Barista Banter

The ColdBrew Challenge during the Annual Roaster's Guildwas super interesting. There was a slew of professional roasters, many of whomhave been roasting amazing coffees for decades. However, most of the roastersknew little about how to cold brew coffee. My team, Funky Cold Medina, knewthat if we could get the brewing right that we would have a good chance.

We each were given 5 coffees thatwe could choose to roast and use in our cold brew recipe. After carefullyroasting the each of the coffees we cupped them and settled in on a Guatemalaand Yirgacheffe blend. The Ethiopia was light and slightly fruity while the Guatemalabrought a nice sweetness and the needed balance to the brew.

In the BUNNlab we have been doing a lot of cold brewing over the course of the summer.After a lot of internal testing we think that using a flash brew / cold quenchresults in an expectional cup of cold coffee. This method has been gainingpopularity, pioneered in part by LorenzoPerkins, and being used in a lot of coffeecafes around the US. I was surprised, however, that so few roasters at theretreat had heard of the method. In fact, I think only 3 of the 18 teams usedthis method and two of those teams were in the top 3 finalists.

Funky Cold Medina brewed eachcoffee separately so that we could decide exactly how we wanted to blend afterthe extraction was finished. We used BUNN’s TD3T-Nservers as the brew vessel paired with Toddy’s filter and mesh bag. Theteam loved the ability to have multiple cold brews lined up in a refrigeratoror on a shelf without taking up so much room with a round vessel design. Also,the TD3T-N is easy to clean and the liner can slide in and out for brewing,serving, storage, and more.

 Our recipe was

 14 ounces drip grind coffee

32 ounces hot ( 205°F) water andstir to ensure all grounds were saturated

Steep approximate 2-3 minutes

Add cold water to reach 1 gallon

Brew at room temperature

Taste after 4hrs and either decantor continue to brew for 1-2 more hours. (We stopped at the 5-hour mark)

Surprised at the 4hour mark fordecanting? I was, too, initially until we did a lot of tasting and measuring atBUNN. We found that most cold brews began to plateau in terms of extractionaround 4 hours. There was little or no increase in extraction between the 4-and 5-hour marks on the brews we did in our BUNN lab. However, there wereslight taste differences but most of the time we preferred what we wereexperiencing on the shorter brews.

After the brew, we blended a fewdifferent ratios at full strength and settled in on a 50/50 blend. I have tosay: this was the sweetest, most balanced iced coffee I’ve had. Funky ColdMedina’s overall score was 9 points lower than the winner and we came in at 2ndplace! (Not bad out of 18 teams).

TDS samples of all the submittedcold brews revealed a pretty tight range. People used different methods, mostwere TODDY, but a few were the "slow drip" style where ice or icewater is slowly dripped over a bed of grounds. The average was 2.55 while themedian was around 2.62. My team's brew was 2.18.

How do you cold brew? Sound off on Twitter orFacebook or share in the comments below.



January 2014 was a great month for trifecta! We completed the second trifecta tour making stops at Jubala Village Coffee, Open Eye Cafe (Carrboro Coffee Roasters) and Respite Cafe. The response from the second trifecta tour was fantastic. Many people were able to try new coffees and we had some great conversations across the bar about coffee processing and how to profile brew. The tour culminated with the kick off of the Big Eastern Regional Barista Competition

This year BUNN is again a national sponsor for the US Brewers Cup Competition. We were there at the Big Eastern brewing up the mystery coffee as well as the finalists and competitors coffees. You can see us again next month in L.A. as we support the Big Western Regional Barista Competition.

In the mean time, be sure to see us online in our upcoming trifecta webinar Operation: trifecta
Leading up to the SCAA / USBC Big Eastern event next week in Durham, NC we will be doing some brewing around town. We will make three stops at local coffee bars before going on to brew at the event.

Jubala Coffee - Tuesday 1/14 8am - 1pm
Open Eye Cafe - Wednesday 1/15 1pm - 6pm
Respite Cafe - Thursday 1/16 8am - 1pm

The Cotton Room / Big Eastern Regional Barista Competition
Friday - Sunday

Part of the three phases of brewing (trifecta) is the initial wetting phase. During this period there are a lot of things going on that are essential to creating a great cup of coffee so you must ensure you don't skip this phase. Trifecta has three separate variables that control this wetting phase. 1) Pre Wet 2) Preinfusion 3) Fill Pause. The goal is to use these effectively to completely wet the coffee bed before extraction starts.

1) Pre wet

The pre wet variable is typically only used for teas. It is a dose of ambient (line temperature) water that is metered only by time. It enters the brew chamber from the sprayhead and remains in the chamber throughout the brewing process. It can be an effective tool for getting lower steep temperatures for teas as well as create a ramp-up of brew temperature.

2) Pre Infusion %
This variable on trifecta is set as a percentage of the overall brew water. The goal of preinfusion is multifaceted. On one hand there physical changes that include expansion and release of trapped CO2 gasses. On the other hand there is a practical advantage that helps prevent any dry clumps of coffee during the brew process.

3) Fill Pause

After the water for preinfusion enters the brew chamber the fill pause is the amount of time that it is in contact with the ground coffee before the remaining water enters for extraction. Since trifecta fills from beneath the coffee bed it is important to introduce our patented Air Infusion into the chamber to ensure all the coffee is evenly wet.

The way that you know you have properly used the preinfusion variables in trifecta brewing is taht you will see no dry grounds as the chamber fills for extraction. If there are dry grounds then you perhaps need more water or more time. Too much time, however, can lead you to move into the next phase of coffee brewing - extraction - and mean that you over extract the cup and even lose some flavor clarity.
I find that I am very often asked about the differences between the trifectaMB and its predecessor the commercial trifecta. Basically both of these brewers create an amazing Full Cup of coffee using Air Infusion technology. The main difference lies in the users' control.

When describing the variables at hand I typically say the trifecta is like painting on a blank canvas - you can do nearly anything you want to control the brew process. However, brewing on trifectaMB is like doing a "paint by numbers" where there are specifics in place to help consumers make a great cup right out of the box.

That being said, trifectaMB comes with 15 preset coffee recipes and 10 preset tea recipes. Each recipe is selected by dialing in a combination of Turbulence Cycle and Infusion Time. Physically and operationally the two machines are very similar. Both use a very small metal screen inside a specially formulated plastic brew chamber. Both have an air pump that creates turbulence through Air Infusion and a separate pump for creating a pressurized press out. And equally as important both heat water to precise temperatures. Trifecta allows you to customize your temperature where trifectaMB always brews at a precise 200F.

If you love the taste of trifecta at your favorite coffee shop you can get the same amazing coffee at home with trifectaMB. 

P.S. Wondering what MB stands for? Its for "micro-brew" :)