It’s a phenomenon taking over the world, one tall glass at a time. Right from the world’s most elite roasteries and cafes who have it on tap, to your friendly neighborhood haunt, cold-brewed coffee is becoming very popular. Unlike hot brewed coffee that uses hot water to create the perfect cup, the cold-brew technique uses low temperatures to reduce the bitter tones and acidity that you find in hot coffee. Not to mention that it is extremely versatile. You can have it as it is, cold or hot, with or without milk, and with flavorings added as well. The perfect year-round cooler!
Recently I worked on a very interesting project for the Grandmama’s Cafe restaurants as part of a team. There were four of us, who worked on the complete styling, design and photographing the cold brew coffee menu in collaboration with Dope Coffee. Five types of cold brews were shot in total, and the results are here for you to see.
I like to call myself a creative food director – making food look like art is all in a day’s work for me. Working on food-themed projects right from conceptualization to execution is a crucial part of this. I am proud to have worked on some truly interesting projects like these that allow me to explore my creative side.
My food styling tips for beginners:
- Decide clearly on your composition – What is your layout going to look like? Placement of the product, its backdrop and base format. Research or draw out your composition idea.
- Add textures and layers to your composition.
- Play with color- select a monotone or multi color theme.
- Make your food the hero.
- Select your props wisely – use what’s available in your kitchen or pantry/on site or hire props from a prop studio.
- Balance out your final layout – your eye will tell you if the image is well coordinated and reflects immediate aesthetic appeal.
- Ensure your plates and crockery are clean without any marks.
- Dust out any crumbs or drippings – a neat and clean finish matters under a camera lens.
- Experiment with positioning of your product and lighting angles – don’t be bashful!
- Make sure to follow your client’s brief- being creative is essential but stick to the parameters suggested by your client or product profile. Example – for Grandmama’s Cafe the brief was a multi colored, vibrant, quaint, flowery, vintage look.
A special thank-you to my team members Vicky Maker, Gaurang Thakkar and hellothisisteji for all their artistic and active help with this project, and to Dope Coffee for the cold brew coffee. Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from the shoot.
Here’s a recipe for cold brew coffee for you to try out.
This is a great shot of caffeine with less acid and minus the bitter tones of traditional coffee.
Do let me know how it turns out!
- 150 gm or 1 cup roughly ground coffee beans,of choice
- 1 litre or 4 cups cold filtered waterMakes 4 cups concentrate
- Mix ground coffee and cold water together in a large bowl. Stir briefly to combine. Cover, and refrigerate for at 12-24 hours.
- The coffee beans will release their flavor into the water over the period of this time.
- Remove the bowl, and strain the brew into another bowl using a muslin lined strainer.
- This is the Cold brew concentrate. Store it under refrigeration in a sealed bottle and use as required.
- Serve the coffee over ice, blend in water to dilute the coffee to a strength you prefer.
- This could be at a 1:2 or 1:1 concentrate/water ratio.
- Add sweetener to taste, although I prefer the smooth mellow taste of the cold brew, in its most natural form with no added sugar.