a bit about the brew. it's cold, it's chocolate, it's just not cold brewed.
cold brew works on submerging the cocoa in cool or room temp water, and then waiting. the goal, like cold brewed coffee, was less acidity and more flavor. the outcome? not so much.
Which is why we switched to flash-brewing.
we wanted not just more chocolate flavor, but better chocolate flavor: truer to the origin, without the acidity (and cloudiness) of the long drawn-out cold brew method.
the way making chocolate works, it takes heat to bring out the flavor. just like coffee. so we did a bunch of research and a bunch more testing and flash brewing was our big aha #yesplease moment.
the basic idea.
like coffee beans, it starts with the roast. not all cacao beans make a good (or great) cold drink. we lean toward the origins that offer a balance of fruit to cocoa notes, and based on excellent fermentation tending + process at the farm, less astringency/acid. we roast specifically for drinking it cold, cool the beans quickly + completely before winnowing. we opt for a clean winnow, with less husk. cocoa husk "tea" is not our goal: it's cacao flavor we're going for, and flash-brewing does just that.
how to flash brew:
weigh the fb cacao, weigh ice cubes, and weigh the water you'll be heating.
our ratio is 4 oz of cacao to 8 oz of ice and 8 oz of hot water.
we use a french press, somedays a chemex, other days we plunk the fb cacao into a mason jar. heat water in a kettle to just below boiling (200-206-ish). while it's heating fill a glass/glasses, or a heat-proof pitcher with ice. Once the water is just before boiling point, pour it over the cocoa then pour the cocoa brew immediately over the ice. yes, there will be a few nibs, but they'll sink through the ice to the bottom. feel free to use a sieve to capture the cocoa as you pour.
in a chemex: place the ice in the bottom of the chemex, and ready your chemez paper filter (we dampen ours slightly). add the fb cacao, pour in the heated water. It will drip into the ice.
how to rev your bev: add sweetener if you prefer, 1/2 + 1/2, coconut milk, oatly, etc. frappe in a blender with ice, muddle with mint and what-have-you for a mocha mojito. or drink it straight up.
grounds make good garden mulch or can go into the compost. but remember: cacao (like all chocolate) is not dog-friendly.