I’m going, to be honest with you, I think coffee sludge sounds disgusting. But apparently, not everyone agrees, because sludge coffee is actually a thing! What even is coffee sludge and is it the same as sludge coffee? Is that like the stuff in your car’s engine or something? It’s all so confusing…
Fear not though, because we’re about to find out together. So grab some sludge coffee (or whatever other kind of coffee you prefer) and read on!
Alaskan Sludge Coffee
If you are from Alaska, you will probably be more than aware of what sludge coffee is, especially if you have been drinking it!
Sludge coffee is actually an Alaskan specialty and many people don’t know what it even is. Also known as “mud” or “sludgies,” it is a combination of brewed coffee with milk that has been heated to create a thick foam on top. It is believed (or perhaps it is folklore), that the drink comes from Homer, Alaska (the southern-most town in the United States) where it was first created by female baristas at Portage Bay Cafe for truckers passing through town.
The main ingredients used when making sludge coffee are water, espresso beans, whole milk, sugar, and sometimes vanilla extract which give the drink its distinctive signature flavor! It’s kind of like drinking frothy hot chocolate.
The sludge coffee mixture is made by combining espresso, hot milk, and sugar into a French press. When the foam rises to the top of the cup it’s ready to be served!
It takes about six minutes for this brew process to complete. The end result is a thick beverage with a rich flavor that can also act as an appetite suppressant. So it’s also great for those looking to lose a few pounds perhaps.
Why does my cup of coffee have sludge at the bottom?
Now that we have established what sludge coffee is we now know that the sludge at the bottom of my mug is not sludge at all. So what is it?
The sludge or grounds that are leftover in your cup after you have finished drinking your coffee comes from the espresso coffee grinds being extracted into the water which creates a very strong concentrate.
The reason it remains at the bottom of your cup is that it’s heavier than water and so it sinks to the bottom.
How do you make coffee sludge?
When you make French press coffee it is somewhat inevitable that you will have sludge or grounds leftover. This is the stuff that sinks to the bottom of your mug as a result of the grinds being too fine. This produces the sediment as it passes through the filter into your cup of Joe.
How do you stop coffee sludge?
You can prevent coffee sludge by using a coarser grind of coffee beans or limiting how long you allow the French press to steep. This will create less sludge in your cup and make for an easier clean-up process.
However, it is believed that a bit of sludge is actually beneficial for your coffee. It is said that the sludge at the bottom of a French press pot will contain some very robust flavors from those grinds and oils which have not been fully extracted during the brew, which in turn can create a more flavorful cup of coffee.
Why does my coffee look like mud?
Many coffee lovers out there have been asking themselves, “why does my coffee look like mud?”
This is a question many of us have asked ourselves at one point or another. The answer to this seemingly simple (but not easily solved) question lies in the type of coffee grounds used and how it is brewed.
The coffee grounds you use to brew your coffee can affect the way it looks and also tastes.
In a nutshell, darker roasted beans are more bitter than lighter ones. So if you’re using dark roast coffee like espresso or french roast for drip-style brewing, then of course it’s going to look and taste very different from light roasts.
The mud-like appearance results from the oils and particles on the coffee beans that have risen to the surface.
This article has been a great chance to explore the difference between the two types of coffee and also how sometimes they can look like mud.
If you’ve never tried Alaskan sludge coffee, maybe it’s time for an adventure in your day-to-day life! I bet that this different type of coffee will provide a new way for you to enjoy your daily fix of caffeine.
Have any interesting stories about when Alaskan Sludge Coffee looked more like what we would call “mud?” Let me know!