I just spent $3.00 for a big iced coffee. It is not exorbitantly expensive, but probably ten times what it would cost to make for myself. Now that hot weather has invaded my life I could not be less interested in steaming cups of java. Today’s iced drink reminded me that I need to pull out a big jar and grind some coffee. My favorite caffeine boost in the summer is cold brewed coffee. It is easy and delicious and does not require a coffee maker (which we are lacking right now). I like mine with a little cinnamon and cream. Big D tasted this batch – I have made many but he never before partook. As is my opinion, he thought the cold brew made for an extremely smooth, strong finished result. He usually likes triple shot espresso concoctions called sludge or the like, so I was surprised that he liked my little cold brew. I use dark roasted coffee (not French Roast – yuck) and there is no bitterness. Just deep, toasty flavors that only weaken slightly as the ice melts. Of course, there are endless possibilities when it comes to doctoring up the final product with spices and creams and sweeteners. Deep in the summer I lean towards just a splash of cream, then as fall nears I go heavier on the cinnamon and nutmeg, before I finally turn to hot coffee as the summer wind is replaced with cool breezes. I first learned about cold brewing long ago from my old friend Brian, then was reminded of it again years later by the guys over at The Bitten Word. I tweaked it a little since first making it for myself, but their version is wonderful.
Cold Brewed Coffee
1 cup dark roasted coffee, coarsely ground
4 cups cold water
Optional flavors for serving:
Half and half
In a quart sized jar* with screw lid add water and coffee. Screw lid on tightly and shake. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours. Leaving it for more than a day will not hurt it. Strain liquid into another jar or bowl, through a sieve with coffee filter lining it. Rinse jar and return coffee to it. Store in refrigerator. To serve, fill your serving cup about ½ way with coffee and add ice until glass is filled. If the coffee is too strong for you add a bit of water. If you like, stir into the coffee about 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream, a dash of cinnamon and any sweetener or other spices – the way I like it – or have it straight, which is delicious, too!
*Before my french press broke I would use it for the brewing and straining. It is a smaller volume, but makes for a faster process. The proportions are different, but I try to do 4:1 water to coffee, and it works out the same as using a jar and slightly clumsy process of straining with sieve and filter. When you put it in the fridge leave the plunger up, then before serving gently press it down to filter the coffee.