it. Whenever I try to dial these coffees in, I fail and overpower the subtleties with burnt and toasted flavors. So I’d throw them in a cold brew and call it good.
Best Brewed Cold
Cold brew uses a much softer style of extraction utilizing low temperature surface erosion. The slow and steady process results in a much smoother and often syrupy coffee that lacks the acidity and complexity of its hot counter part. For some reason that I don’t fully understand, cold brewing bypasses the solubles that contribute to those charcoal like notes I dislike in darker roasts. I always assumed it all boiled down to the use of heat, until I came across Wade Preston’s recipe on the Fellow Products blog.
Wade Preston's Recipe
Wade Preston of Prevail Coffee, a Montgomery, AL roaster, recently won first at the New Orleans Brewers Cup Qualifier with his Aeropress recipe that utilizes the Fellow Prismo. Wade explains that the low temperature pre-infusion allows you to isolate the surface erosion extraction, like in a cold brew, and then safely introduce heat and turbulence to extract the inner cell solubles that contribute to complexity. It blew my mind. I immediately wondered what that would do with a darker roasted coffee and got to experimenting.
Wade’s recipe produces a remarkably sweet and dense (like really dense) cup, that you definitely need to experience. But it wasn’t working with those darker roasts like I had hoped. I began adjusting the recipe, thinning it out to my personal taste. That brought me to the 1:17 ratio, but it came at the cost of some of that complexity and sweetness. So I started introducing more and more agitation. The more I stirred, the more those characteristics returned. All of sudden I was drinking a delicious cup of dark roasted coffee, syrupy sweet and complex flavors that overpowered the roasted flavors.
Extracting Me Softly
Honestly, I don’t have a definitive answer as to what’s happening in that plastic brew chamber. Here’s my current theory, based on what I learned from Wade’s theory. The difference between the decadent flavors of cold brew and the unpleasant roasted flavors is one of over-extraction. Since high temperature brewing extracts faster, it only makes sense that the surface solubles would over-extract before the water could begin to extract the inner solubles. In this method, the long low temperature bloom allows for a softer extraction of the surface solubles and allows the high temperature water to go straight to the inner solubles to pull out the complexity.
At a Glance
- Use Fellow Prismo + Aeropress paper filter
- 16:272 (1:17, coffee:water)
- Medium Coarse Grind
- 3 minute, 50g Bloom with 130°F water, stir for 30 seconds
- Pour to weight with 208°F water
- Stir for 15 seconds, steep for 1 minute
- Stir for 5 seconds, then press
You’ll notice that I’m using my Fellow Prismo for this recipe, you do not have to have one to make this work. The Prismo gives me easy control over the steep time thanks to it’s no-drip seal. You can just as easily use the inverted method. I’d suggest doubling up on the paper filter if you do.
- Place a paper filter over the Prismo metal filter and rinse
- Weigh out your coffee and grind on a medium coarse setting, a couple steps coarser than you would for a pour over
- Add your coffee to the Aeropress
- Keep an eye on your water temp, pull it from heat at 130-135°F
- Start timer and pour roughly 3x your weight in coffee
- Make sure you place your kettle back on heat to get it up to 208°F in time
- Stir gently for 30 seconds
- Steep for 3 minutes (or longer depending on how long your water takes to get to up to temp)
- Pour your remaining water at 208°F
- Stir for 15 seconds
- Steep for 1 minute
- Stir one last time for 5 seconds then press until you hear it hiss
- Allow to settle and enjoy!
Thanks for reading! Give this one a try and see if it works for you! If you have a better idea of what’s going on with the brew method, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a comment below, shoot me an email, or DM me on Instagram!
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