Sunday, August 28, 2011

(Mis)Adventures in Coffee Making

I had some big things planned for today. Okay well maybe not that big - but I was going to break out my immersion circulator and make some sous vide coffee but then we had a hurricane hit in freaking upstate New York - I suspected that I would lose power (which I did) and didn't want to have that bad boy running when that happened. SO instead I decided to make some other ridiculous (to me anyway) brews and force them on my father and sister. I didn't really go the same length to record temperatures and times and all that stuff so...just have fun with it.

What did I make?
Norwegian Egg Coffee: Basically this is coffee that you brew with eggs in it. The something or polyphenols and with which to bind i--- just read this if you give a shit. Heres my recipe(s):

Batch A:
Brew: Norwegian Egg Coffee
Grinds: 40 g, mixed with 50 g cold water and 25g egg whites
Water: 500 g boiling, 141 g cold.

Basically you make a paste with the grinds, water and egg whites. Toss it into the (500 g) of boiling water. I let it rip for 3 minutes, at which point I took it off the heat and added the remaining cold water. I let it sit for 3 more minutes and then strained/filtered it.

Batch B: 
Same as above except I used 25 g of whole eggs rather than just the whites

Getting ready to strain and filter my egg coffee.
The egg white coffee came out pretty good...it was very middle of the road, no real strong or objectionable flavors. I would definitely make this again. Sadly, I cannot say the same about the whole egg coffee. While it wasn't terrible...it tasted like...well coffee with eggs. In fact if you told me you had some egg flavored coffee I would assume it was way worse than this actually was....but thats not to say it was particularly good. 

I also decided to make some salted coffee. Adding salt to your coffee has been on my radar for a while now but Ive never bothered to try it...basically because I never remember to. When I was searching for stuff to make today it dawned on me to give salted coffee a whirl. The idea is pretty straight forward. Salt is a flavor enhancer...so why not use it to enhance the flavor of your coffee? The trick that everyone seems to mention is adding a bit of salt to your tonic water to make the bitterness from the quinine disappear. 

So after a bit of research - and I do mean a bit - I decided that I should be adding about 0.05 g of salt per 300 g of coffee. Some people add the salt prior to brewing, some after. I added it after. Only reason was so I had some plain coffee to contrast with the salted coffee. So anyway...I made my normal coffee (31.8 g grinds, 510.29 g water), scaled it to 300 g, added the salt and...well that was it.

The regular coffee was alright, but...the flavors were not balanced at all. It was really all over the place and pretty acidic...I wasn't too crazy about it. The salted version was...much better. The salt definitely helped to calm down the flavors...it made it taste much more balanced...but the finish wasn't the best. I think that has more to do with the crappy coffee I was using than the salt. Its probably worth looking into this a bit more. 

I wanted to have something else to try...mostly because I was bored. When I was looking around online I stumbled across a recipe for Taiwanese sea salt coffee. Apparently this is the number one selling coffee drink in Taiwan. The recipe I found said it was pretty close to the 85 C (think...starbucks) recipe...so I gave it a whirl. I had a bucket of regular old cold brew coffee in the fridge. All I had to do was make some whipped cream with salt and put some on top. Easy! The recipe said to use 6 g of salt per 230 of heavy cream, which I did...and was INCREDIBLY salty.


And...you guessed it. This was gross. I could see it maybe being okay with a lot less salt...but it was definitely really salty. If I ever goto Taiwan (it could happen)...or if I happen to be in Irvine CA...I will buy a cup of this stuff to see how far off mine was. 

So...interestingly enough...all three of us didn't really agree on what was best and what was worst. Heres the results..


OVERALL:
1: Black Salted 
2: Black Unsalted
3: Norwegian Egg White
4: Norwegian Whole Egg
5: Taiwanese Sea Salt

INDIVIDUAL:

ME:
1: Norwegian Egg White 
2: Black Salted
3: Black Unsalted
4: Norwegian Whole Egg 
5: Taiwanese Sea Salt 

Bill:
1: Black Salted
2: Norwegian Whole Egg 
3: Black Unsalted
4: Taiwanese Sea Salt 
5: Norwegian Egg White 

Katie:
1: Black Unsalted
2: Norwegian Egg White 
3: Black Salted
4: Norwegian Whole Egg
5: Taiwanese Sea Salt

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