Sunday, December 02, 2012

Cold French Press

Today we went to TOTT, a large kitchen supply shop in Singapore, adjacent to a BMW dealership. Perfect for anyone who likes sharp knives and rear-wheel-drive cars.

Since that demographic would appear to be comprised mainly of hoodlums, I was surprised by the paucity of gangsters in the shop. That did make it easier for us to browse for new cutlery and bowls (now it's been ten years since I bought my cutlery it needed some refreshing), and while we were there I picked up a small French press.

The reason for this acquisition is to play around with cold brewed coffee. I read about this years ago, but never got round to experimenting with it. It's quite simple: instead of using hot water to brew the coffee, you soak the grounds in cold water overnight, then filter them afterwards, leaving you with a highly concentrated form of coffee.

You can buy a specialised cold brewing device called a Toddy, or you can mess around with cheesecloth and mason jars and try to avoid covering the kitchen with damp coffee grounds, but I figured the easiest thing to do would be to put some coffee in a French press full of cold water, and leave it in the fridge for 12 hours. This would require less specialised equipment we can't use if a cold press turns out to be a disgusting mistake.

I haven't had a French press since university, and I stopped using it when I read about an experiment that showed it might be more carcinogenic than other forms of coffee. Then again, the experiment involved feeding rats several gallons of cafetiere coffee every day, and I would think that might not be the most illustrative experimental protocol.

So I filled the press up with water and then added three spoonfuls of coffee, and then discovered that Illy coffee grounds float, which left me stirring the mixture and swearing, unsure if stirring a cold press was a faux-pas in cold pressing circles or not. The whole mysterious, coffee smelling suspension went in the fridge and now we wait to see whether I've come upon something wonderful or quite revolting.


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