Monday, July 16, 2012

Affogato and the Magic of Cold Brewed Coffee

Michele and I are still in steamy Chicago, where the temperature is about 95, but the humidity makes it feel more like the sun. Man, could I go for an iced coffee right about now. I’ve been interested in trying this cold-brewed coffee technique for a while, but it was this lovely post on An Edible Mosaic that moved me into action.

Of course, the glamor shot (formally referred to as the “money shot”) is of an Affogato – the ultra-simple, Italian coffee dessert – but the real star here is the amazingly easy iced coffee concentrate recipe.

Apparently, since the flavors are extracted without heat, the results are a smoother, less acidic, less bitter product, which supposedly offers a purer coffee experience. All I know is that it made the best tasting iced coffee I’ve ever had. This would’ve been a complete success just for that fact alone, but that it also made possible this incredibly refreshing affogato, puts it way over the top.

You can use the coffee concentrate straight on ice cream or gelato, or dilute it with an equal part water for iced coffee. Of course, the purists will tell you that affogato is made with hot espresso, but the cold coffee works really well. The ice cream melted more slowly, and seemed to be even creamier than the standard technique.

Anyway, this only takes about five minutes to make, there are no special tools or equipment needed, and one taste is all you’ll need to become a believer like me. I hope you give this a try soon…while it’s still hot. Enjoy!


Cold-Brewed Coffee Concentrate (makes about 2 3/4 cups)
3 cups cold water
2/3 cup very freshly ground coffee (I used the medium grind on my espresso machine)
*Mix water and coffee in a large glass container. Cover and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours. Strain though coffee filter or paper towel, and serve!

For the Affogato:
1 or 2 scoops vanilla ice cream or gelato
as much coffee concentrate as you like (I like equal parts)
shaved dark chocolate

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dearly Beloved Chef John, what brands of knives do you use?

Stefano Bart said...

I tried also hot espresso on very cold panna gelato. Just mix together in a cup and stir a lot... it will turn in a fresh simple creamy delicious "caffè del nonno". Cheers from Italy

Vero said...

Awww man! Perfect timing. I love ready made ice coffee with milk and buy like a gazillion cartons a year of a Norwegian brand, but it's starting to get stupidly overpriced. Was thinking about buying some ice cream and blending up some with coffee for a cool milkshake like effect, but hey - im going to try both cold brewed now AND that dessert. Just need to buy the actual ice cream.

Oh, and totalt respect for comment moderation. people probably complain but Id complain about spam and stupid hateful comments, and the logical way is moderating the crap away. Go Chef John!

Crazy Daisy Arts said...

Ooh looks great. I'll have to make this for my boyfriend, he'll LOVE it :) Thanks, Chef!

Rob Pitingolo said...

John - thanks for this. I've been preaching the virtue of the cold-brew method for years. A few things...

1) Using a 1-to-1 ratio of concentrate-to-water seems too high. You're pouring it over ice, which will dilute it when it melts, plus you added milk which will further dilute it. I'd say 3-parts concentrate to 1-part water max. A lot of times I drink the concentrated as "iced toddy" without cutting it with any water (but I realize this isn't for everyone).

2) I'm surprised to see you don't use a French press. Using a French press means you only need to dirty one item, not three (two measuring cups and a funnel) and I know you hate to dirty dishes unnecessarily.

labenoit said...

Can one leave the coffee brewing for longer than 12 hours?

Chef John said...

Not sure about longer, as this was 1st time.

Yes, French press would be ideal, except not many people have them and I wanted to show w/o any special tools. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Tapa-tapa good. Thanks chef.

Kevin said...

This iced coffee method would work with any type of coffee beans (i.e. of the non-espresso variety), right?

cookinmom said...

Does the smoothness of the coffee make that much difference over ice cream? Can you tell this from warm expresso poured over ice cream? I have been soooo enjoying my fresh expresso over ice cream as a treat in the evenings. Will try!

Guillaume said...

Would the cold brewing also give good results in the fridge? I always make iced tea by cold brewing tea for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. I wonder if that might work out for coffee.

Sawyer said...

Guillaume, yes. 12 hours is a good amount of time for cold brewing in the fridge. 17g of coffee to 8oz or thereabouts...I use an aeropress, though I'd point out that I'm no expert by any means, but it's definitely better than brewing or pouring over ice.

Rob Pitingolo said...

John - I've found 12 hours to be the minimum amount of time for cold brewing. You can go up to 24 hours for an even more deep and robust concentrate. This works with any roast of bean, from light to dark, depending on your preference and what it's going to be used for. I've found little difference between brewing this cold (in the refrigerator) and at room temperature. The biggest key is that the water you start with must be cold.

nicollette said...

I love your videos - my girls have so much fun watching them with me! Would you be able to make a homemade coffee liqueur (Kahlua) video? There are so many different methods out there I'd love to see what you recommend. :)

Chef John said...

Thanks for the info, Rob!

Anonymous said...

Can't believe I never tried cold-brewed coffee! Definitely making it after I save up my personal coffee grinder! P.S, I just learnt that freshly grounded coffee and packaged grounded coffee taste almost like two entire different things as the grounded coffee continuously absorb flavors from the air. So may I say it should be a good investment to get a coffee grinder if you like coffee?

Marilyn said...

Lately I've been enjoying my iced coffee with a cream made of one can of evaporated milk and one can of condensed milk. Mix together and keep in the refrigerator. Put some in the bottom of a tall glass, add cold or hot coffee and ice cubes. I know it's full of sugar, but it's cheaper than the fancy-schmancy coffees from the chains. You can also add chocolate syrup or whatever else you want.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John, I love your videos :) I was wondering if it's worse for you (health-wise) to cold-brew, rather than boiling the coffee grounds. I think it's fine, but my mother's convinced it's very bad for your body and that the "toxins" should be killed off by boiling. What do you think?

Chef John said...

What?! Tell your mom that Chef John says that sounds crazy. Never heard of toxic coffee!

Steve said...

Chef:

I'm wondering whether using a paper towel as a coffee filter is a good idea.

Are you sure that paper towels are "food grade?" Given the bleaching agents used in the paper manufacturing process, I'd be sort of uncomfortable using anything that wasn't specifically intended for food preparation.

I'm not saying that it's going to kill you but it may not necessarily be good for you either.

Liev said...

Yum, I can already taste how delicious this dessert is just by watching the video. ;)

Chef John, I've got a question, can I use a pre-ground espresso or pre-ground regular coffee instead of freshly ground coffee? I'm a student, so a coffee grinder is sadly won't be on my have-to-buy list this time around.

I humbly appreciate your responses to my question. Thanks. :D

Liev said...

Yum, I can already taste how delicious this dessert is just by watching the video. ;)

Chef John, I've got a question, can I use a pre-ground espresso or pre-ground regular coffee instead of freshly ground coffee? I'm a student, so a coffee grinder is sadly won't be on my have-to-buy list this time around.

I humbly appreciate your responses to my question. Thanks. :D

Chef John said...

I've never tried, but of course you can just make a cup of instant and pour over the ice cream. You obviously don't need to wait the 12 hours. btw, you don't need a coffee grinder. Any coffee house will sell you a small amount of ground coffee!

licoricepirate said...

ok, i tried to make this in a Vitamix... put in like 3 cups of coffee + a bunch of water... let sit for 12 hrs... maybe it blended too much? it looks all milky/cloudy. tastes good, though.

Anonymous said...

Man, i really wanted to try this but Affogato buy the ice cream.
*Ba dum tsss*

Chef John said...

i'll do the jokes. ;)

Chibby said...

I tried this the other day and I'm going to have to agree with Rob,the 1:1 ratio is a bit too much water.I won't fault you,we probably used completely different grounds(I used Tim Horton's grind;it's probably a medium)I also used milk instead of cream like most of the chains do.The result was pretty watery.I'm not discouraged though.If I can find a way to save money on those 5$ drinks,I will go through much.

Anonymous said...

Cmon Chef John, I'm a long time fan and I keep waiting for you to upgrade the camera but you never do!

Maybe it's just the settings on the camera, I don't know. The 720p video looks like it was recorded or compressed to 480p or so then stretched back out to 720p. I'm probably the only one complaining though!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,
You have such great recipes!
Just a question or two about this recipe.
Why are we using a cold brew coffee instead of a normal hot one? And will Nespresso capsules work with this recipe?
Thank you
MT, Australia

Vette said...

I was out on the web and found your wonderful site! I own a small espresso bar and have used cold brew for years. In fact there are Toddy makers available that make very good cold brew. Fresh ground coffee is best. The grind is best on the course side, like a little larger than for a French press. If the grind is too fine you make mud. Someone asked about brewing length. I brew for up to 72 hours, but I also use a premium coffee. The result is a brew that is darker, richer and ,yes, more robust in flavor! This is my personal preference in coffee. I use it hot or cold forAmericanos, Lattes and Blended drinks. Experiment and have fun!

Linda said...

Chef John, you are a genius! I made the coffee and used it in an iced chocolate mocha coffee and it was delicious. I had to make my own chocolate syrup as well, because I didn't have any. I did not use ground espresso beans but a regular coffee for a filter machine. Maybe I'll try the affogato tomorrow after dinner.

Steven said...

I made this with hazelnut gelato, which is delicious! Do you know how long the coffee concentrate would keep in the fridge?

Anonymous said...

I tried it today and its lovely ...thinking about it you are like "ahhh coffee and ice_cream I know how it would taste like " but the thing tastes so much better than I expected ... thank you chef John <3

Ron Hogue said...

I can't see where the avocado comes in to this(and by the way, you miss-spelled avocado.)

idigpotatoes said...

Dear Chef John,
My family loves your recipes! We have had the mocha pot de creme, a number of times ,and last night we tried the affogato! delicious! looking forward to many more great recipes... i requested the tiramisu mousse for my birthday!

thanks again,
theresa

Ruth person said...

@Chef John,
Making cold brewed coffee is my summer "treat". It's so incredibly simple to make and when it's blasted hot here, I will put about 5 ice cubes in a tall glass, add about 100mL of the coffee concentrate and enough milk to make it awesome.
Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

Jeff Sandberg said...

Hi, Chef John. My wife and I watch your videos as if it was a season of a good tv show. Just tried your Satay and New Peanut Sauce recipe tonight, and it was awesome! Thanks for such great vids.

I started cold brewing coffee about a year ago and love it. The original recipe I got from ineedcoffee.com, which didn't mix the coffee, used a more even coffee to water ratio (which I always thought was a bit too much), and - this is my question - covering it during its 12-hour sit.

Is it necessary to cover the brew? If so, is an air-tight lid unnecessary, or does it even matter? Thanks for your help!

Jeff S.

Chef John said...

It just keeps the dust out! Thanks!

Melissa Meliss said...

you have no idea how much i loved tried , i tried both and www what a beautiful amazing resolt , i love u so much for this , u made me a believer , god bless u john ,
keep up ,