Category Archives: Food and Drink

Homage to Brewing: Burgundian’s Coffee Beer Festival

Is it possible? Could two of my favorite beverages, coffee and beer, share the same glass at the same time, in the same reality? String theory aside, Burgudian’s Coffee Beer Fest last weekend accomplished this very feat, and Sam and I were fortunate enough to attend.

With over 20 coffee beers, 5 toddy cocktails and a caffeine-infused food menu to get through, we braced ourselves for the long haul — thankfully, doors opened at 10am.  Here’s a rundown of our favorites from the artfully constructed line-up:

Big Time’s Marzen Oktoberfest aged on Stumptown’s Ethiopia Mordecofe: This medium brown combo was light and refreshing, with hints of brown sugar and citrus notes — a solid standby throughout the afternoon.

Fremont Dark Star Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged on Tony’s Ganesha Espresso: The highest gravity mix at 8% ABV, this beer was big and balanced with a hint of sweetness. It highlighted the espresso’s depth and the stout’s molasses undertones.

Elysian’s Split Shot Coffee Milk Stout with Lighthouse Coffee:  Velvety, dark and mysterious, this stout was extremely smooth and mellow, reminiscent of Guinness.

Straight Bourbon Cold ToddyZoka cold toddy, bourbon, vanilla citrus bitters, orange zest. Smooth toddy spiked with citrus made this cocktail refreshing and dangerously sippable. I’m re-creating this next summer.

Bacon Dipped in Coffee-Infused Chocolate: Um, this kind of speaks for itself. Fan-freakin’-tastic!

It’s Friday, and I wish we could do it all over again tomorrow. Thank you to the Brouwer’s crew and Burgundian for orchestrating a killer event. We just hope that we won’t have to wait a full year to again witness another marriage of beans and hops.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Gingerbread Cream Cocoa

The leaves are changing, the air is getting a bit more crisp in the mornings and you might find yourself taking a long, serious look at that fleece in the closet. Like everything in life, the seasons must change, so why not welcome the arrival of autumn with a delicious beverage?

Brandi’s newest recipe uses the one-touch simplicity of the Breville Milk Cafe to do all the heavy lifting. Watch her whip up this lovely cocoa.

Ingredients

Directions

Combine syrup, sauce and milk in an automatic frother, then engage to combine them! Alternately, you could steam up or heat your milk separately, then stir sauce and syrup in afterward.

Back to the Roots: Putting coffee grounds to work

What do you do with your coffee grounds?  Compost them, toss them in the garbage, leave them in your knock box and forget about them until you get yelled at by your house mate? Don’t do the latter, mold is a serious health concern, people. ;)

Co-founders Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora put recycled coffee grounds to work every day at their company Back to the Roots. The pair met at UC Berkley, and were inspired by a lecture that discussed the potential to grow gourmet mushrooms entirely on recycled coffee grounds. Sparked by this fun fact and a little entrepreneurial spirit, they started growing mushrooms in a bucket of used grounds, and eventually developed mushroom growing kits that you can use in the comfort of your home.

The kit comes with a cardboard carrier, bag of recycled coffee grounds, mushroom spores and a water mister.  With a little TLC (mist the bag twice a day) and in as few as 10 days, you can harvest your first batch of oyster mushrooms and most kits yield at least two crops.

Check out my first batch after 14 days. These mushrooms ended up on my plate sautéed with garlic, olive oil, chili flakes and tossed with angel hair pasta. Delicious!

Back to the Roots is on track to recycle 3.6 million pounds of coffee grounds from Peet’s Coffee and Tea in 2012, and help families grow over 135,000 pounds of fresh food in their own homes. Sustainability + yummy mushrooms = many happy tummies. I bet you’re going to think twice before tossing out your coffee grounds now – am I right?

Brewin’ with Brandi: Coffee Punch

You’ve got pals over for the big game, the end-of-summer barbecue, the block party — or all three — and you need something to serve up that is both sweet and caffeinated, right? Right. Well you know that Brandi’s got you covered with a sumptuous treat that will have you cheering for more.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of brewed coffee – we used Velton’s Twilight Blend
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1/4 gallon chocolate ice cream
  • 1/4 gallon vanilla ice cream

Directions

  1. Brew up a batch of your favorite coffee and, while it’s still hot, dissolve sugar into it.
  2. Chill for at least 45 minutes — more if you can do so.
  3. Add heavy cream and stir well, then chill until you are ready to serve.
  4. To serve, pour coffee mixture into a punch bowl. Scoop the ice cream into the mixture and blend together. Enjoy!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Mocha Butter

Like buttah, baby! Like buttah.

Because Brandi is hell bent on making the rest of us significantly more portly while she remains svelte, she has concocted yet another sinfully delicious recipe for us to tempt ourselves with! This is a perfect way to dress up that jar of peanut butter which has been hanging around the cupboard for a bit too long … if you need a reason to make something so yummy, that is. We’re pretty sure this is part of a balanced breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 & 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon espresso

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate chips in double boiler or microwave until smooth. Take care not to burn the chocolate and let it cool a bit so that it’s barely warm.
  2. Scrape melted chocolate into a large boil.
  3. Add peanut butter, butter, sugar and vanilla extract.
  4. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

While the calendar reads summer, the seasons are already threatening to change on us here in the Pacific Northwest! Brandi decided to craft a lovely hot beverage using Bodum’s Hot Chocolate Maker. While using it makes it super easy — and fun! — you could also just heat everything up on the stove together and you’d get similar, albeit less frothy, results.

Ingredients

Directions
Heat milk (on stovetop or microwave – your call), add the sauces and salt, then mix well. Serve with a dangerous dose of whipped cream and enjoy!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Mocha Syrup

Life is sweet when you’ve got Brandi around! Not only does she have a lovely demeanor, she also crafts deliciously naughty treats like this Mocha Syrup! Reminiscent of the chocolate chip pancakes from our youth, this syrup can also be used on ice cream or anything else that needs a healthy dose of rich mocha goodness!

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup strongly brewed drip coffee (we used Velton’s Twilight Blend — claro!)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a small saucepan, whisk together the coffee, cocoa powder, sugar and salt, then bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir continuously as the syrup begins to thicken — about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Serve warmed or chilled over pancakes, ice cream, whatever your imagination brings

Brewin’ with Brandi: Power Up Smoothie

Looking for ways to pack more power into your coffee’s punch? How about incorporating fruits and veggies rich in anti-oxidants? Yeah, we said it. Watch as she puts everything from chocolate sauce to kale into the Vitamix … then we drink it — and it’s good!

 

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup chopped kale
  2. 1 frozen banana
  3. 2 tablespoons walnuts
  4. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  5. 1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
  6. 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  7. 6 ice cubes
  8. 2 shots of espresso
  9. 1 oz Monin Sugar Free Dark Chocolate sauce

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well until fully incorporated. Enjoy!

The Sun Will Come Out With Cold Brew!

In follow-up to our test video that we posted yesterday, we thought we’d break down and compare the different cold brew options we have — including the Sowden / Hario / Bodum variety and more!


French Press
Dual purpose for hot and cool drinks, making cold brew in your french press will give you that kick in your pants all summer long. Whether you make it as a coffee concentrate to dilute or if you drink it STRONG like the SCG crew, all it takes is your desired amount of coffee, cold water and 12 hours in the fridge. This is great for making a big batch and stocking it up so it’s available whenever you need a cup o’ cold joe.

Sowden Soft Brew Coffee Maker
While you can use it to make cold coffee similar to that from a french press, the Sowden Soft Brew gives you more flexibility in that you can use different grind consistencies. The microfilter features over a million tiny holes that enable you to brew with even the finest grind, producing a richer cup or more concentrated coffee in a similar amount of time. This can also be used for make hot coffee, as well.

Chemex
It may look like a science experiment, but the science of the Chemex is easier than it looks. Unlike the french press and Sowden, you’re going to start your coffee out hot and as it brews it’ll cool down in the second chamber. All it takes is placing a good amount of ice in the bottom chamber, placing a paper filter in the top chamber, filling it up with your desired amount of coffee, pouring hot water over the coffee and watch as the coffee is extracted on to the ice giving you a smooth, cold and refreshing cup o’ java.

Hario Cold Brew/Mini Pot
Made specially for cold brewing, the Hario Cold Brew and Mini Pots come in a sleek glass pitcher that will guarantee you will extract the most flavor out of your coffee. No need to heat up your water, whether it be cold or room temperature, fill up your pot’s nylon filter basket with coarse grounds, pour the water and brew it in the fridge for about 12 to 24 hours. You won’t need to finish your brew all in one sitting as it can keep for up to one month in a sealed container.

Hario Cold Brew Dripper
If you’re fancy and have a lot of time on your hands, the the Hario Cold Water Dripper is what you need. A unique way of making your average cup of coffee or coffee concentrate, this dripper uses the classic cold-drip method. With every drop of water per second it saturates your coffee and drip by drip it will extract 26 oz. of coffee concentrate in about 5 hours. With a little more patience and learning curve, once you get the hang of it you’ll be sipping on some non-oily and acidic-free java.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Coffee Cup Coffee Cake

Okay, maybe she’s not technically brewin’ here, but she is taking on pastries for the first time! If you’re looking for a delicious — and super easy — delectable to pair with your favorite cup of coffee, this coffee cake is where it’s at.

Watch Brandi whip up this lovely treat!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 tablespoon butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 of an egg
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese (could also use applesauce or sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

For the cake, begin by combining the butter and sugar in a coffee cup and stir until they are fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients, incorporating each one at a time. In a separate dish, combine all the ingredients for the topping and mix well. Crumble the topping mixture over the cake and cook in the microwave about 1 minute (duration depends on the microwave you’re using).