Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Drink of the Week: Counter Culture Finca Nueva Armenia

We start every day with plenty of coffee here at the Imbibe office, so we’re always looking for a new cup to get excited about. Counter Culture’s Finca Nueva Armenia fits the bill perfectly. Farmed in the Huehuetenango (pronounced “way-way-ten-ang-go”) region of western Guatemala, Finca Nueva Armenia is intriguingly delicious. The estate was founded in the 1940s and today is co-managed by twin brothers and environmental engineers Jorge and Javier Recinos. Their bourbon and typica varietal coffee is certified-organic and shade-grown and packs a chocolaty aroma backed by notes of cinnamon and flavors of devil’s food cake, silky cocoa and a hint of roasted walnuts. As the coffee cools in your cup, a lively but balanced acidity comes forward on the finish, drawing you in for another sip. And if you’re feeling like hot liquids just don’t belong in your body during these hot summer days, this coffee is equally delicious served cold. Try this simple Japanese brewing method:

Ingredients: 4.25 oz. (1 1/2 cups) medium-fine coffee grounds; enough ice to fill about three fourths of a 64-oz. carafe (1 standard ice cube tray); at least 32 oz. (4 cups) of boiling water

Tools: 64-oz. (8-cup) carafe; pour-over filter basket and filter; kettle or another source of boiling water with a capacity of at least 32 oz.; ice-filled tall glasses

Servings: 8–12

1. Transfer ice cubes from a standard-size freezer tray into the carafe, loosely filling about three fourths of the carafe.

2. Place filter basket on top of the carafe. Place a filter inside the basket. Fill with 4.25 oz. (1 1/2 cups) of medium-fine ground coffee.

3. Pour boiling water slowly over grounds in a circular motion, just enough to wet the grounds, then stop. Wait about 20 seconds, then continue to pour boiling water slowly over the grounds, watching the brewed coffee as it drips into the carafe and melts the ice. You may need to pause pouring occasionally when filtering slows. When the level of the brewed coffee and ice nears 64 oz., pause as needed, stopping brewing when the total output reaches 64 oz., including ice. The brewing and filtering process should take 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Pour the brewed coffee into ice-filled tall glasses. Drink it black or add milk, cream or simple syrup to taste. Cover the carafe and refrigerate any unused portion for up to 24 hours.

For more on making perfect iced coffee with a variety of brewing methods, check out “Cool Beans” from our May/June 2008 issue.

Finca Nueva Armenia, $11.95/12 oz., counterculturecoffee.com