Concentrating on a good brew!

Concentrating on a good brew!

One of the pleasures of a road trip is good coffee and a rusk. It kickstarts the day especially if it is an early wake-up. The problem is that many facilities only offer instant coffee of the unpalatable variety, this got me thinking. Would there be an easy way to make proper coffee for a trip without taking excessive equipment?

Many coffee making tools are glass which can break or take up space when taken on a trip. So I revisited an old method that I use to create an iced coffee as a summer drink, the cold brew coffee concentrate.

It required a bit of experimentation as I wanted a brew that would be strong enough for a few servings and still be rich and warm.

Making the coffee concentrate is relatively simple and does not require special equipment. You need a bowl to steep the grounds overnight, a means of filtering the concentrate and a storage container. I adjusted my normal mix to make it slightly stronger. With this in mind, I could add two parts of boiling water ensuring a hot cup of coffee. The optimum steeping time is a minimum of 24 hours so you would have to do this a few days before the trip and keep the mixture in the fridge. Depending on the type of trip you could take the concentrate in a glass container or a steel flask if the roads are likely to be rough. When you want a cup of coffee add two parts boiling water to one part concentrate and milk and sugar to taste.

After I had tweaked the recipe and felt it to be suitable I tested it on a few friends. They were amazed and thought that it was a good idea for a road trip. 

 I arrived at this formula for a very flavoursome concentrate;

  • 125 grams of ground coffee ( your favourite blend ) 
  • 6 cups of cold water ( a cup is 250 ml  ) 

Then you will need the following;

  • One large bowl or jug for steeping, this needs to be covered by a dish towel or shrink-wrap as it needs 24 hours)
  • A sieve
  • A filter ( this can be either a paper coffee filter or a cloth filter – I used a muslin bag )
  • A glass container with a lid to store the concentrate after it has steeped overnight.

The method is simple, put the coffee in a large bowl and add the 6 cups of water ( room temperature ), stir the mixture to ensure that the grounds are all wet. Cover and let rest for 24 hours, you can stir once again after 12 hours.

After 24 hours strain the concentrate into your storage receptacle, this will be a slow process and you may need to clean your filter. Once you have finished let the sieve sit on top of your container to drain the residue fully. Discard the grounds, they can go into your compost. Then store the container in your fridge, it can stay there for 5 to 7 days. You should have over a litre of concentrate.

When you are ready to use it boil water and add two parts to one part concentrate, you may wish to experiment here depending on how strong you like your coffee. If travelling transfer the coffee to a heated flask and it should stay hot for at least 8 hours. The same mix can be used later in the day if you want an iced coffee, simply dilute with two parts water and serve over crushed ice.

The beauty of this is that you can use it over a few days, if in a small group it should give enough coffee for two to three days. And yes enjoy it as we all do with a rusk!

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