Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Is it hot by you? Because it is en fuego down here in Georgia. I started craving icy cold coffee in the morning and decided it was time to make a huge batch. The best thing about this recipe is that is makes a TON of coffee that lasts for at least one month in the fridge. Cold-brewing results in very low-acid coffee; the lack of exposure to heat is what keeps the acidity from developing. This method also keeps the natural caffeine from breaking down, resulting in the nickname "jet fuel." Don't drink it at night if you are caffeine-sensitive, is what I'm saying! But it will jump start you in the morning for sure. So let's review--easy to make a ton of it that keeps on hand for a long time, icy delicious in the summertime, and wakes you the eff UP. What's not to love?You basically just soak 1 pound of ground coffee in 8 quarts of water for 8 hours. I just gave you the recipe. That is literally all there is to it. OK, maybe something about type of coffee...honestly, I'm not sure it matters too much. The first time I used a medium roast Breakfast Blend, ground for drip coffee makers. It was from Your DeKalb Farmers Market and it worked great. This most recent time, I used a Trader Joes brand--it wasn't as strong but it's still delicious.You'll need a really big container (or two fairly large ones and just divide it up between them). I poured 8 quarts of water over the pound of grounds at about 10:30 in the morning...and then just went about my day until 6:30 pm that night. It won't look very different after 8 hours of soaking. Maybe the grounds are a bit more swollen.Then here's the only hard part. You need to pour it through 2 layers of cheesecloth that are over a fine-wire mesh strainer into a clean container, in order to get all the grounds out.It might be a little messy so strain it over the sink, if you can.And it leaves a lot of coffee grounds behind! Just throw them out and keep pouring through until it is all strained out.I keep mine in a big iced tea dispenser in the fridge. It may end up discoloring the plastic though, so perhaps I should try to find a glass one to store it in.To sweeten it I use simple syrup since it dissolves in cold liquid--just combine equal parts water and sugar, boil until all the sugar is dissolved, cool and use. It keeps indefinitely in the fridge so I always have some on hand. I think you could make a great cocktail with this and some Kahlua and cream. And what about a Thai iced coffee? Stir in some cardamom and top it gently with a couple tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. And a plain old iced coffee with vanilla soy milk is pretty awesome too. Enjoy these hot summer days!