It’s hot everywhere. Iced coffee seems to be the go-to drink among many of us, morning, noon and night! It’s decadent (very much so depending on the time of day) and it’s uplifting. Let’s not forget it is caffeinated (by choice). Having worked as a barrista, I’ve known about cold brewing for several years, but, only just tried it at home. After researching, I found the most economical method and gave it a try.
It is not at all complicated, however, be careful, as it can be messy.
8 oz. good coffee grounds
1 gallon water
You will need a gallon container or extra large pitcher. Preferably 2 – one for bewing and one as a decanter in the frig.
A large strainer.
I used a floursack dish towel. Note – if you used fabric softener, be sure and hand wash it and rinse well to get any scent off of the towel.
I weighed the grounds to be precise and poured them into the container. Add water to cover the grounds and give a slow stir to be sure the grounds are completely saturated with water.
Allow this the brew on the counter for 12 to 24 hours. I let mine stand for 24 hours. Place the floursack over the strainer and pour the brewed coffee over this. Be carefull not to overflow the strainer. And you will have to stir the grounds to keep the coffee flowing through, as they get stuck on the bottom of the cloth preventing the ease of the flow.
This is a coffee concentrate; far richer than the hot brewing system. I added ice and half and half to dilute mine and it was still very rich and smooth tasting. The acidity is far lower, around 65% lower than hot brewing. After 2 large cups, I have not had any shaky feelings I normally get from coffee.
Sugar – if that’s what you use – does not melt easily into cold drinks. The most efficient solution is to make a simple syrup of 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, cook in a saucepan until dissolved and add to your coffee, as you like it. Keep this in the frig, it lasts for a few months. The syrup can, also, be flavored with a teaspoon of vanilla extract, or any extract your heart desires. For an even more decadent flavored iced coffee – add a couple of teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk. I use sweetened condensed milk in my tea, quite often, and it’s just simply amazing – it’s amazing just with a spoon in front of the frig. Adding to coffee, well…you get the picture. Add chocolate syrup and instant iced mocha.
I’m thinking this amount of coffee, concentrated should last me about 2 or 3 weeks. It will stay fresh for 3 to 4 weeks in the frig. Now, as far as heating up this coffee as a replacement for my morning wake-up, I am not so sure about. Why? Because that hot cup of coffee (and once in a while, hot tea) is part of my morning ritual; the aroma, the gurgling sound of the coffee maker and having my cup with me as I get ready in the morning – are all something I look forward to when I hear my alarm go off and open my eyes everyday. However, I will now make less in the morning – probably one large cup. My iced coffee will definitely become my new afternoon thing!
Cold brewing is extremely efficient and economical for coffee drinkers. The strength and flavor of the coffee far surpasses hot brewing – and just might become a sweet summer obsession!!
Note: Coffee is one of my concessions and not included in my weekly budget.