Will Pitts' — Irish Coffee Recipeby Michael Cleland
How to make the (UK's best) Irish Coffee with 2020 Coffee In Good Spirits Champion: Will Pitts
Will Pitts is sat in lockdown itching to get back to building his new cafe in Margate called Forts. While lockdown is probably quite dull in most houses you can imagine it being pretty entertaining in Will's given the plethora of gustatory delights this guy carriers around in his recipe book.
WIll's mastery of coffee related brewing is well known having placed 3rd (2018) and 2nd (2017) in UKBC, won UK Latte Art (2019) and, most recently, won UK Coffee In Good Sprits in 2020.
While we look forward to visiting Forts once it's open and trying all of Will's creations in person, for now, we're all stuck in our kitchens and (if you're reading this on a Friday) thinking about what to drink.
With this in mind, we asked Will if he'd be so kind as to share his winning Irish Coffee recipe and a few thoughts on making things tasty. Read down for the details.
1. What did you learn about coffee from learning about cocktails?
My theme was fermentation, so I learnt a lot about fermentation in general. Spanning across wine, beer, coffee, the lot. I deeply understood what I kinda knew was right
2. Our lives would all be better if we got into drinking…..?
Homemade stuff. I fermented stuff in my kitchen, and it tasted great. Easy stuff like tepache are great. Lactofermented stuff is more intense too! My top mix is a pineapple tepache shandy (equal parts pineapple tepache and cheap lager)
3. What the secret to awesome Irish coffee?
Balance, body and actual flavour notes. There's a lot going on in an Irish coffee, so you need to brew your coffee with a big body that can pull through cream and whisky. I built my Irish around the coffee, but you could certainly find a whisky and build it around that
4. And finally - whats was your winning recipe in 2020 CIGS?
Will Pitts' Irish Coffee
- You need the body and flavour of a natural to balance and be able to taste abasing the whisky.
- 12yr. Aged in bourbon barrels and then old Oloroso oak giving a dried fruit sweetness that links really well with the notes in the coffee.
- Aged super hoppy IPA casks and gives the drink some complexity and florality to lift it a little
- Demerara compliments the dried fruit sweetness while the honey adds florality.
- You want to brew with enough body for the coffee to pull through all the other stuff going on. I use the Espropress because you can do full immersion without getting many fines (other immersion methods also work)
5. Top the drinks with the cream. Pour very slowly or over a spoon to keep the separation.