Memorial day marks the “unnofficial” start of summer. And with it, enters a hankering for all things cool and refreshing—lemonade, popsicles, and cold brew coffee.
Why brew cold? Aficianados will tell you for a smooth, nuanced brew, a long soak time in cool water is the way to go. Hot water releases the delicious aromas and flavors in the bean but it can also draw out the bitterness and acidity tucked in there. Coffee brewed in room-temperature water doesn’t get the same shock, so (i.e. exposure is limited) so the subtler flavors have a chance to bloom.
Convinced? It’s easy to buy cold-brew at the local coffee shop but even simpler to brew at home. You don’t need anything fancy; a mason jar or a glass bowl, even a French Press if you’ve got it, to hold the grinds and water. Grind, add water, stir, 12-24 hours and filter. Taste the sweet brew—you might be convinced cold brew is better.
And better for your body—less stomach upsets from coffee’s acidity and possibly less calories consumed from extra sweeteners and cream—many coffee drinkers find cold brew’s so flavorful it doesn’t need extras.
A good ratio for several cups of cold-brew concentrate is 12 ounces of ground coffee to 7 cups of water. Here’s a recipe perfect for two servings, adapted from Smitten Kitchen and America’s Test Kitchen.
Drink up! Don’t forget to dilute it with 1 part coffee to 1 part hot/cold water!
Cold Brew Coffee – Makes 2 servings
Tip: Use good quality coffee beans. Light or medium roast beans are preferred to dark, which taste more like the bean and less like the roast. Avoid flavored coffee. Use a fine or coarse medium grind. America’s Test Kitchen claims finer particles release more flavor, so experiment to find what works best.
1/3 cup ground coffee, fine or medium grind
1 ½ cups room-temperature water, filtered or previously boiled and cooled (bad flavors in your water will affect the brew will affect the taste, but if the tap water tastes good, ok to skip filtering)
1. If using whole beans, grind your coffee to preferred grind. (A fine grind resembles breadcrumbs.)
2. Put 1/3 c coffee into a glass container. Pour in 1 1/2 c room temperature water. Stir together.
3. After 10 minutes, stir the raft of grinds back into the coffee to maximize contact with the water
4. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit on the counter 12-24 hours. Press down grinds and/or filter through a cheese-clothed or coffee filter lined strainer, set over a large measuring cup. Dilute 1:1 with cold or hot water and enjoy!
Adapted from What’s Cooking America
Easy to make and ideal for sweetening cold drinks, like iced coffee.
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
Combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then bring heat to low and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. The longer the boil, the thicker the syrup. There should be no sugar crystals on the spoon. If there are, boil longer. Watch it carefully.
Remove from the heat, let cool completely. Store in glass jar, can be refrigerated up to 1 month.
Coconut Oil Coffee Creamer
Adapted from Wellness Mama
A natural alternative to processed creamers, with an energy boost and the health benefits of coconut oil. Blending emulsifies the fats into latte-like frothiness so don’t skip it!
1 cup coffee
A few teaspoons to 2 tablespoons coconut oil, to taste
1 teaspoon unsalted butter (no substitutions)
¼ tsp vanilla or almond extract (optional)
1. Pour coffee, coconut oil, butter and optional extract into a blender, food processor, or, if you have it, a measuring glass that will fit a stick blender. Blend on high speed for about 20 seconds, until frothy Drink immediately and enjoy!