Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Iced Coffee!

I am an iced coffee addict.

Eight or so years ago I was working full time as a nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center while my hubby attended Dental school.  Those early mornings for the day shift were never easy for me. I'm what you call a NIGHT PERSON. Through and through.  Doesn't matter if I wake up at 5:15 AM for four years straight (which I did)....I am still groggy, quiet and subdued until 9 AM.  It just IS what is IS.

So, coffee was extremely helpful for those early mornings. During the random hot (for Washington, that is) summer days we roasted in our third story air conditionless apartment...and dreaded opening windows as they would let in not just cooler air but a plume of smoke from the oh so pleasant chain smoking fellow who lived directly under our apartment.

So, hot coffee? Yeah no. I decided to try iced coffee. Problem was, pouring hot brewed coffee over ice is NOT yummy. At all. Add in your necessary creamer and you get something diluted and metallic. No, thank you.

Thanks to the wealth of information on the good ole internet I researched the best way to make iced coffee. I landed on a random professional coffee roasters site that explained the cold brewing process. Um, what? Cold brew?

COLD brewing coffee leaves you with a nice smooth, rice concentrated coffee base that is NOT METALLIC.  It is sweeter and not acidic and tastes the best with some sort of creamerization. Yes, I made that word up.  Also? It's easy peasy!

Apparently there is also now an ice brew coffee method that is growing in popularity where you fill your coffeemaker carafe with ice cubes to let the just brewed hot coffee instantly cool in the carafe as it drips down. However, it is meant to be drunk WITHOUT CREAMER...and that is just a NO GO in my coffee land.  So no ice brewing here!

I have been drinking cold brewed coffee ever since first trying it out 8 years ago.  I usually start cold brewing in the late spring through the fall months as in the winter I need a good morning hot coffee.

Convinced you yet? Let's make some cold brew iced coffee!
  •  A pound or so of dark roast coffee - preferably one with sweet tones, NOT acidic or "earthy" tasting. I love Ethiopian Sidamo.
  • A large container for soaking, 1.5 - 2 gallon size.  I use dutch tupperware: A leftover 1.5 gallon ice cream container, courtesy of Edaleen dairy works great!  I also use my 2 gallon stock pot - but note: do not use an uncoated metal- it reacts with the coffee and will give it more of an acidic, metallic taste.
  • Large Spoon - you know. To stir. I really didn't have to write that I just needed something here to italicize.
  • Coffee pot with metal mesh strainer. A paper cone filter will work it just takes forevah and a day to strain the coffee.
  • 24 hours. Yep, TIME is on your side my friend.
Determine your coffee to water ratio:

  • 1 lb coffee to 2 gallons (8 quarts) water
  • 1/2 lb coffee to 1 gallon (4 qts) water
  • 11-12 oz coffee (common bagged amount) to 1.5 gallons (6 qts) water

 Dump your coffee into your container and fill it with water according to your ratio.

Yep, make sure all the coffee ground get wet.

Cover it and yes, wait for 24 hours!  Stir it every few hours as able but for the most part just leave it be.

Next up, the magic:

After 24 hours are up, I move my container next to my coffee pot and start carefully (um, yeah, not really) ladling the liquid directly into my coffee filter. It pours through pretty quickly.  When the filter starts looking like the above right pic you need to rinse it out a bit.  I rinse it out about 4 - 5 times during a 1.5 gallon filtering session.

These are the grody leftovers. But don't throw em away! Go put them in your garden...your plants will love you for it! And bonus, your garden smells like a fresh pot of coffee :)

Pour your gold, er, I mean coffee concentrate (which I've also nicknamed "Coffee Sludge") into containers for storage.  I use a drink dispenser to keep it cool in my fridge. Most of my close friends know that lime green topped dispenser very well!

For traveling and gifting, I reuse those ginormous Coffee-mate creamer containers. They work great!

Directions: Fill sad, empty large mouth ball canning jar with ice, cover with coffee sludge and then....creamerize!  It's a beautiful thing really.

Enjoy your home cold brewed iced coffee!!!

Amanda - Vintage Dutch Girl

1 comment :

  1. I also love iced coffee! I can make an okay iced mocha at home, but it's not great. I just prepped a smaller batch since I don't have a giant container. One question - do you leave it out on the counter or store in the fridge? Thanks!


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