Have you ever encountered a recipe you’re doing and suddenly you need a coffee extract? Well, do you even know what that is? If not, you made it to the right place! Let’s not only learn what a coffee extract is but let’s also find how we can make one ourselves!
What is coffee extract?
To put it simply, coffee extract is mixing roasted coffee beans together with alcohol. It is supposed to be concentrated, thus, it will come out strong which is why it is utilized in cocktails and desserts. To make one, simply crush your coffee beans, add alcohol, mix and let that sit!
The alcohol in this mixture serves as the solvent to extract the trapped solids and irresistible essence. We recommend using an alcohol with mild flavors to not overpower the flavor of the coffee.
Coffee fruit extract vs. coffee extract
Coffee fruit is the coffee bean’s housing that holds less caffeine. It’s also milder in taste but is packed with antioxidants and other health benefits. As the term implies, coffee fruit extract is just the concentrate derived from the whole fruit. On the other hand, coffee extract is the concentrate of roasted beans mixed with alcohol used for flavoring.
Coffee extract vs. coffee concentrate
We have discussed what coffee extract is so let’s go straight to coffee concentrate. Coffee concentrate is made by brewing coffee grounds with water for longer than usual, typically up to 24 hours. Obviously, this results in a concentrated brew which is then mixed with water and ice and then named as cold brew or cold coffee.
No matter what method you use, the principle remains the same: grind the roasted coffee into small pieces, add water, and then extraction takes place. The order of flavor compound extraction is as follows: fats, acids, sugars, and lastly, the plant fibers. Now let’s convert it to flavor and body perspective: sour/oily, sweet/syrupy, then bitter/thin.
|Quick Finish||Complex Acidity||Hollow|
Source by: Barista Hustle
Coffee aficionados typically describe espresso or brewed coffee as over- or under-extracted. Under-extracted means it was only able to reach the early stages of extraction, thus, this results in a sour or sharp taste. This is due to the water not having enough time to break down sugar. On the other end of the spectrum, over-extraction results in a bitter and thin cup because water has come to a point where it’s already extracting the plant fibers.
Strength is the amount of dissolved compounds in coffee rather than the caffeine content. For instance, filter coffee is about 1-2% dissolved coffee compounds and 98-99% water. Conversely, espresso is even more concentrated with 7-12% dissolved compounds and 88-93% water. The strength talks about the product of the ratio of coffee and water. Thus, less water means you will have a muddy and an overpowering cup of Joe. Now if too much water is used, you will have a thin and watery coffee.
Strength and coffee are closely related. You may think that to increase your coffee’s strength you must use less water. While this is true, the decrease in water amount will make it difficult for extraction to successfully get all the flavors in. Finding a balanced ratio is key! You must also consider checking the coffee brewing methods as the type you use can greatly impact your cup.
D.I.Y. concentrated coffee extract
Things you need
- Coffee Beans – ¼ cup
- Vodka – 1 cup
- A Mason Jar
- A Mortar and Pestle
- A Fine-Mesh Strainer
- A Coffee Filter
- A Funnel
- A Bottle
How to make coffee extract:
- Crack your beans with a mortar and pestle to coarse pieces, not ground. Crushed beans release more flavor by increasing the surface area. You may also use a coffee grinder or a food processor. Heck you may even just place them in a Ziploc and crush away!
- Place your coffee beans inside a clean and sterilized jar.
- Pour vodka over the beans until they are completely submerged.
- Swirl the mixture to incorporate everything well.
- Cover with the lid and seal the jar.
- Let the jar sit in a cool and dry place for about a week to allow proper and sufficient extraction. Seven days is a good middle ground.
- While waiting for a week, shake the jar everyday to promote release of trapped essence.
- After a week, strain and separate the liquid using a fine-mesh strainer and a regular paper coffee filter.
- Pour the extract into a sterilized bottle via a funnel. Make sure to use an airtight container. Close it and store at room temperature. This should be usable for up to a year.
Uses of coffee extract
You may use coffee extract in the following:
- Baked goods
- Ice creams
- Iced coffee
- Creamy smoothies
There’s no one way to use this concoction. You may use it as a vanilla substitute when baking. Thrown in a teaspoon to that milkshake or even into a steak marinade or gravy. You may also use it to substitute espresso powder with just remembering that a teaspoon of coffee extract is equal to a teaspoon of espresso powder. For some quick coffee fix, you may add one teaspoon of coffee extract with 1/4 cup of hot water if you have no time to brew one. There are so many ways you can play around this magic potion so keep experimenting!
Coffee extract is any coffee lover’s magic elixir. Imagine being able to add some coffee punch into anything? Sounds good to me! Plus, one batch of coffee extract can be used for up to a year! So what are you waiting for? Try out our recipe and make your own coffee extract!
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