Monday, April 13, 2015

Cold brewed iced coffee!

I have 3 kids- 2 under 2 years old.  It's safe to say that I survive on caffeine.  I get anxiety thinking about how my day would go if I ran out. In the summer I cannot stand hot coffee in the mornings, or anytime really. I am also too impatient to make coffee and wait for it to cool in the fridge. I'm all about instant gratification when possible.  Enter cold-brewed coffee. *insert singing angel voices here* I make it twice a week and it gets my day started off on the right foot each morning. In MI and PA, I wouldn't start making it until June but here in VA it's been in the 80s already.  

The magic is in cold brewing the coffee grounds.  If you're looking for the least bitter coffee, coarse ground beans are the way to go. A finer grind, especially if the grinder is dull, causes heat due to the friction of grinding. This allows the chlorogenic acid to form quinic acid as the beans cool down. Quinic acid has a notable astringent flavor and why hot brewed coffee can be bitter while cold brewed tends not to be.  The result of cold brewing is smooth, refreshing, delicious, and roughly 67% less acidic than its hot cousin- great news for those that suffer from heartburn.  I find that I need no sugar and just a touch of cream when I cold brew as opposed to the half gallon of creamer I use per mug of hot coffee.

 The process is simple. You'll need a glass jug with a lid (old applesauce jar, mason jar, pitcher, etc), decent ground coffee, non-tap water (spring, distilled, or filtered), a strainer/colander, and coffee filters or cheesecloth. I'll be using a half gallon mason jar I had laying around with a plastic lid.

So grab your glass jar and add coffee. The magic ratio for me is ¾ cup good, ground coffee to 3 cups of water.  If you reeeaalllly love coffee, you can up that to 1 cup of ground coffee per 3 cups of water.

I measured 6 cups of water and added 1.5 cups of ground coffee
Put a lid on, shake, and pop it in the fridge.  You can pull it out 12 hours later but I usually leave mine for a full 24 hours. If you remember to, shake it a few times during its chilly nap.
It's not very attractive, but that's ok.  Weren't we taught that beauty is only skin deep and it's what is inside that counts? Let's use that line of thought here because what is inside that jar is B-E-A-UUUUUTIFUL!

Once it has completed its time in the fridge, strain it through a colander or strainer lined with cheesecloth or coffee filters. Cheesecloth works best but alas I had none and wanted (no, NEEDED) this coffee. I had to replace the coffee filters several times as they got clogged up with grounds. 

After it's all strained, rinse your glass jar, and pour the coffee back into it to store. Use within 3-4 days, if it even lasts that long. 

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