Saturday, April 14, 2012

Iced Coffee

The weather is getting warmer, and those of you out there who are coffee drinkers, might be turning to your favorite iced coffee. Rather than pay $2-4 for an iced coffee at your local coffee stand, cold brew up a batch for yourself. This is the easiest thing to do, ever, and it tastes WAY better than the stuff you get at the stand. And you can't beat the price. I got this recipe (if you can call it that) from one of the best cooking blogs in the whole wide world, Smitten Kitchen. If you haven't checked out Deb and her AMAZING blog yet, you better get on it. I will be cooking one of her brisket recipes this weekend (and will post results here), and I've earmarked like 500 other recipes of hers that I'm dying to try.

This recipe actually came from the New York Times, and I seriously can't believe how easy it was. Apparently, cold brewing the coffee (using cold water instead of hot) removes a lot of the bitterness from coffee (the one thing I can't stand!), and anyone who knows me, knows that I have to put like 5 tsp of sugar in my normal cup of coffee to drown out the bitter taste. This iced coffee recipe allowed me to put in less than 1 tsp of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water warmed on the stove until the sugar dissolves) into my coffee. That is just incredible. I made a standard iced coffee for me (coffee, water, non-fat milk and simple syrup), while I made Andy an iced mocha (coffee, non-fat milk and chocolate syrup). Both took mere moments to whip up this morning, and what a treat! I only made a small batch of this, but tonight, I'm bringing out the big guns and am going to whip up a large batch of this iced coffee concentrate to keep on hand in the fridge.

Cold-Brewed Ice Coffee (Via Smitten Kitchen and The New York Times)
Yield: Two drinks

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)
Milk (optional)
Simple Syrup (optional)

1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, stir the coffee to break up the raft of coffee grounds. Put the lid back on and leave on the counter overnight or up to 24 hours.

2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. (I strain mine through cheesecloth into a strainer the first time and then through a mesh strainer a second time.) In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk or half-n-half.

3. You can do this in a large batch (I make a gallon at a time), and just store the covered coffee concentrate in your refrigerator.

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