Smoked Coffee Barbecue Sauce

July 23rd, 2015 by


If you haven’t tried smoked coffee yet, here’s another reason: it’s fun to cook with. Available during the warmer months of the year, our smoked coffee is wood-smoked in an actual smokehouse and tastes exactly like campfire coffee tastes in your dreams (minus the overcooked bitterness and mouthful of grounds). Coffee is a great way to add complexity to recipes, and the smokiness  complements more robust flavors, perfect for meats as a rub or marinade, or as an addition to chili.

This recipe uses our standard Smoked Coffee blend, although we also offer French Roast Smoked Coffee if you prefer the flavor of a dark roast, as well as Maple Bacon and Vanilla Bourbon Smoked Coffee. The result is sweet, tangy, smoky, with a subtle spiciness from the ginger. If you like heat, kick it up a notch with some cayenne or finely chopped chili peppers.

What you will need

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brewed smoked coffee (strong)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon molasses

1 teaspoon grated ginger 

1/2 ounce dark (70%) chocolate

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste


In a medium saucepan, combine ketchup, coffee, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, and ginger and bring to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium heat. Lower the heat and stir in the chocolate and smoked paprika until chocolate is melted, then let simmer over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until flavors have mellowed and melded, 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.

Cold Steeped Almond Tea

July 17th, 2015 by

Blog Cold Steeped Almond Milk

Most of the recipes we try  in our kitchen/laboratory here are a combination of ideas and flavors we love. Flavored almond milk, cold-steeped iced tea, and spicy tea lattes are things that make the world better, and we decided to bring them together to form a super-beverage: almond milk flavored with loose leaf tea, cold-steeped overnight.

We’ve tried this with flavored black and green teas. Our favorites include French Toast Chai, Horchata (a cinnamon-y blend of black and green teas and toasted rice), and our sweet and spicy Churro black tea. Cold-steeped overnight (12 hours), the flavor is perfect. Serve right away, or strain into a second container to store. Enjoy it over ice, or steam it and drink it latte-style.

What you’ll need

Iced tea jug and strainer (we used a 34 oz Mist Iced Tea Jug which has a strainer built in for loose leaf tea)

4 tablespoons loose leaf tea

34 ounces almond milk (unsweetened or sweetened, depending on your preference)


Add the almond milk to your jug, followed by the tea, give it a stir and refrigerate, covered, for 12 hours or overnight. Serve immediately or strain and store refrigerated.

Experiment with this recipe! A floral tea like The Queen’s Chai might taste great, Earl Grey might taste great, or a fruity black tea like Apricot or Indigo Mango. Try it with rice milk, coconut milk, hemp milk — whatever you like. Experiment with honey, agave nectar, or other sweeteners. Let us know what works!

Fresh From the Kiln: Our New Artisan Mugs

July 14th, 2015 by


It’s been a while since we’ve carried a Coffee Bean Direct mug, but we recently updated our bean and arrow logo and decided to celebrate with a new mug design. Our durable and beautiful Artisan stoneware mugs are for you lovers of things rustic, beautifully imperfect, and one of a kind. Here’s our first batch, fresh from the kiln at Goose Creek Pottery in Rosemont, NJ, where potter Ted Green makes each wheel-thrown mug, one at a time.










These mugs are a labor of love and made by hand. As a result, they vary slightly in size and glaze pattern. Dishwasher and microwave safe, they are functional works of art, worthy of our fresh-roasted best!

Super Easy Cold Brew: Two Methods

July 10th, 2015 by

Cold Brew

A while back we posted a fantastic article on how to cold brew coffee in large batches. Sweeter and less acidic than traditional iced coffee, cold brew truly deserves its current popularity. The instructions in our post couldn’t be easier, but they do involve cheesecloth, which is a turn-off to some (what aisle is that in?).

Recently we’ve been experimenting with some alternate cold brew methods using equipment intended for other things that we happened to have around. Here are two, cheesecloth-free cold brewing methods we like that get the job done without a mess.

What you will need (for both methods, yield: 4 servings)

3 cups cold water

2/3 cup coffee, ground for French press

Method 1: French press cold brew

Did you know your French press is a secret cold brewing machine? Cold brewing is no more messy or complicated than brewing hot coffee. In our video, we use a 34 oz press. Add the coffee, pour the cold water in, stir once and steep overnight (12 hours) before plunging.

Method 2: T-Sac cold brew

Attention tea lovers: we sell these inexpensive things called T-Sacs, which are empty paper tea bags you fill with loose-leaf tea and steep, no strainer required. It turns out they are also great for coffee. Divide the coffee into two number 4 T-Sacs, knot the top, and place in a container of water (we use a Mist Iced Tea Jug, but anything without a hole in the bottom will do the job). Give things a stir and refrigerate overnight. Remove the T-Sacs and enjoy.

Earl Grey Goose: Infusing Vodka with Loose Leaf Tea

July 2nd, 2015 by


Infusing alcohol is a creative way to put a personal stamp on your favorite cocktail recipes and preserve the flavor of the season’s glorious fruits, herbs, and flowers. Enjoy your infusions all summer long or reward your shoveling in February with the taste of sunshine.

While fresh ingredients take days or even weeks to fully infuse, tea and spice infusions reach their best flavor fairly quickly and make a great place to start. Vodka’s neutral flavor makes it pretty foolproof as far adding ingredients goes. When choosing a base for your infusion, keep in mind that a higher alcohol content will increase the extraction power. High proof spirits (100 proof or higher) are diluted with water to a drinkable level once the infusion is complete. If you’re sticking to tea, which infuses easily, a lower alcohol (80 proof) content is perfectly fine, no dilution required.

What you’ll need

Vodka, 80 proof. We use Grey Goose, because we like to be fancy, it’s very drinkable infused, and because of the word Grey.

Loose leaf Earl Grey black tea. We also offer an organic version, but conducted our experiment with our standard Earl Grey. Both use 100% real oil of bergamot, extracted from the rind of bergamot oranges.

A tea strainer. We used the Hook Handle Tea Infuser, a simple metal strainer. If you’re using a finer cut of tea, you may want to strain the infusion through a coffee filter.

The Ratio

For every 1 cup of vodka, we added 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea.

The Method

Add your desired amount of vodka and tea, in the ratio above, to a mason jar or other sealable container. Add the lid and shake to combine. Let it sit in a cool place, away from light. The flavor should be just right at 12 hours, but you can definitely drink it much earlier. After just a few hours the vodka will be tasty, but the bergamot flavor dominates. It takes a longer time for the black tea flavor to emerge, and it’s worth waiting a few more hours for. Enjoy  it cold, strained over ice, make yourself a martini, or try it with grapefruit soda (the earl greyhound).