I was in Irvine recently for a family vacation, and one of the places I looked forward to going to the most was 85°C, a cafe and bakery chain from Taiwan. Their most popular drink is probably the sea salt coffee, an iced coffee drink with cream and a pinch of sea salt for that salty-sweet flavor dimension.
Since I had some extra cream from making the mango passion caramels, I decided to try to recreate the sea salt coffee at home using cold brew coffee. Instead of making a simple syrup in order to sweeten the iced coffee, I just added brown sugar to the ground coffee like I do for the magical cold brew coffee. The sugar naturally dissolves all on its own during the overnight cold brew process.
For extra funsies, I topped the drink with some Hawaiian black lava sea salt, but you can use regular sea salt or skip that step if you like. I particularly liked how it looked once I started swirling it around.
Sea Salt Cold Brew Coffee
makes 3-4 drinks
1/2 cup coffee beans, ground
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for garnishing if desired
Combine the ground coffee with the brown sugar in a 2-cup French press or measuring cup. Add enough cold, filtered water to reach the 2 cup line. Stir to make sure all the coffee grounds get wet. Let sit a few minutes and then stir one more time to disperse all the coffee grounds that have floated to the top. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature.
The next day, press and/or filter the cold brew coffee. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
Whip together the heavy cream and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt until the cream has thickened but before it reaches soft peaks.
Add 3-4 ice cubes to each glass and fill with coffee, leaving at least a half inch of space on top.
Spoon the cream on top and garnish with additional sea salt, if desired. Serve with a straw and stir to combine the coffee and cream layers.
The next time I make coconut whipped cream, I might try to see if it would work well as a replacement for the heavy cream here.