Monday, August 21, 2017

Orange is the New Black - Function Coffee Labs

There was a time a decade or so ago when I considered citrus to be an anathema to coffee. I felt that the two did not mix, like teenage mosh pits and acupuncture. But then about the time I started this blog, I became acquainted with coffees possessing natural citrus flavors, and slowly I understood that citrus not only had a place at the coffee table, but it deserved a seat of honor.

So it is with glee that I share this recipe from Philadelphia's Function Coffee Labs, a sweet myriad of vanilla, citrus-y espresso and orange called Orange is the New Black (shortened henceforth to OisNB). Having little in common with female prison inmates, the OisNB is a cold coffee concoction that will leave your tastebuds swooning with delight. 

A few things should be noted about the recipe:
  • While the original recipe printed below requires a little work to make the components, if you make plenty of the two syrups, you'll have plenty to use later for more OisNBs or for other s (there's nothing like homemade vanilla syrup). Also, if you do not have the time to make the vanilla syrup, you could try substituting with store-bought vanilla extract, but you will need to figure out the exact measurements according to your taste (ie the vanilla syrup below and vanilla extract will not have the same ratios). 
  • If you do not have an espresso machine, you can substitute a concentrated coffee infusion for the espresso. I would recommend either brewing a citrusy coffee double-strength (if you usually use 28 grams of coffee per 16 oz. of water, double the coffee grounds to 56 grams) or use a citrusy cold brew concentrate if you want a more chocolatey flavor. In each case you should probably use somewhere between 2-6 ounces per drink depending on your preference. 
  • While some people prefer dark roasts, this drink will not benefit from oily beans. Instead, look for a light or medium roast with bright, citrus notes. 

All together, experiment and have fun with this one. It would be a crime to pass this one up.

Orange is the New Black (OisNB)

by Function Coffee Labs

A citrusy coffee treat, served over ice. Tastes like an orange creamsicle in coffee form.


180 grams (a little more than 6 oz.) of whole milk

1 double shot of espresso (preferably a blend or single origin that yields a citrusy-tasting extraction. Function Coffee Labs recommends a Colombian or Guatemalan coffee)

3.5 grams of Orange Zest Syrup (instructions to make below), consisting of:

- 2 cups of sugar

- 2 cups of hot water

- 3 oranges

- A zester

- Food processor

- Mesh strainer

20 grams vanilla syrup (instructions to make below), consisting of

- 2 cups of sugar- 2 cups of hot water

- 3 vanilla beans

- A zester 

- Food processor 

- Mesh strainer

Orange Zest Syrup Instructions

Using a zester, take the zest of 3 full oranges. Chop/dice into small pieces.

Put zest in a food processor with 2 cups of sugar, and run it on high for at least one minute.

Let sit 20 minutes, then add 2 cups hot water.

Run food processor on low for a few seconds to dissolve all sugar.

Strain syrup through fine mesh strainer and store in a storage container.


Vanilla Syrup Instructions

Slice 3 vanilla beans down the center.

Scrape black paste into food processor.

Add 2 cups sugar and run on high for at least one minute.

Let sit 20 minutes, then add 2 cups hot water.

Run food processor on low for a few seconds to dissolve sugar.

Strain through fine mesh strainer into a storage container.

Add used vanilla beans back into your storage/serving container, mostly for show but perhaps also to allow more vanilla flavor to seep into the syrup.


OisNB Drink Instructions

Fill 16oz cup halfway with ice.

Add the milk and syrups.

Pull espresso shot directly into this cup.

Pour the whole thing into a large cocktail shaker, shaking until very cold and frothy.

Pour back into serving cup and enjoy.


Prep time: 20-40 mins

Execution time: 4 mins 

Total time: 24-44 mins

Yield: One 16 oz serving

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