Warm weather practically begs for a good cold brew coffee. And this pick-me-up is less bitter than a traditional brew – perfect for some slow sipping on your porch – or even at your desk.
Coffee makes the world go round. Don’t believe me? Take the coffee away from your workplace and see what happens. I feel confident I will not hear the results from anyone, because they will not survive it. I know I NEED it to kick start me into being a functional human being, but sometimes a piping hot cup is just NOT what the doctor ordered. Because this is Houston. And Houston laughs at the notion of “mild” summer weather. And you know how some places cool off at night? Hahahahaha. Must be nice. Here, yes, the temperature will go down, but it tags in rising humidity so that the heat index at 4:30 am is still 92 degrees. It’s a little sweaty. Behold the glory of cold brew coffee!
Now sure, you can make coffee through the conventional route and pour it over ice. But then you end up with watered down coffee that just reminds you how oppressively hot it is outside. So maybe you have the presence of mind to plan ahead (clearly you managed to get a cup of joe) and save some coffee in the fridge for the next day. That’ll work, but it’ll be awfully bitter and acidic. That’s why we recommend the cold brew method. Because it uses time rather than heat to get a full extraction of the essential oils from the coffee beans, it avoids a chemical reaction that gives some coffee its bitter characteristic. I’m no chemist, so I can’t explain the specifics, but having experimented with various methods, I really do think that you get a sweeter product at the end of the day.
This recipe really lends itself to personal preference. Our ratios are just a starting point. You have two opportunities to personalize this recipe: first, you mix coffee grounds and water to make a coffee concentrate that you keep in your fridge, and then you dilute that concentrate to make your drink. You can increase or decrease the concentration to your tastes, but we feel that a 3:1 water-to-coffee ratio for the concentrate, and a 1:1 concentrate-to-water ratio for your drink gives you a tasty, flavorful beverage. Check out the recipe below for full directions. And if you really want to go the extra mile, once you’ve discovered your preferred mix, freeze some of it into ice cubes, and use that to cool your drink. Then as they melt, you just get more coffee, instead of water.
Summer is coming readers, so take the respite to find your formula for cold brew coffee, and face the sweltering days with the ice-cold swagger of the hyper caffeinated!
- 1 cup coffee grounds, medium grind
- 3 cups water, filtered if your tap water tastes funny
- Fine mesh sieve
- Coffee filters or a similarly fine mesh material like a nut milk bag
- Grind your coffee to a medium grind. You want something like coarse sand.
- In a 1 quart container, mix the coffee with water thoroughly. Let sit for 12-16 hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Strain the mixture through the fine mesh sieve to collect most of the grounds. Let it sit for around 5 minutes to allow grounds to drain fully.
- Pass the concentrate through a coffee filter or fine mesh bag to collect the remainder of the grounds.
- Keep the concentrate in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Mix the concentrate 1:1 with cold water. You can adjust this ratio to your personal taste.
You can add milk and sugar, but cold brew coffee should be less bitter than regular coffee, and sugar will not dissolve as readily.
Looking for more cool drinks to kick-start your morning? Try a Sweet Potato Energy Shake – also with a dash of coffee!
And more fun news! The lovely Maggie at The Supper Guild has posted a short interview with yours trulies – is that the plural of yours truly? Well it’s with both Ross and Liz, in her “Kitchen Compliments” series – we were flattered to be included! The Supper Guild is a terrific resource to help you meal plan, with recipe ideas AND well-designed printables to keep you organized. Head on over and check it out, and learn a bit more about us along the way!