The cold brew scene in New Zealand is an exciting one to watch – having seen the explosion overseas it is now just starting to hit the coffee nerds of Aoteroa. There are only a handful of big players in the market so far but the quality and innovation is really amazing. As well as the standard cold drip, there is plenty of other options available such as ready to drink mixed dairy and non dairy milk, nitro infused (makes it really smooth and a Guinness-like froth) as well as Harpoon’s very cool cold drip concentrate.
As well as ticking the organic and fair trade boxes, the concentrate is unique as it is an extra strong ‘shot of the dark stuff’. ‘So what?’ you ask.. Well actually having a non bitter ready made espresso makes it super useful for a number of things.
– Espresso martinis – you get enough caffeine without watering down your alcohol.
– Cooking – espresso flavoured desserts and treats without having to wait for coffee to brew or using disgusting instant.
– And probably best of all: fast daily coffee.
There is no doubt that one-time-use coffee pod capsules like Nespresso are a thing. The convenience and consistency it produces makes it a far cheaper alternative to getting takeaway everyday without having to wait for a peculator or use terrible aforementioned instant.
However, it comes with the terrible obvious downside – it is an enormous tax on the environment. In Germany the 3 billion pod a year industry is so out of control they have put a ban on it. One independent consumer group, Choice, reported that Nespresso had sold an estimated 28 billion capsules worldwide last year. This could mean about 28 million kilograms of aluminium sitting in landfill; Nespresso recycling figures are not made public but lets be honest, who actually recycles their Nespresso capsules? …It’s not our fault Clooney makes it all seem so delicious and luxurious.
I’m not here to go on and on about the evils of coffee pods, you’re all educated adults, but I have come across a delicious viable alternative. Cold brew can be bought up to boiling temperature and still retain its delicate flavour profile so while Harpoon started the concentrate to compliment their coffee liquor ‘Quick Brown Fox’, they actually found consumers adding boiling water or hot milk to it for a quick hot coffee alternative. With 6 serves a pack it is actually quite good value.
In other news.. they also bought out a goon! Another great idea to get your cold brew coffee fix :D!
As a smoothie lover and dairy avoider I experimented with a way to make a creamy nutrient dense alternative. I came up with this delicious spiced cashew mylk which is excellent hot or cold. Using the same oh-so-handy mixed spice blend that is favoured in apple crumble, this warming concoction will give you a very happy start to your day.
Also… Harpoon is making this recipe into a flyer to hand out at tastings… cool aye?!
- 1 cup cashews - soaked for at least 1 hour, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup harpoon concentrate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- Pinch of Himalayan salt
- Handful of Ice (if having cold)
- Chilled: Place everything into a blender and process until super smooth. Serve over more ice with extra spice sprinkled on top.
- Heated: Place in Nespresso frother and heat or in a sauce pan and stir while it heats until thickened. Milk can stick to bottom of pan so keep an eye on it. Serve in your favourite mug with extra spice sprinkled on top and a few coffee beans if you’re feeling schmancy.