Coffee for 30 people (off the grid)

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by jpofsiny, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. jpofsiny

    jpofsiny

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    Hello,

    I am cooking for a group of 30 people where the kitchen cannot use any electric appliances that have heating elements as the electricity is generated for photovoltaic (solar) panels and the way a heating element works does not match well with solar in this case.

    Can anyone suggest a good (low cost) solution to prepare coffee for 30 people on a daily basis?

    There is a gas stove and oven available.

    Thank you for any and all perspectives.  It is appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    JP
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Army style  boil 6 qts water put coffee in chinoise with cheesecloth, pou boiling water over groundsin large pot. mix once disgard drounds. and keep hot on gas stove. Or you can tie grounds in apron and make a large tea bag and let steep in boiling water.
     
  3. jpofsiny

    jpofsiny

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    Thanks so much chefedb for your time.  This sounds doable and affordable. I understand what supplies I need:

    chinoise (fine)

    cheesecloth

    ground coffee

    now technique:

    boil 6 QT water

    add ground coffee to chinoise lined with cheesecloth

    pour water over/thru chnoise/coffee

    here I have a question: what/where am I mixing exactly before I discard the coffee grounds?  can you please explain this?

    also, if I was doing the apron technique, you let it steep because of the cheesecloth being so less porous than the chinoise/cheesecloth?  Seems like this would be much longer infusion than just pouring it through the chinoise.

    I sincerely appreciate the help,

    JP
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    You can do "drip" in several large brewers, with water heated on the stove.  Similarly, you could make a "cold brew" base, such as "Toddy" and add hot water.  Or, buy several large French press pots.  One of those methods or some combination of them is probably best. 

    They way you'd use cold brew is to brew a base concentrate, and store in the fridge until wanted.  Once you've got the base, it's no more trouble than making instant; just dilute with hot (or iced) water, at a ratio of 2 or 3 water to each part base.   Cold brew is a lot better than instant, and truly awesome for iced coffee (good for cooking too).  A commercial sized "Toddy" runs around $90 and makes enough base at one time for around 8 gallons (128 8oz mugs) of regular strength coffee.  Each max batch takes around 5 lbs of grounds.  You'd probably brew two batches per week. 

    Vac Pots are great, but they're expensive. 

    "Army" or "Campfire" coffee -- brewing loose then straining though cheesecloth -- might be fun when you go camping, but it's wretched compared to even inexpensive but OK instant coffee like Nescafe Classico. 

    Using cheesecloth for a drip filter is not a good idea.  Too loose, Lautrec.   If you're going filter pour-over or drip, get a bunch of Chemexes or Hario Woodnecks or something.  I vote Chemex because your situation sounds so sixties.  A "10 cup" (50 oz) Chemex is around $40.  If they were all you were using, you'd want at least four.

    A 10 cup "family size" propane burning brewer runs around $100.  I think there are also small commercial size (about right for you), propane fired coffee makers.   Probably expensive, and I don't know who makes them.    

    No matter what method you choose, use good beans, store them correctly, grind the right size, and don't grind until just before using. 

    Hope this helps,

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  5. chefedb

    chefedb

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    My error mixing defined by me means the first coffee that comes thru will be the stringest the same as in an electric drip pot home so you want to mix all the liquid dripped  coffee together to get an equal blend throughout.  With apron technique water is not coming into direct contact with grounds where  other drip method is.  I have used this method as have many others before me to make hundreds of cups IT WORKS. Instant coffee tast like instant coffee with a slightly metallic taste .(I for one refuse to drink  instant of  any kind)  Its your choice. I am not 'brewing loose or pouring wter over grounds then straining, I am in essense using same drip technique you use in a Mr.Coffee. grounds go in cheesecloth lined chinoise water poured over.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  6. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    i think i too woud brew it in a pot on the stove, then dump it in a self contained sterno coffee urn to keep it hot for duration of service. cost to make, cheap, cost to keep at temp, very cheap. And I THINK these urns brew, but it takes a lot longer.
     
  7. jpofsiny

    jpofsiny

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    Thank you all so much for your input.I think I'm going to try the method that you suggested chefedb.One question about the chinoise method - is the chinoise itself necessary? I have other large funnels and collanders and sieves on hand already and this budget is TIGHT - $40 for a chinoise if I don't need to buy it helps!If we need it, we need it though! Totally worth it if it's necessary.Thanks again!
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    You can use any type large strainer. Just make sure you use cheesecloth and before you use rinse the cheeecloth in water to remove any starch if any.
     
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I wonder why no one sells cheesecloth liners for coffee makers. 

    BDL
     
  10. antuco

    antuco

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    You Know what you can use ,you can use the cones filters to clean and filter the oil from fryers also ,use it with a china cap and pour the water over ,good luck