Kicking Off Your Day With a Cold One
As the temperature creeps into triple digits, you might think about replacing that steaming cup of morning Joe with a more refreshing iced brew. But the standard method of making cold coffee – taking hot-brewed coffee and pouring it over ice – often results in an unappealing diluted beverage.
What's the alternative?
Many coffee connoisseurs swear by a cold-brew method where cold water is added to ground coffee, the resulting mixture sits for 12 hours at a cool temperature and is then strained. And although the result is a smoother cup of coffee with lower acidity (up to 67% lower according to one study), it does take a lot of time and a certain amount of effort to produce this result.
So when we walked into local breakfast restaurant Vovomeena and saw the mad-chemist cold-coffee-brewing equipment on the wall above the coffee bar, we were intrigued. The top chamber of the setup is filled with ice water that slow-drips through the grounds on the second level into the carafe at the bottom. Vovomeena owner DJ Fernandes told us he first saw and tasted this Japanese cold brewing system in action at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. He originally purchased it for his Astor House restaurant, but when Vovomeena came along he saw the opportunity to get into cold coffee brewing on a larger scale.
The iced coffee is served on-site at Vovomeena, but the Mornin' Moonshine concentrate is also available in various sizes to take away: from small "airline" bottles for 99 cents up to big 32-ounce jars for $9.95. (Fernandes' other restaurants, Astor House and Tuck Shop, also serve the brew.)
In addition to the standard brew (sourced from the Roastery of Cave Creek), Vovomeena has also been experimenting with iced coffee tasting flights. They first tried different varieties of coffee beans but the differences between brews were extremely subtle. They're now testing the following spice combinations (added to the ground coffee):
• Orange peel and ginger
• Vanilla and cinnamon
• Star anise and cardamom
• Cocoa nibs and chipotle chile
We tried the orange peel and ginger and found that it added a nice hint of citrus and spice to the coffee.
The concentrates are made for pouring over ice and Fernandes recommends that you keep the bottles on ice and/or refrigerate them as soon as possible. The concentrate keeps for up to one month – if it lasts that long.