Not your cup of coffee: caffeinated food & drinks

Wake up, turn the kettle on, make a cup of coffee and sip away. How simple yet magic this ritual is? We think so. In fact, that’s what we live for here at Sample.

Is there, though, anything else than that? Can we enjoy those magical properties, and coffee vibes, differently? In this series of blog posts, we’ll explore the world of coffee from a few alternative angles: food and party drinks, beauty products and a random category with all the coffee-related things that are none of the above.

Today we’ll see how some respected restaurants, chefs and bartenders integrate coffee into their recipes. We’ve selected a few recipes where our precious good is a primary or a supporting ingredient, and we’ve included the links to all the original method so you can try them at home, creating an entire menu made out of coffee! Let’s go.

Coffee Kombucha recipe

Coffee kombucha by René Redzepi + David Zilber of Noma.

Food writer Christine Muhlke narrates a casual, homely encounter where she asks René Redzepi and David Zilber to show her how to make coffee kombucha. The first is the chef and co-owner of Noma restaurant; the second is the head of Noma’s fermentation lab.

It seems like the whole story that the SCOBY needs tea to stay alive is not entirely true. “It feeds on the glucose from the sugar syrup, as well as amino acids and other nutrients.” They also favour light roasts for their version of kombucha:

“Is it light roast?” asked Redzepi, who favours the Scandinavian style of coffee.

Zilber added, “Dark is too ‘black coffee,’ so that’s why we always use light.”

“Light has extra notes,” Redzepi continued, “notes of honey, notes of nature, notes of tropical. Dark roast gives deep—forceful, beat-you-into-submission—kind of flavours.

> Head to recipe
Our two cents: use a single origin, rather than a blend, to achieve a fruiter taste. Grind for filter.

Coffee-rubbed slow-cooked brisket by Three Blue Ducks.

We featured our own version of this dish a few years ago, when Toby Wilson led the kitchen in a young Sample Coffee Pro Shop.

It’s one of the few instances where we’ve found coffee in a savoury main meal (it’s a way more common ingredient in desserts and sweets).

In this recipe created by Darren Robertson and Mark LaBrooy (Three Blue Ducks) and shared by Good Food, they rub freshly ground coffee onto Tasmanian grass-fed beef brisket. Beware, these grounds are fresh and not leftover from a brew (otherwise, the flavour and aroma will be gone).

> Head to recipe
Our two cents: use either blend or single origin and grind in the mid-coarser side (filter). It will help the particles to wash off properly after the spice-soaking stage.

Tiramisu by Dan Pepperell from 10 William St.

When anyone thinks about coffee used in the kitchen, not for brewing, tiramisu is probably the first one that comes to mind. The classic Italian dessert is well known in Australia, not only for its light, fresh texture but also because it’s pretty easy to execute.

Gourmet Traveller wrote down Dan Pepperel’s recipe, and looks as tasty and straightforward as the one Monica Luppi (Lulu’s) made for us on our 2020 Xmas party dinner.

> Head to recipe
Our two cents: always use espresso rather than AeroPress or filter. Also, it’s worth choosing a blend rather than a single origin (cheaper and more body, chocolatey flavours).

Cold-drip Negroni by Sam Bygrave.

A fancy menu finishes with a fancy drink. This caffeinated version of the classic Negroni is a hack from an original recipe by bartender and connoisseur James Connolly.

"Coffee nerds will tell you that the cold drip process results in a sweeter, lower-acid brew. When you take that coffee and drip batched Negroni through it, you get a slightly sweeter, integrated and rich coffee flavoured Negroni.”

Sam Bygrave, ex-Australian Bartender writer and Sample Surry Hills local back in the day, twisted James’ cold-drip method using an AeroPress instead of a cold-drip brewer. Why? It’s a cheaper device, and it brews within minutes rather than overnight. Or, most likely, he got sweet-talked by Reuben, Karl or John K.

This procedure, featured by Australian Bartender, uses Sample Coffee Pacemaker ground on the coarser side (as for filter).

> Head to recipe
Our two cents: do as they say! They were kind and open-minded to follow our advice regarding coffee choice and ground size. ;)


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