Ever since I blew my mind by cold-brewing ground cacao nibs, I've been experimenting with the process, and have discovered some amazing variations on the formula.
1. Chocolate/coffee blend
Cold-brewing with 50/50 mixes of ground cacao nibs and ground coffee, both somewhat coarse (a little coarser than a French press grind). Outstanding flavor, with a caffeine kick. A refreshing cold mocha, spectacular with cream and/or bourbon or other whiskeys, like a cold Irish coffee, or Kahlua with the gross removed.
2. Chocolate/coffee bend (hot)
Grind the coffee and cacao a little finer and extract with water just off the boil in an Aeropress -- about one Aeropress scoop of each. Takes a lot of pressing -- about 3x more than a regular Aeropress. But ZOMFG, is this amazing. Like one of those novelty flavored coffee pods would taste like, if they weren't fucking awful.
3. Chocolate megadose
A failed experiment: I tried to make a super-chocolatey cold brew cacao by using four scoops of ground nibs in a tea strainer in a mug of water in the fridge overnight. The results were absolutely vile, undrinkably bitter, with a lingering, poisonous aftertaste. Even diluted, this was terrible. The dose makes the poison, for sure.
Next up: I'm going to try variations on the nut-milk bag method to counter the natural buoyancy of ground cacao (the bag tends to float to the top of the jug). Some ideas: putting a weight in the bag (whiskey stones?); use Sugru to affix a hook to the bottom of the bag and an eye to the bottom of the jug.
(Image: cold brew experiment, Dennis Tang, CC-BY-SA)
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