Summertime coffee

July 31, 2015

Straining cold-brewed coffee this morning.

Straining cold-brewed coffee this morning.

I’m on-again, off-again these days with coffee (surprisingly enough, for those who knew me when I knocked the stuff back steadily from 6 a.m. until midafternoon, the stronger the better).

Particularly, in the summertime, I just don’t drink as much coffee, especially at home. But as I’ve been doing my best to cut back on diet soft drinks, possibly my biggest vice, I find myself needing another source of caffeine. So when I saw a technique for iced coffee that looked easy enough, I figured I’d try it.

It’s simplicity itself. Use 1/3 cup ground coffee (for me, that’s about one full grinder’s worth, but you can use pre-ground if that’s what you have). Dump it over in a plastic or glass quart container with a leak-proof top. (Note: a large egg drop soup container from the local Chinese carryout place works marvelously well. I’m just sayin’.) Add about two tablespoons of honey. Fill the container with hot tap water, leaving enough room to stir.

Stir the grounds so they are dispersed throughout the water and get fully hydrated. I used a chopstick for this purpose, the same one I use to stir coffee in my French press. Pop the top on and stick it in your refrigerator, where it must sit for at least 8 hours, or overnight, or longer.  Just bear in mind it will get stronger the longer it sits.

The next morning, or when it’s steeped as long as you want it to, strain the coffee. I use my fine mesh strainer lined with a paper towel. Rinse out the container to get rid of all the grounds, then pour the strained coffee back in it.

Fill a glass with ice cubes, put as much coffee as you wish in, and add milk or half-and-half. Enjoy.

This is good stuff. None of the bitter taste coffee can sometimes get. Two tablespoons of honey make it just barely sweet, which is where I want it. I got mine a little too white the first time, and adjusted proportions for the next.

The coffee could stand to be a bit stronger. I think next time, I’ll make it right after dinner, let it sit on the counter until it cools to room temp, and just stick it in the fridge sometime before I go to bed.

You could add chocolate shavings or a dusting of cinnamon if you wished. You could also add other flavoring elements in the cold-brew process (Kahlua or Amaretto, anyone?). Flavored syrups like those used in coffee shops are available in most specialty food stores. Chocolate syrup would not go amiss.

While Kahlua and Amaretto might not be viable options except for a weekend brunch, this cold brew does open up some potential horizons for cocktails. Must ponder on that.

I’m sufficiently caffeinated now that I think I can go about my day. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em give this a try if you need a summer pick-me-up and it’s too hot for coffee.



3 Responses to “Summertime coffee”

  1. Toy Lady Says:

    I just love cold brewed coffee. I don’t even bother to stick it in the fridge – just about 1/2 – 2/3 cup coffee, fill a quart mason jar with cold water, and leave it on the counter until I get around to straining it – usually a day or two. I picked up some beans that are just barely orange-scented (I had them ground there, though – I’m not putting those in my grinder!). But wow, it’s nice. 🙂

  2. cleavelin Says:

    You may need to use more coffee to do this, but cold brewing can also be used to make a coffee concentrate. One then pours the concentrate into your mug to about the 1/3 level, then pour boiled water in to fill the rest of the mug. ISTR it makes a somewhat smoother hot coffee than many other methods.

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