DIY Nitro coffee: Jebena immersion vs espresso vs coldbrew smackdown

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
happycat

Postby happycat » Jul 04, 2019, 10:32 pm

Nitro Jebena vs Nitro Espresso vs Nitro Cold Brew (espresso grind) Smackdown
I compared Jebena immersion brewing (similar to a giant Turkish) vs. High strength Espresso americanos vs. Cold brew wth espresso grind to compare their nitro results as both beer style pours and cola style pours. I provide tasting notes from me and my wife. First I share the Jebena process and results and following messages address espresso style then cold brew with espresso grind, then overall comparison. All used about 65-70g espresso grind coffee and yielded about 500-600ml at the end.

Jebena Nitro

This recipe is a mashup of old-school Ethiopian traditional coffee-making with the latest nitro-infused techniques.


BENEFITS

Avoid the overnight cold-brew step
Produce a strong coffee that holds up to the sweetness and creaminess nitro produces
Produce an eye-glazing effect in non-geeks who have no clue what you're talking about when you describe it
Feel superior because you're obviously not a nitro trend-following sheep if you use a Jebena


COFFEE

I used Guatemala beans home-roasted on a Quest M3. I charged about 400F, with about a 5min drying time, and a 25% development after first crack where bean temp followed a Rao-style declining rate of rise. I consider this a medium roast.

Image


EQUIPMENT

Jebena brewer (mine can do 700ml)
700 ml filtered water
70g coffee (for 1:10 coffee:water ratio)
chopstick (to stuff dry coffee through neck of jebena if it clogs up)
V60 cone
V60 paper filter x 2 (v60 has a bigger hole and filters faster and more coffee vs. regular fan filter in a wedge that requires a paper change midway)
glass jug to hold filtered coffee
coffee burr grinder suitable for espresso (I used Sette 270)
scale to weigh in grams

1 litre cream whipper (I have a lovely stainless ICO)
1 N2O gas cartridge

(optional) water filter like a Mavea
(optional) PID kettle to preheat water
(optional) pan or pot to place jebena in if you have glasstop range
(optional) Orphan Espresso portafilter funnel to set Jebena on or an opened tuna can
(optional) fresh popcorn and incense


YIELD

Used 700 ml of water + 70g of coffee
After filtering, my yield was about 530 ml (76% output with 24% loss)
This is a loss of 2.4ml/g of ground coffee


PROCESS

Prep water
measure out 700 mL filtered water
preheat jebena on range medium-low heat (I do it in a pot or pan to protect glasstop range)
add water to kettle and preheat to 93c
Add heated water to jebena

Image

Prep coffee
grind 70g of coffee into espresso grind
cut tip off 1 V60 filter to create hole big enough for Jebena throat
hold V60 cut filter in throat of Jebena and add coffee in stages
Use chopstick to knock coffee through jebena throat as needed

Image
Image
Image

Brew coffee
Simmer (technically, you wait until you see steam rising... but with this high amount of coffee you will probably see coffee foam emerging from the spout instead and hear some gentle burbles)
Remove jebena from range
Set jebena on OE ring at forward angle
Wait 10 mins to settle grinds

Image
Image
Image


Filter Coffee
Set v60 cone and second filter onto glass jug capable of handling 700ml
Gently pour from Jebena into v60 to keep most grinds inside jebena (stream should be mostly clear)
Allow coffee to filter through
Let coffee cool completely

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Nitrogenate Coffee
(optional) take a sample of coffee in a small glass to compare with nitro version later, cover with plastic and set aside
Add cold coffee to cream whipper
Seal head and infuse gas
Place in fridge
Wait 1-2 nights (longer you wait, finer the bubble infusion?)


Taste test (UPDATE TO COME SATURDAY)
Add tip to whipper (optional: close up dispensing end)
Try beer pour (tip whipper upside down and dispense into glass) and compare to non nitro sample
Try cola pour (degas whipper right-side up, then pour out) and compare to non nitro sample
Reflect on difference with cold brew
LMWDP #603
★ Helpful

happycat

Postby happycat » Jul 05, 2019, 12:17 pm

JEBENA NITRO RESULTS
So now my wife and I share some tasting notes to compare pure jebena, beer-stye dispensing and cola-style dispensing... and maybe some N2O effects on our brains! I let the nitrogenation of coffee in the cream whipper continue for 44 hours. I never shook the whipper.

JEBENA STRAIGHT
immersion brew (1:10 ratio)

David
smell: coffee
taste: combo sweet and winish acidity

Hiroko
smell: espresso, dark chocolate, hint molasses
taste: "oh thats good" dark chocolate, red wine; hint lemon, molasses; dark bluish grape


NITRO JEBENA BEER STYLE

Image
Image
Image

David
rich moussy foam with fine bubbles; to me it's approaching a beer... very creamy, fine rich foam, tempted to say cream ale-ish; foam has very long staying power
ADD WATER: flavours open up, hint molasses; still a richness, lingering flavours, creaminess; to me like a coffee beer

Hiroko
foam tastes of creamy coffee; drink more acidic than normal jebena; hint of lemon more alive, more fruity;
ADD WATER: less acidic; good hint smokiness; milk chocolate; balanced


NITRO JEBENA COLA STYLE

Image
Image


David
I should have poured more gently and might've had finer foam...
coarse big bubble foam, still creamy; acidic; hints chocolate and grapefruit but not harsh; like a freshness in mouth
ADD WATER: very creamy and light in mouth plus coffee flavour;

Hiroko
"wow that's sweet oh my god you can taste sugar"; cotton candy feeling with sweetness; chocolate; it's mist of droplets in mouth while tasting;
ADD WATER: similar but less intense


OVERALL IMPACT
David:
caffeine gentle but powerful effect, nitro provides sense of freshness, creaminess, fun

Hiroko:
feel happy rainbow unicorn world (is she high?)

NEXT STEPS
Dilute jebena before gassing (maybe add 50% water so total = 250ml water and 530ml coffee)
LMWDP #603

happycat

Postby happycat » Jul 06, 2019, 10:42 am

Reflecting on this....

My favourite cold brew nitro roast was pan roasted Limu from a corner store. One, I roasted into second crack. Two, it was probably naturally inconsistent to some extent like a melange roast or blend.

The Guatemala medium roast tasted great as espresso, and as jebena nitro concentrate it became like a creamy beer but perhaps missing some low end caramels. Perhaps an enjoyable, alcohol and calorie free option.

Some dark roast cold brew Brazil was merely tamed by nitro... my Quest had some debris from peaberries that acted like charcoal. After cleaning the roaster out I have better control again.

So I would like to do a mix next time... dark plus medium roast.
LMWDP #603

happycat

Postby happycat » Jul 08, 2019, 11:35 am

NITRO ESPRESSO VS NITRO JEBENA (TURKISH STYLE IMMERSION) SMACKDOWN

I decided to compare Jebena immersion nitro to espresso nitro. My espresso version is essentially double-strength americanos (4 shots to 500 ml). Both methods used about 65-70g of espresso grind coffee with a similar yield but produced very different results. Jebena was filtered through paper (perhaps losing oils) and espresso was not filtered at all (retaining oils)

NITRO ESPRESSO BENEFITS
Faster and easier to pull four shots than make cold brew or Jebena
Retain coffee oils (no paper filtering)
More control over process (temperature, lever pressure, shot time)
Easier cleanup than cold brew or Jebena

EQUIPMENT
PID temperature controlled kettle
65.2g coffee (around same amount and roast as Guatemala for Jebena)
Espresso maker (Flair signature)
~200 ml Filtered water to make espresso shots
500ml filtered water for dilution
(Optional) Cold water in a pot for cooling bath
Glass cup to hold 4 espresso shots

Cream whipper
N2O cartridge

YIELD
Four shots plus 500ml water (similar to Jebena after filtering)

PROCESS
Grind coffee and pull espresso shot into glass (repeat 4 times total)
Cover and let cool (optionally in cool water bath in pot)
Pour espresso into cream whipper
Pour 500ml filtered water into whipper)
Seal whipper and nitrogenate with gas cartridge
Place whipper in fridge for 40+ hours

Four consecutive shots from the Flair...
Image

Cooling shots before adding to whipper
Image

RESULTS
Here we discuss nitro espresso and compare it to Nitro Jebena.

BEER STYLE POUR
Our first pour was beer style dispensing from cream whipper tip. The foam was fine but rapidly broke down into large bubbles and dissipated... the following pictures show how quickly and severely the foam breakdown occurs just waiting a few minutes (contrast with Jebena where the foam remained fine and persisted a very long time without disappearing)

Image
Image
Image
Image

H
Tastes good, very balanced
Sweetness like pineapple without taste
Like an iced espresso
Milk chocolate
Jebena was more complex

D
Smell coffee
Creamy espresso
Mellow espresso
Rich broad range of flavour (like the tang of a good toffee at low end)
Cocoa

COLA STYLE POUR
Our second pour was cola style by degassing vertically then opening the whipper and pouring the coffee out. Foam was coarse and dissipated.

Image

H
Whoa
Fruitier, sweeter
Some kind of alcoholic taste
Jebena style was more like coffee beer


D
No smell
Sweeter overtones of nitro
Lighter
Still a rich espresso flavour within this frame from nitro
Acidity is a higher band of sweetness and brightness
Like changing brightness and saturation of same thing
After cola sits for a few minutes, settles into rich creamy drink... a tang starts to come out

JEBENA VS ESPRESSO SMACKDOWN
What did we prefer... Jebena vs espresso shots?

H
Favourite was Jebena... liked fine, persistent foam that stayed a long time. Really like coffee with foam in it. In cola style, Jebena also had more of a nitro bubble effect (effervescent)

D
Want a beer make a Jebena. Creamier, more of a beer taste and experience.
Want rich espresso with some creaminess and foam that rapidly disappears, espresso.
Cold brew can be a rich intense flavour if have the right roast and varietal, otherwise can simply tame an over roasted coffee


REFLECTIONS
H
Jebena was immersion brewing with all the water part of brewing process vs. Espresso americanos had water added. So may affect complexity that was in Jebena nitro.

D
espresso had oils while Jebena and cold brew methods were paper filtered. May affect richness that was in espresso nitro.

(COMING NEXT... COLD BREW COMPARISON USING SAME COFFEE)
LMWDP #603

happycat

Postby happycat » Jul 11, 2019, 8:55 am

NITRO ESPRESSO #2

To bridge us through the week while preparing the cold brew [a 59-hour espresso grind version] I did another nitro espresso with same brew parameters as before.

Nitro Espresso nitrogenation 59.5 hrs

BEER POUR
H
Fruity
Sweet

D
Very smooth
Rich coffee flavour
Fine foam
sweet in a sweet espresso way
Rich aftertaste
(NOTE: twice in row, nitro espresso seems to run out of gas and have to agitate... didn't happen with Jebena)

COLA POUR
H
This time, thought beer pour was sweeter than this one
More fruity?
ADDED WATER: sweeter, fruitiness but not sure what kind, close to pineapple

D
Coarser foam head breaks up fast
Interaction of sweet gas and concentrated acidity produces tanginess
Nuttiness after
ADDED WATER: opens up the flavour to smooth, rich, airy, re-establishes fine foam head
I kind of get the pineapple analogy plus nuttiness
Adding water shifts to hints of milk chocolate

REFLECTION ON NITRO GAS-FLAVOUR INTERACTIONS
- for both nitro espressos, I like the beer pour using pure concentrate as it retained a richness and a sweetness that seems true to a delicious espresso
- the cola version had this "pineapple" kind of experience... what do we mean by this? I realized it was an interaction of a more intense sweetness from more nitro gas still in the drink + concentrate of the non-diluted espressos (cola style has more sweetening gas vs beer style which strips gas out during dispensing)
- just like a pineapple has an intense sweetness and an intense acidity, the nitro cola version gave that sweetness layered on top of the concentrated acidity and nuttiness of the espressos
- addressing this simply meant diluting the concentrate which shifted us towards creamy milk chocolate

WHY DON'T I DILUTE BEFORE GASSING UP?
- I wanted to see what a nitro drink was like without dilution— to see richness— and I get that nicely in the nitro espresso beer style
- but it seems dilution may be necessary to convert gas+concentrate interaction into a more integrated flavour
- during next round, I will start measuring how much dilution produces a desired effect and start diluting pre-gassing

UP NEXT...
I've gassed up the cold brew and will probably try it Sunday morning as we're going out to the Honda Toronto Indy all-day Saturday
LMWDP #603

happycat

Postby happycat » Jul 14, 2019, 11:25 am

Nitro Cold Brew (espresso grind)

Using the same Guatemala coffee, roast, amount of coffee (70g) grind (espresso) and using the same brewing ratio as jebena (70g:700ml) I made a cold brew (brewed Monday 9pm-Thurs 8am = 59 hours), filtered with V60, gassed it up in the whipper, then let it rest about 72 hours (In Thursday morning 830am out Sunday 921am). This is an extra day of nitrogenation not by design but because we were out all day Saturday. I kept a sample of cold brew separately from the nitrogenated stuff.


Cold brew on its own
H
Alcoholic smell
Tastes like wine
Very sweet
Alcoholic taste
Add water: milk chocolate, dark coloured fruit jam
Preferred nitro version

D
Alcoholic smell
Flash of fresh fruit juice jam and sweetness ... jammy
Add water: fruit jam, aftertaste milk chocolate

Nitro Cold Brew (espresso grind)

BEER POUR

Image
Image
Image
Image

H
V fine foam
Creamy
Reminds of beer without bitterness
Citrusy hint, milk chocolate
Tangy
Grapes darker colour (malic acidity?)
Add water: more malty


D
Coffee smell
Creamy
Hint chocolate
Agree about beer
Foam does break down (unlike jebena) but longer than espresso
Drinking foam... pleasant tight foam
Maltyness
Add water: malty milk chocolate, aftertaste malty milk chocolate


COLA POUR

Image
Image

H
Sweet
Sparkling wine
Pineapple edge
Cocoa


D
Tangy malt choc
Add water: light up front then rich dark chocolate cocoa aftertaste
Aftertaste keeps coming cocoa for quite awhile

NOTE: I think my tangy and her pineapple are the same idea.
LMWDP #603

happycat

Postby happycat » Jul 14, 2019, 12:06 pm

NITRO JEBENA vs ESPRESSO vs COLDBREW SMACKDOWN

Using the same Guatemala bean and roast and similar amounts of coffee and brew ratios, which nitro version was the favourite? The answer was a little more complex than that. There were elements of each approach that we liked.

H
Most interesting: Jebena really unique, foam stayed longer, coffee had a lot of depth, more concentrated then opened with water for more flavours, not favorite but most interesting. Liked but not something to drink often.

Favorite: espresso grind cold brew... light, flavourful but not too strong, foam fine and silky

Surprised to learn same coffee, amount, grind, water between her two choices.

D
I like H's distinction of interesting vs favourite but I like elements of each and wanted to have it all!

Jebena was interesting, beer experience, so much going on, super creamy
Espresso was always rich, I liked richness and espresso-ness
Cold brew is long lasting cocoa which is nice

Makes me want to mix them in some way to get their characteristics

But comparing to straight cold brew... where did the jam go?

Questions

1. Does oil in espresso impact fine foam formation?
2. Why does immersion with V60 filter produce better fine foam? ESP. Hot immersion which is more persistent?
3. Where did the cold brew jamminess go after nitrogenation? Pineapple? And milk chocolate becomes malty?
4. What is proper dilution amount to open up pineapple/tang and maltyness into fruit and chocolate?
5. Can I restrain myself long enough to be more scientific about any of this? :roll:

Next steps

1. make filtered cold brew, Jebena, espresso shots and mix in a combination, then gas up in whipper
2. Measure concentrate and add defined amounts of water to determine ratios to open flavours without going bland
LMWDP #603

User avatar
primacoffee
Sponsor

Postby primacoffee » Yesterday, 10:58 am

It's been fun following along with these experiments! Do you plan on using plain N2 at all for future tests?
Prima Coffee
888-837-7892
4603 Poplar Level Rd
Louisville, KY 40213
http://prima-coffee.com

happycat

Postby happycat » replying to primacoffee » Yesterday, 3:04 pm

Thanks. Comments are always welcome!

It would be fun to play with N2 but it's 2.5x - 3x more expensive per cartridge than N2O up here on Amazon.ca ($2.47 each N2 vs. $0.8 each N2O) which stacks up pretty fast with my 1/2 litre experiments.

Clearly the N2O has some interesting flavour interactions by overlaying a sweetness on top of concentrated coffee flavours (particularly in cola style pours that don't strip gas out during dispensing) which makes me wonder about N2O / CO2 combinations to make it more neutral but I am a bit worried about too many distracting flavours from different gas types.

Do you know how N2 and N2O compare based on sweetness?

I think my next go will be a 500ml (filtered from 700) Jebena dark roast + 2 espresso shots + 500ml filtered water for a full litre. I'd like to see if I can get the Jebena creaminess with the espresso richness with some dilution to open up flavours. I'm also curious whether espresso oils impact persistence of foam... might be an interesting way to control foam in the jebena pour by adding espresso shots.

Based on my experience with the cold brew on its own, I'm almost tempted not to nitrogenate it but to add it to a nitrogenated jebena/espresso drink instead. The nitrogenated drinks tolerate added water very well.
LMWDP #603

false1001

Postby false1001 » Today, 12:54 am

happycat wrote:Based on my experience with the cold brew on its own, I'm almost tempted not to nitrogenate it but to add it to a nitrogenated jebena/espresso drink instead. The nitrogenated drinks tolerate added water very well.


I wonder if they'd tolerate gin as well as water...