The Coffee Journey: How It’s Going!

Last week, I started wading in the kiddie pool of cold brew coffee, with some handholding by Alton Brown and others.

The goals:

  • Make my own coffee, saving time in the morning, and serving it just the way I like it
  • Be more cost-efficient in the making of said brew
  • Potentially make a great — or better — copycat of a Pumpkin Cream cold brew

My first awkward attempts involved none too few messes on my counter, as well as a few rounds of whipping up pumpkin-y butter instead of cold foam.

A display of my progress by the end of last week. LOOKIT THAT BEAUTIFUL FOAM! 😁

While not yet a consistent process, I’ve figured out a few key tricks for making the foam:

  • Keep the speed of the frother at medium (because you have a lot less control at higher speeds, and you’re more likely to get milk everywhere)
  • Start on the bottom of the milk, moving the frother in slow circles for about thirty seconds
  • Switch to an up-and-down motion in the middle of the growing froth for the next thirty seconds, which adds air at all levels
  • If more time is needed, continue previous step until you obtain desired consistency, stopping every ten seconds to check (or you might go too far, like me, and get butter)

While I still have to perfect that piece, and since I’m never one to do anything by halves, if one believes my mother (and I usually do), I threw another wrinkle into the mix this week.

If you read my last post, you’ve already guessed it — I have added chicory root to the cold brew mixture.

Special thanks goes to Doug for his kind donation, which went into the purchase of the chicory and other supplies for this coffee project! You’ll get to try the perfected recipe very soon, sir!

Thanks, Doug! You da best!

So without spoiling too much, I first used 113g (one cup) of coarse ground coffee and then about a quart of water (or 900-some-odd-grams) for my initial batches of cold brew, which turned out so strong that I could see afterimages of myself whenever I moved. It also became difficult to hold a pencil after a few sips, if you catch my drift.

Batch two lowered the coffee to 75g, but added in 15g of chicory root. The results surprised me, as the chicory ended up overpowering the coffee to the point where I lost nuance and complexity. Completely unexpected! Super floral and nutty, but not what I ultimately sought in flavor.

I needz to taste the beanz. Ze coffee beanz… bzzz…

Batch three, coming up next, will use 75g of coffee again, but only 5g of chicory. Maybe that will end up too little, but the goal remains to add flavors, rather than subtract or replace from the actual coffee.

Even with failed batches at first, making this cold brew seems like it will save me a few bucks each week. Running totals:

  • 8oz bag of Silver Canyon Coffee, $8-10, makes about three batches with current ratios, so ~$3 per week
  • Quart of goat’s milk, $7, lasts two weeks, so $3.50 per week
  • Pumpkin purée, $3, last about three weeks if I freeze it, so $1 per week
  • Monin vanilla syrup cost me $10, and it should last me two months at a minimum, so let’s just say $1 per week
  • My bag of chicory cost $10, and if I’m only using a few grams at a time, it’s going to last… well, a while. Cost negligible in the long run.

On a per week basis, I’m at about $8.50, or let’s even round up to a nice $9, which still doesn’t even cover two Pumpkin Cream cold brews if I buy them elsewhere *coughcoughSTARBUCKScoughhackwheeze*.

More to the point, each weekly “batch” accounts for four to five coffees in a week’s span, so my average goes from $6 a pop when straight-up buying a drink to $2 and change (or less) if I make it myself.

I’d say that’s a pursuit worth continuing, wouldn’t you? Just gotta get this recipe right for my taste buds, and then I’ll share it here.


Short post tonight, with a wine challenge update coming later this week. Thanks to all my readers who continue to tune in for each episode of this ongoing journey 😊

Like this blog and want to chip in to current and future projects? Check out the Donation page for how you can help!

Published by Allie

Foodie explorer with Stardew Valley dreams. Lover of wine but not beer, cheese but not milk, and all things chocolate. Working to learn as many self-sufficient, at-home food production skills as possible.

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