I love coffee. I kind of need it in the morning. There’s nothing like the first waft of its aroma while it brews in the early morning twilight; that alone is invigorating. Its warmth and caffeine that early, before the rest of the world has even started to hit snooze, untangles all the wires and realigns the circuits in my brain. More than that, though, is the ritual of sitting down with a cup of coffee in a solitary moment, and letting it do its magic; my routine, my Sacrament.
(If you’re looking for a good coffee I just recently tried Peter’s Blend by Porto Rico Importing Co. We received it as a gift a while back and I finally got around to trying it with this. Unbelievable. It’s got the boldness and strength of a very dark roast, but even brewed hot, it’s got the smoothness of one of those lighter roasts. I am NOT affiliated with them in any way, they are NOT paying or compensating me for this in any way. It’s just so good that I had to share.)
Afternoon coffee is strictly for caffeinating purposes. That lull hits and there’s nothing else that can be done. But being that it’s summer, and right now we’re in the middle of a 90-something degree wave, the idea of drinking a piping hot cup of coffee even from within the security of frigidly air-conditioned room lacks a certain appeal. But, as for most problems, there is a solution: cold brewed coffee.
Actually, to be more accurate, the “solution” (as referred to within this post as “cold brewed coffee”) actually solves multiple problems. The flavor is stronger tasting, with more nuances and far less acidity that the usual hot-brew method. It’s smoother and less bitter, too; lovers of the dark brew will love it, and even non-coffee drinkers can enjoy it. Because it lacks some of that harsh bitterness and acidity, less sugar and cream is needed to balance it, and if you take your coffee black—oh man. With cold brewed coffee stashed in your fridge you can have iced coffee at the drop of a hat. Some days I have the wherewithal to brew a little extra in the morning so it has time to cool enough that it won’t melt the ice and get watered down—some days. In a sealed container, it’ll keep good for at least a week in the fridge (notice that I didn’t say “last”… totally different story). Best of all, it can be reheated for your hot cup of morning coffee, too; just pour into a mug, mix in your cream and sugar, and nuke in the microwave for 30-60 seconds. This is particularly comforting for someone like me; someone who bought a one-cup coffee maker solely out of not wanting to have to fill the traditional drip with water, change the filter, and add the grounds every morning (or evening). This is also the same someone who, despite my self-spoiled convenience, still gets impatient waiting for the one-cup machine to heat up… but I digress.
The cold brew method does take a more time, but you’re inactive throughout the bulk of the process. The beans need to be very coarsely ground, then mixed with water in pitcher. Cover and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours, after which time it’s poured through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, then through a sieve lined with damp paper towel (to make sure every bit of grit is caught). That’s it. Simple as that.
(make sure to grind it coarsely, a bit like you would a French press. Don’t get too hung up on there being larger chunks in there, either. It’ll be fine)
I like to add a few bruised green cardamom pods to the grounds while they “brew”, but it’s optional. You could always throw in a vanilla pod that you’ve pierced a little, a large strip of orange peel, a fragment of a cinnamon stick, or even your favorite pumpkin spice blends for your own homemade, uber trendy latte (is that still trendy?). I like my cold brewed coffee poured over ice, sweetened with a touch of simple syrup, and mixed with a little cream or half and half. It’s unbelievably smooth. My only regret was not saving a little for coffee ice cream, a mocha dessert sauce, some creamy coffee Popsicles… can you imagine using some in a red eye gravy for a thick slab of griddled and blistered ham?! No matter, though; there’s always the next batch (a.k.a tomorrow).
And for more caffeinated ramblings you can always follow me on BLOGLOVIN’!