Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Have you tried cold-brew coffee?

I have!

One of my fantasy futures involves owning a coffeeshop / used bookstore, and I've recently become obsessed with all manner of teas and coffees. I love any form of tea, but coffee has taken some getting used to. At this point, I can only drink "frou-frou" coffee; i.e. lattes and mochas with lots of syrup and milk. My roommate likes the stuff, but she's recently suffered from some acid reflux and hasn't been drinking coffee much lately.

In my frenzy of coffee and tea research, I was interested to read that cold-brewed coffee has a much lower acidity than the traditionally brewed kind, and that many people with stomach problems have no problems drinking it. So, I decided to give it a whirl.

Most online recipes for cold-brewed coffee use a whole pound of coffee, but since it was my first time I didn't want to waste a whole pound if we didn't like it. I found a good article and recipe from the NY Times for only a few cups, and gave it a whirl!

It's amazingly easy, and takes no time at all to prepare. You just dump some medium-ground coffee into water... and wait. Most sources recommend at least 12 hours of brewing to allow the maximum flavor to develop. Some suggest up to 24 hours! For my small batch, I used 2/3 cup coffee and 3 cups of water.

After the steeping, the straining takes a bit more of a time investment. I used a sieve first, to get out the majority of the coffee-grounds sludge. Then I strained it through a regular coffee filter to remove the leftover silt, which takes a while! I only used one coffee filter for the small batch (3 cups), but I think it would have gone quicker if I had replaced it with a fresh one halfway through.

Here's a picture of all the silt the coffee filter pulled out:

After you've finished straining the coffee, it's ready to drink! Because granulated sugar doesn't dissolve well in cold drinks, I made some sugar syrup to use with my iced coffee (1:1 ratio of sugar and water, boil until dissolved, and cool.). Add some milk or cream and enjoy!

My roommate said it was great and immediately demanded that I make another batch for the next morning. Coming right up! (In 12 hours...)

No comments: