The English are known as a nation of tea drinkers, there's nothing more English than the thought of your nan in a flowery hat with a bone china cup and a fresh brew. And I like a cup of tea, but I LOVE a cup of coffee. I am in fact, like many, a coffee bloody addict.
I've been meaning to write a blog about coffee since my Carnivore Challenge as my love for coffee kept me going on more than one occasion when all I could drink was water, tea and coffee. I realised it's strange how drinking eight cups of water seems almost impossible but eight cups of coffee goes down like a chubby kid on a see saw.
Joe, dirt, morning mud, java, brew, go go juice, whatever you want to call it, in the UK we drink 95 million cups of coffee a day! But where did this magic juice come from?
The story goes that that a goat herder discovered coffee In the 15th century after he noticed that after eating the berries from a certain tree, his goats became so energetic that they were buzzing around all night, living it large in a goat rave up.
The goat herder reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery, who made a drink with the berries and found that it kept him alert through the long hours of evening prayer. The abbot shared the discovery and knowledge of the magical berries began to spread. And, boom. Coffee was officially invented.
From the instant drinker, who doesn't have time for "all that faff" to the coffee snob who refuses to visit the popular chains, claiming that an independent coffee cart hidden in a ditch is the "one true brew" , we at least all know that coffee comes in all shapes and sizes and there is a variety for everyone. Me, I'm not picky at all, although I do have my favourites.
Whilst meating it up during July, the wonderful Helena and Simon from TRUE START COFFEE donated a case of their create cold brew to keep me going. Seeing as July was as hot as Mars and I wasn't allowed ice cream or beer, this was actually a bit of a God send!
Now, if you've been living under a rock since the revolution of cold brew, the difference between cold-brew and other methods of making coffee is the temperature of the water that’s used. Most coffee, including iced coffee, is brewed using boiling water. Standing apart from most other brew styles, cold-brews use room-temperature water.
Helena and Simon of True Start developed their brand in 2015 whilst the couple were in training for a triathlon. They came up with the first coffee in the world to provide a boost with no crash thanks to a stable caffeine content. It's pretty bloody good and comes in three flavours, original black, chili chocolate and vanilla coconut and taste great with or without milk. Handy glass bottle for on the go too.
Now I don't want y'all thinking I've turned into some kind of lefty twat so let's get back on track with grilling. I started looking into ways which I could inject a bit of manliness into the black stuff. All this talking about dancing goats, shit, it's time to get the Traeger on for some cherry smoked cold brew.
To make my cold brew at home I use a very simple machine like the one below. There are some marvellous kits out there but this does the job just as well.
After waiting patiently for your coffee to brew (about a day) start your Traeger and set to smoke (or super Smoke if using a WiFIRE grill) and preheat, lid closed 10-15 minutes.
Pour cold brew into a shallow baking dish and place directly on the grill grate. Smoke for 1-2 hours depending on your desired level of smoke. You can enjoy this little beauty with milk, sugar or if you are feeling fancy maybe with a shot of Trager's Simple syrup. But not for me, straight up with ice.
A word of warning though. Don't do what the dickhead pimply kid Starbucks server confessed to me the other day whilst waiting for my take out. He drank an entire serving of neat cold brew without realising it had to be diluted and had enough heart palpitations to send him in to space. He didn't admit it but in all likeliness it also had him shitting out the eye of a needle. Stay in school kids.
Not one to be ousted by me and as you may know a little on the competitive side, Mrs Shack was not to be outdone by my coffee brewing abilities. This morning not only did she invent and bake from scratch the most amazing COFFEE, DATE AND BACON RYE BREAD but she also presented me with... wait for it, BACON COFFEE.
I literally looked at her like she had lost her shit when she was thrusting it my hands, but hey, these days if I reckon myself to be a bit of a writer, I gots to do my research. I went for the bacon first which was dipped in the coffee. I've got to say that I can only liken it to people who dunk McDonalds chips in their milkshake, sounds absolutely revolting but when it's right, it's right.
The Keto army are going to go mad for this one, Mrs Shack says it's one cup of coffee, a tablespoon of butter, bacon fat all whizzed in a blender and topped with two rashers of Porky Pigs finest.
Right kids, hope you've enjoyed this weeks session, I'm off to put the kettle on.