My recent adventure into eating more "Thrive Foods" has brought me toward eating more alkalizing and less acid-forming, stress-promoting foods. Unfortunately for me, this includes coffee. I had actually greatly reduced my coffee-intake over the last year. While I was in school and a year after that, I worked as a barista at a local coffee shop and the steady supply of coffee definitely led to a multiple-coffees-a-day habit. But when I moved abroad for a year and stopped working at the coffee shop, I got a job working for a tea store called Le Palais des Thés. My eyes were opened to how complex and delicious tea could be and I found myself drinking less and less coffee. This had loads of benefits- I no longer needed coffee to wake-up, rather I would enjoy it occasionally for the taste. I discovered the huge array of teas available and all the benefits associated with them. My palate developed to the point where I loved the savoury, salty notes of Japanese green teas, the earthiness of rooibos and really green taste of matcha. I think drinking tea will now always be a regular part of my routine. I definitely became a tea snob.
Since coming home, I started working for Starbucks and again I am surrounded by coffee all day- the aromas are so enticing that I usually end up drinking a couple cups a shift. As baristas, were are supposed to do a "coffee-tasting" every day where we take one of the roasts of beans that we sell and prepare it in a french press. We then smell the coffee and try and pick out the aromas, taste the coffee in a manner really similar to wine tasting where you slurp the coffee to spread it out across the whole tongue and then determine what we are tasting- what's the acidity and body like? Is is nutty, earthy, fruity, herbal, smooth, bright, heavy or floral? We also discuss good food pairings and I have actually tried a couple out for myself! I am being seduced by coffee yet again!
Now this wouldn't really be a problem, because I really do love coffee and I do find that I am still not drinking it to wake-up or for an energy boost. But it's acidic and is perceived as a stress by our bodies. While it does have a stimulating effect by giving us an energy boost, this is energy that we have to pay back- we crash and out body has to use energy to repair the damage done by the coffee. It inevitably does a little more damage than good, at least in terms of how our body uses its energy.
However, I think I may have found a happy medium between my rediscovery of coffee and my desire to have a more alkaline diet- cold-pressed coffee! I read something about it a couple months ago and now seemed like the perfect time to try it. Cold-pressed coffee is essentially a coffee-extract that is made using fresh-ground coffee and cold water. You can use it in loads of ways, either as a base for an almond milk latte or ice coffee, or you can mix it with hot water and have hot coffee. Because of the way it's prepared, it only has about 3/4 of the acidity traditionally prepared coffee. So while it's not alkalizing, it at least significantly reduces the stress on your body. The resulting liquid is higher in caffeine than normal coffee, but since you would add hot or cold water or milk to use it (about a 1:3 ratio, 1 part coffee, 3 parts water or milk), it would work out to being about the same as a normal cup.
So I decided to try my hand at making it!
I used this coffee. The Komodo Dragon Blend is a blend of Asia/Pacific coffees that has a lot of body, but is still refreshing.
I also used my (NEW!) bodum CREMA french press to make it. I purchased it at work since I had been given a gift card for Starbucks for Christmas and had yet to use it.
I really love this model as it's made from 30% post-consumer materials and it's very minimalist in its design. It's a bit smaller than I've seen before, only a 4-cup bodum (or 2 normal sized coffee mugs) but it's perfect for making coffee for one. I didn't purchase it with cold-pressed coffee in mind- I actually bought it because I learned that a french press allows the coffee you drink to retain the beans' natural oils which enhances the flavour. Traditional filter brewers filter this out.
I used 3/4 cup of ground coffee, ground for a french press, with about 2 1/2 cups of water (I just filled the bodum the rest of the way up) and let it sit in my fridge over night. You could also just use a jar and shake up the water and grounds and let it sit in that. It should sit for at least 12 hours.
In the next day I pressed it the coffee and then just poured the syrup into a storage container. I think this is one of the real benefits of doing it in a french press as opposed to a jar. All I had to do was press the filter down instead of using a paper filter. However, if you do use a jar. just position a paper coffee filter over top of a storage jar and pour the mix (grounds and liquid) over top gradually and wait until all the liquid has filtered through!
The taste is amazing! I find the cold pressing method really reduces the acidity of the coffee and allows the subtle nuances of the blend to come through particularly the spicy, cedar wood notes. It's very smooth and not as acidic as the hot brew.
Here I reconstituted it as stated above (3:1) with hot water from the kettle. Made a lovely cup of coffee that I drank black.
Here, I frothed up some almond milk (heated in a pan then frothed with my frother do-dad from Ikea) to make an almond milk latte!
don't you love the mug? We've had it since I can remember and it's always been my favourite (and I own A LOT of mugs)
And here, we have it mixed with equal parts cold water and almond mix, with a couple drops stevia, served over ice!
I had this after a workout one morning when I was super warm…it definitely cooled me down and was delicious!
And now for the big one…
A HEALTHY Peppermint Mocha!
This is inspired by the Starbucks version, which is loaded with sugar and is super, super sweet. I healthified it by adding a superfood, making it vegan and with no added sugar! Also, this is low acid since it is using, of course, cold-pressed coffee.
Healthy Peppermint Mocha (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw Option)
- 1/4 cup cold-pressed coffee
- 3/4 cup almond milk (use homemade for raw)
- 1 1/2 tsp cacao powder (superfood!)
- 1/8 + 1/16 tsp peppermint extract
- a couple drops stevia or some agave to sweet to taste
Super simple recipe here. Just add your cold-pressed coffee to the bottom of a cup (I let mine sit out for a bit, so it wasn't ice cold. Add almond milk to a small saucepan and heat slowly (for raw just make sure you don't heat it past 115ºF). When it's at the desired temperature, if you have a frother, start frothing until you get lots of lovely, frothy foam! If you don't have one, it will still be delicious, I promise. Add the almond milk to the cup, holding back the foam until all the milk is in, then spoon the foam on top!
Top with sprinkles and/or chocolate sauce if desired and sip!
It's getting pretty close to the time when these aren't exactly seaosnal anymore, but I'm going to try and sneak a few in before that time comes!
The best part about cold-pressed coffee is it will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks, without it tasting like you are drinking old, stale coffee (Not that mine lasted that long…)!
I think I might do a little series on recreating Starbucks drinks and foods! If you guys have anything you want to see let me know :). I am also planing on testing out some of the vegan and gluten-free options and reporting on them soon.
And now I'm off to enjoy my 2 days off! Enjoy your Thursdays!
I am submitting this to Wellness Weekend!