Cold brewed, local coffee: Recipe inside! September 16 2014

By Christina EckhartPhiladelphia Green Living Examiner

A few weeks ago, I was researching local, whole bean, fair-trade, small batch roasted organic coffee. It was a tall order, but I found a company that is literally two blocks away from my home. I contacted this cute husband and wife team, and their customer service was absolutely phenomenal. Backyard Beans is located in Lansdale, PA and sells their amazing coffee every Saturday at the Lansdale Farmer’s Market. If you’re looking for a down to earth, local business to support, look no further!

Why is this coffee so special? It comes from micro-lots. From their website:

Micro-lot coffees are set apart from average coffee beans. Micro-lot coffee is high-quality, single-origin coffee from a single farmer's field. Because the coffee is from one field, there is limited availability. Micro-lot coffee is the best of the best...Micro-lot coffee is produced by a single farmer, but is not part of that farmer's entire production or farm. To produce a micro-lot, the farmer chooses the best plot of land - that is producing the best tasting coffee - and invests extra time, effort, and money into harvesting and processing these beans separate from the rest of the farm. The farmer doesn't know which area will produce the best coffee from year to year, so he must always be on the look-out for potential micro-lots. Because micro-lot coffee can bring better profits to the farmer than typical coffee, his investment usually pays off. In non-micro-lot coffees all the beans from the farm (or several farms) would be harvested together - mixing the average beans with the excellent beans. Creating a micro-lot gives the excellent beans a time to shine, since their quality is not diminished by being mixed with the others. The result is a higher-quality, more consistent coffee with more distinctive taste characteristics.

Visiting their table at the Lansdale Farmer’s Market will unveil a very special treat; cold brewed coffee dispensed from a kegerator. It’s delicious, perfect black with a smooth and almost creamy flavor and depth that is out of this world! There, you can also purchase your whole bean coffee. Take the time to read the packaging – each bag details the name of the farmer who grew it, its origin, the altitude it was grown at and the process in which it was dried. I love the decaf for my cold brewing, but we’ve tried the Honduran Micro-lot grown by Oscar Omar Alonzo and it has become a household favorite for traditionally drip brewed coffee. We’ve also tried the Costa Rica, but keep going back to Oscar’s micro-lot…the flavor is just perfect! In addition, their decaf does not go through a chemical process to remove the caffeine like many other coffees do. I’ve happily enjoyed my hot coffee in my mason jar with my Mason-re koozie – the seamless addition that keeps my fingers from burning. These cute silicone koozies can be added to any wide mouth mason jar and used in conjunction with Eco Jarz lids to make it a travel mug.

Do yourself a favor and invest in a coffee grinder. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. In fact, I purchased mine at a local thrift store. Grind your beans immediately before brewing them. The experience will give you something to enjoy while you rush through your morning. You will not do this beautiful coffee any favors bygrinding it ahead of time. In fact…it would be an injustice. Those flavor notes that disappear within 20 minutes of grinding will be in your cup and not in the air where you can’t drink them. You’ll thank me. I promise.

It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to coffee. I love the flavor and the different notes so much that I don’t even drink it for the caffeine most of the time. As I write this article, I am sipping cold brewed Backyard Beans decaf coffee with So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk and Coconut Milk Whipped Cream (which hasn’t hit shelves yet, review coming soon). It’s the perfect non-dairy, delicious fall treat!

I tried several different cold brew coffee recipes and techniques and found that about a half cup of medium ground coffee beans to a full quart mason jar of cold filtered water makes the perfect concentrate at the strength I like it. I highly recommend using a cold brew coffee filter by mikknits on Etsy. She sent me several to try. They’re well made, easy to use, dry quickly and work perfectly! I just suspend my filter from chopsticks over the mouth of my jar, dump the coffee and water in, and then leave it in the fridge for about 16 hours to enjoy later. Easy!

Want to know more about this awesome local business? Read more here! Find them on Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch. Find Mason-re on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. See below for links to previous reviews for Eco Jarz and So Delicious products!

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