If you are a coffee aficionado you are likely in touch with the latest brewing techniques to deliver your favorite dose of caffeine, however even among informed crowds few are familiar with sous vide coffee and what it can bring to the table. Sous vide, to be clear, is a method of which to prepare coffee, and its supporters have nothing but glowing things to say about its manipulation of flavor on each drinker’s palette. The sous vide style actually originated several years ago, and is basically a method of partial ‘cooking’ that precedes ultimately being vacuum sealed and chilled. With coffee, sous vide cooking became sous vide brewing, for the same principles have been efficiently applied to create an unmistakable fresh blend.
How Does The Sous Vide Technique Work?
Because air is eliminated in the process, with refrigeration directly following, the most pungent and resourceful beans keep all of their flavor and texture. Typically placed in jars, the tight seal ensures aroma, sweetness, and zest remain intact. After being put in jars or pouches, they are secured in a controlled temperature water bath. The purpose of the bath is to guarantee moisture is not manipulated while at the same time ‘brewing’ evenly. The fact it provides this even ‘cook’ is why sous vide is frequently used during meal preparation for things like beef and steak.
Why Is Sous Vide Coffee Worthwhile?
Sous Vide coffee is coveted for a myriad of reasons, the first of which is how it delivers its caffeine. Because it is so concentrated and not ‘burned off,’ the caffeine is more potent and effective. While not everyone needs a jolt from their morning cup of joe, many seek this kick, and sous vide provides it in spades. Sous vide also cuts down on the bitterness in coffee by completely eliminating the problem of possible over-brewing. Even the most ardent high-heat drip coffee supporters admit that bitter coffee is not ideal and inhibits the flavors and aromas from fully surfacing. According to the National Coffee Association (yes, they exist), the optimal temperature for serving brew is between 195 degrees F and 205 degrees F. Sous vide comes in at around the 150 degree F range.
Why does this matter? The higher temperature at which a coffee is brewed, the more acidic it becomes. This is a huge downside to people who drink numerous cups throughout the day, and it is terrible for those suffering from gastrointestinal disorder in particular. Acidic coffee stains your teeth and increases the likelihood of an upset stomach. Moreover, the more acid present in your coffee upon drinking, the less flavor you are truly tasting. Any time you are sipping on your favorite concoction, you are tasting its flavor in spite of its acid, not because of it. Sous vide coffee is supremely advantageous by being the dual threat that not only lowers its acid content, but encourages more flavors to tantalize your palette. As if that isn’t enough, sous vide is also terrific for creating in bulk, since it can be refrigerated without losing its intended taste.
What Is The Difference Between Traditional Cold Brew Coffee and Sous Vide Preparation?
You may be thinking that tackling the art of a robust cold brew coffee just isn’t worth your time, and since traditional methods of this type of brewing can take up to 24 hours, you are not alone. This is where sous vide comes in and picks up the pace when you want the freshness of a cold brew, but do not have infinite patience to plan a day ahead just for a mug. Sous vide cuts preparation time down to about 2 hours, which is far more pertinent for people needing their fix the same day. In fact a morning routine can even include sous vide cold brews if done according to recipe. The aforementioned absence of moisture also makes it a better cold brew because more of the ingredients are able to be tasted, and the best sous vide machines can deliver cup after cup effortlessly.
What Is The Feedback On Sous Vide Coffee?
By now you have probably realized why sous vide has developed a pleasant niche in the coffee world, and the feedback from consumers proves it will have lasting power in this field for years. Users that swear by the technique have started applying it to things like sous vide egg bites for how they pair tremendously with your coffee for a refreshing breakfast.
- Sous Vide Machine – our favorite right now is the Anova or the Joule.
- Container – not necessary, but nice to have for bigger cuts of meat. We recommend the Lipavi as it is large and sturdy. You can also use a pot.
- Vacuum sealer and bags, or a freezer Ziploc bag. If you only have a Ziploc make sure to check our our article on the water displacement method. You can find our favorite vacuum sealers here – 5 Best Sous Vide Vacuum Sealers (Reviews Updated 2021)
Best Sous Vide Coffee Recipe
Here is our best sous vide coffee recipe:
- Sous Vide Machine
- 1 Coffee Filter
- 1/2 Cup Of Ground Coffee
- Seal Ready Mason Jar
- Seal Ready Container
- 5 Cups Of Water
- Measuring Cups
- 1 Big Bowl
- Set your sous vide machine to your desired temperature. Around 150 degrees F is recommended to get the most flavor out of your coffee.
- Pour 5 cups of water into your big bowl followed by your coffee. Stir this blend so that all of the coffee is fully immersed and has soaked up the water as much as possible.
- As soon as you are done stirring, immediately pour into your mason jar and seal it. The longer the coffee is exposed, the more likely you are to lose flavor when it is completed.
- Place the mason jar into the water bath inside the sous vide machine. Let it be submerged for a minimum of 2 hours, and no longer than 2 and a half hours.
- Remove the jar from the sous vide machine and pour into a seal ready container, making sure its contents all pass through your coffee filter.
After refrigeration, drink at your leisure either over ice or directly out of the container. Enjoy!
Sous vide coffee presents itself as a worthy adversary of high-heat drip coffee because it can make all of the flavors resonate within only a few hours. Even though drip coffee can be made in minutes, the old adage ‘you get what you put in,’ rings true. Higher temperatures expose the coffee to bitterness and loss of taste. Sous vide satisfies caffeine cravings by maintaining a level of freshness, and more importantly texture, that even old cold brew coffee methods cannot boast.
Let us know what you think about sous vide coffee in the comments below!
Be sure to also check out our sous vide machine buying guide.