July 27, 2009
People! This is so unbelievably easy and delicious, you must make it NOW. No, seriously, because when you do, you will take one sip and promptly kick yourself for not trying it sooner.
Cold-brew iced coffee is a world of difference from throwing some ice cubes into formerly hot, regularly-brewed coffee. The long “brewing” process extracts all the levels of flavor from your coffee but leaves out a good deal of bitterness. I recommend springing for a pound of “nice” coffee beans when making cold-brew, as the complexity will really shine through.
Plus—added broken economy bonus!—it is so much cheaper to make iced coffee at home than to buy it at your friendly neighborhood coffee-pusher. Even if you spend $10-12 on your pound of beans, that pound will generate at least 2 dozen servings of iced coffee before you’re through. Fifty cents a cup? So save some money and liven up your morning…I’m telling you, there is nothing better for the Friday morning commute than a tall travel-mug full of cold, caffeinated deliciousness.
COLD-BREW ICED COFFEE
This recipe produces a concentrate, meaning that the finished product is designed to be diluted with water and/or ice before milk, cream, sweetener, are added. I, for example, like mine mixed with creamy vanilla soy milk & a little sweetener.
That being said, if you are a caffeine junkie like, ahem, someone I live with, dilution may not be necessary.
4 cups water (use bottled or filtered if you want extra-good stuff)
2/3 cup ground coffee
(don’t buy pre-ground; either grind at home to a medium/coarse grind or request a barista to do the same)
Combine the two ingredients—I like to use a large liquid measuring cup or something similar, with a spout, to make pouring the next day easier. You’ll want to use a spoon or spatula to stir in the grounds; it’s a little messy, but don’t worry, this is not an exact science.
Cover the mixture with a plate or plastic wrap and let sit on room temperature overnight (or for a good long while). If you have a French press, use it as you would for hot coffee. If not, line the opening of a wide-mouth jar with a coffee filter and pour through. You may need to repeat once or twice to remove all of the grounds.
Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Keeps for…well, I don’t know how long, because in my house, it’s always gone in a week!