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How To Make a Kicked-Up Colombian Tinto

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Experience the coffee culture hype of Colombia with a Colombian tinto, the most popular way to serve coffee in Colombia. Old and young alike, Colombians enjoy tintos every day—any time of the day. It’s totally normal to find people enjoying their java even into the evening. If there’s a reason to socialize, tinto is part of the moment.

Why do Colombians call their coffee tinto? Some suggest that long ago those who couldn’t afford “vino tinto” (red wine) would have to settle for tinto coffee instead—an option that offered a warm, red color but was much less expensive. Whether that story is true or not, literally speaking, “tinto” in Spanish compares black coffee to ink. It’s the most common preparation of coffee you’ll find in Colombia.

Coffee culture owes so much to Colombia—its largest export being bold brews, which are also a necessity for Colombians. With so much of their coffee production being exported for world markets, Colombians have perfected making a bold, delicious cup of coffee no matter what grade beans are left available. It’s all about the preparation—and that’s where the tinto comes in.

What Is a Traditional Colombian Tinto?

You will only need water, a pot and whatever coffee you have lying around (need some? we know a guy...). Those few items make tinto super-accessible and also quite delicious.

The Coffee

Colombians make tinto available to everyone. Since it’s all about the preparation, a bold, quality cup of coffee can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter their economic status.

The Water

A traditional Colombian tinto is a 4- to 10-ounce cup of black coffee. The number of ounces actually depends on the region of Colombia you’re in.

The Pot and Filter

The traditional brewing method is what we call the pour over method, so you’ll need a pot for the brewing process. In Colombia, they use an iron pitcher called an olleta. The olleta makes this easier to do without a filter, but the tinto can also be made by pouring the water over coffee grounds in a cloth filter called a colador.

The Pour Over Brewing Method

The pour over brewing method is what makes the coffee smooth. Typically, tintos are made by pouring two cups of water into the pot and bringing it to a boil. Adding a heaping amount of coffee grounds to the boiling water will encourage the grounds to sink to the bottom of the pot for maximum flavor. When trying to achieve a smoother texture, Colombians use a spoon to skim off any remaining coffee froth floating on the surface. Once the grounds have sunk to the bottom (with a little help), you can carefully pour a serving of coffee out.

Pro Tip:

  • Cinnamon, clove, panela (thick, unrefined brown sugar) and other spices can be added to the coffee to enhance the tinto flavor.

How Do You Make a Kicked-Up Colombian Tinto?

If you crave the Colombian experience but want to (smartly) by-pass all of the tricks needed to make it a tasty, caffeinated mug of bold brew, then start AND finish with our Colombian blend. Since it’s the brewing process that makes a tinto a smooth drinking experience, if you know how to make pour over coffee, then there‘s not much of a difference when making a tinto.

So get inspired and experience the deep, rich flavor of Kicked-Up Colombian Tinto by following a few easy steps:

Kicked-Up Colombian Tinto

You will need quality water, our Death Wish Coffee Colombian Blend and a pot. You can brew the coffee anyway you like, but to create a more authentic Colombian tinto experience, use a Chemex for the perfect pour over method. Here’s how:

  1. Use clean, filtered water—but not distilled—if possible. Don’t use tap water.

  2. Get your water hot, just off the boil to between 195-208 F. You’ll want it to reach a higher temp for medium-to-light roasts and about 10 degrees lower for dark roasts.

  3. If you’re using the authentic Colombian method, then pour the water over the colador, the cloth filter, into your pot (or mug). If you’re modernizing your process, then use a filter—but wet it first by pouring some water through it.

  4. Use freshly ground Colombian blend every time right before you brew. The rolling boil and heavy scoop of coffee are used to get maximum flavor. Remember that you can alter the taste to your tastebud specs by changing the grind vs. changing the amount of coffee.

  5. Be sure to WET the grounds. To do it right, grab a timer. Before you fully brew, you’ll need to bloom, the phase when coffee lets off gas trapped when it’s roasted. If it’s done right, you’ll see bubbles at the surface.

  6. Pour slowly and patiently. Extract the most flavor for a clean, fresh and rich taste. Then enjoy!

Colombian coffee’s popularity can be seen all over the world. Now you can reach peak performance with our kicked-up Colombian blend, made with smooth arabica beans from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains of Colombia and naturally high-caffeine Indian robusta beans. From morning routines to afternoon pick-me-ups, this bold brew always has your back, with double the strength and notes of toasted almonds and ripe plums.

[Featured Image Source: Jan Kronies via Unsplash]