Wednesday, August 27, 2008

cold-brewed iced coffee

cold brewed iced coffee

Since I began working from home, I have no doubt I have saved a ton of money by not buying those yogurt-granola cups and salad bar lunches everyday. What I haven’t saved even a penny on, however, is my iced coffee habit. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

iced coffee, my love

Or better, depending on how you look at it. The first month, I spent a lot of time at Starbucks, yet not because I am addicted to their coffee, but the other unspoken the Opiate of the Freelancing Class: Free wireless. But after a few weeks, the loud and generally awful music (greatly compensated for by playing Hallelujah often, however, they’d play the John Cale version and that’s the wrong one and yes, I have digressed this far) and the fact that even at 9 a.m., the bathrooms smelled like a barn. An overcrowded one.

pouring water

Enter my newly-purchased wireless card, and suddenly I have freedom to work at wonderful coffee shops with from Joe to 9th Street to Grumpy to you-name-it, I’ve been to them all. Fair Trade and Clover-made and Sumatra blended coffees, my habit is spiraling blissfully out of control.

i stuck my nose in this

As you can see, I was long overdue to try what will now be, quite possibly, the most complicated recipe on this site: Cold-brewed iced coffee. I started with the iced coffee blend from Joe’s (about 1/3 Sumatra, 2/3 Vienna roast), coarsely ground, mixed it with water, let it sit at room temperature for about 12 hours, strained it, poured it over ice cubes, added water and cream and proceeded to hop and skip around the apartment. And not just from the caffeine.


Where has this been my whole life? If you are an iced coffee drinker, the difference between cold-brewing it and just letting hot coffee cool off is remarkable. The coffee is less bitter, harbors no acidity and all of those background flavors–chocolate, a dark caramelization and even slight smokiness–come through.


For now on, every time I drink this at home I am putting $2 to $3 in a jar, and perhaps a year from now, we’ll actually be sipping our Sumatra coffee from the Indonesian coast. Hear! Hear!

Coffee, previously: In brownies, espresso-chocolate shortbread and hazelnut truffles.

Cold-Brewed Ice Coffee
From The New York Times

Yield: Two drinks

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)
Milk (optional)

1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.

2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.


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