Trying to Be Trendy: Brewed Awakening
Well, here I am trying yet another foodie trend: cold brew coffee. When I was a young’un (cue nostalgic music) cold coffee was tossed out. Right into the iris bed by the kitchen door! Maybe you’d save a half cup or so for a coffee cake but you sure didn’t drink that nasty, bitter, sour, dark liquid disappointment. We liked our coffee hot, we did (music fades out).
That is what The World used to think. As with many other concepts, the twenty-first century has seen a shift in ideas about making and keeping coffee hot. Evidently, if you brew the coffee with cold water in the first place, it is actually less bitter and sour than if you brew in hot water. At least, that is what they say on the cold brew coffee websites.
The process for making cold coffee on purpose is very easy and does not require any special equipment. All that is needed is coarse- ground coffee, water, a vessel to hold the coffee and water, a refrigerator, a way to strain the coffee out of the water, and 10-18 hours of time. Here goes nothing…
The night before, I gathered all the necessary equipment. I am using a French press coffee maker, since I have one. This will streamline the filtering process. You can use any jar, pitcher, or canister you have, though. As long as it holds about four cups (one litre) of liquid and fits in your refrigerator, it should be fine. At least, that is what they say on the cold brew coffee websites.
I mixed three-quarters cup of coffee and four cups of water, using a long spoon to make sure all the grounds got wet. The exact ratio of coffee to water varies depending on which recipe you look at, but this seems to be the average recommendation. That is all the work that you have to do. The trickiest part for me was figuring out how to cover the French press. It took me ten seconds to unscrew the filter assembly from the lid. The rest is just a matter of time in the ‘fridge.
The next morning, I re-assembled the filter assembly on the French press and strained the coffee. If you are using a regular jar or pitcher you can use any fine-mesh strainer, cheese cloth, paper coffee filter, or clean dish towel to remove the coffee grounds. An important thing to remember is that cold brew formulas generally produce an extra strong brew to account for adding ice cubes. I like my coffee strong, so I poured a cup full-strength. (I poured through a tea filter to make sure I got all the grit out. ) The extra went into a jar to meet future caffeine needs.
Mr. Food It Yourself and I agree that is a damn fine cup of coffee! I heated mine up in the microwave, since the morning was a little too chilly for iced coffee, in my opinion. It was very smooth, and as promised, lacked any bitter notes. Will cold-brewing become my go-to coffee making method? Probably not all year. During July and August heat waves, yes, I most likely will employ the cold brew method. Also, I will never, ever buy cold brew concentrate. Have you priced that stuff? Not worth it, given how easy it is to make, and you can make it with your very favorite coffee beans and absolutely no special equipment.
Attitudes about food change over time, and that is a good thing! I certainly have a new apprciation for cold coffee, thanks to the cold brew method. What foods you previously disliked have you later learned to enjoy? On the other hand, what foods did you previously like and now do not care for? Share in the comments.