Let’s get this out of the way: I LOVE coffee. Seriously. I do! I will not pass up coffee. There’s something soothing and calming about holding a cup between both hands and feeling the warmth of this simple beverage. No matter where or when, there’s always time for a cup of coffee.
OK now that’s out of the way, coffee is available in so many ways that it would take a separate post to simply list them all. Don’t worry there are no plans to do that! 🙂 But I would like to tell you about cold brew coffee. This isn’t a new idea or process by any means, but it’s gained popularity recently.
When I went to Coffee Fest in Chicago in June I learned about cold brew coffee, its benefits and the process for making it. It’s taken me a little bit of research and time to finally come around and brew up this cold concoction, but it’s actually very easy. It takes a little patience and a few extra coffee filters, but if you are a coffee lover I promise it will be worth the wait.
Here’s what you need:
• Coarse coffee grounds (some directions will tell you to use coarse freshly roasted grounds. Um, yeah, OK , I will get right to roasting up my batch of organically certified, free trade coffee beans I harvested yesterday. Really? No. That’s not necessary. I’ve brewed up three batches before posting this and for each batch I used: 1, freshly ground French roasted coffee; 2, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee from Sam’s; and 3, Folgers regular roast using a French press. The difference? None! The result was the same. It’s the process that’s important. Use what you like and what is suited to your taste preferences.
• An extra coffee pot, a tea jug, or something you don’t mind getting dirty with coffee grounds.
• water, preferably room temperature, but not required.
• several coffee filters.
Here’s what you do:
• I took the same amount of coffee grounds and water I’d use to make a pot of coffee and combined the two in a container.
• Stir to mix well.
• Let it sit for 24 hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally if you like. (I did it both ways and again no difference in taste.) Allow it to sit long enough to soak up the richness and flavor of the coffee.
• After 24 hours you will need to separate the grounds from the water. The best way to do this is to use your coffee maker. It’s your friend in this case. (I’d hope it’s your friend anyway, but if not, that’s OK.) Place a coffee filter in the drip cup (like you were making a normal pot of pure joy). Pour the coffee/water combo slowly into the drip cup. The water will drip into your pot and the filter will catch the grounds. (On a side note: if your coffee maker has a stopper — so you can pour a cup before the pot is finished and not make a mess — make sure the pot is properly in place to allow the water into the pot.) You are done!
You can add milk, creamer or whatever you like to enjoy your cold brew coffee. I encourage you to try different things. Me? I added ice, milk, and a little bit of Splenda and I loved it!
The appeal of cold brew coffee is that it’s a smoother version of the normal everyday cup of coffee. It’s less acidic, so if you have indigestion issues this may be a great option. It really is quite smooth. Remember, though, this is a concentrate so it will be strong. If you add milk to your coffee (like I do) I would use a one-to-one ratio. Half a cup of cold brew to a half of a cup of milk. Cream? I’m not sure. I’d say pour a little bit and taste and repeat until you’ve reached your desired taste.
If you decide to make your cold brew I’d love to hear your opinions and what you thought. I shared my batches with several co-workers who were pleasantly surprised with its taste. Let me know what you think or how you take your cold brew coffee!