Sunday, September 08, 2013

Cold-Brewed Coffee

I love my coffee in the morning. Always have. I have tried to 'quit' coffee many times, feeling like it was wreaking havoc on my stomach. I'd drink green tea for a few weeks and then I'd smell that delicious coffee aroma somewhere and I'd be off the wagon. Again.

I had a friend once tell me that cold-brewed coffee was where it was at. I kind of half listened to him explain how great it was, smoother, better, and then he lost me when he brought up some fancy apparatus I should have. It wasn't crazy expensive, but I had just replaced my old coffee maker and I wasn't about to spend a penny on any new kitchen gadget. I'd just make my cup of joe small and convince myself my tummy troubles were just mine to deal with.

Then one day it happened. I was pouring my morning coffee and realized I had everything I needed to try this cold-brewed coffee that was suddenly all over Pinterest. I assembled my tools, mixed the grounds with water, covered, and went to bed. In the morning I was shocked to find that my friend was so right. It was smooth, all the coffee flavor I loved without the bitter aftertaste. An hour later I didn't feel like I'd had rocks in my oatmeal now rumbling in my stomach or acid trying to work its way back up. Coffee, when heated, becomes more acidic. This is why it was always bothering my stomach. Now my coffee never even gets to room temperature so it's not a problem.

Since then I have brewed my coffee cold.  Every time. Every five days I mix up a pot and enjoy it every morning, a happier coffee connoisseur. You can, too! Here's how I brew mine.
What you'll need:

A large pot from your existing coffee maker (unless I'm the only one left on Earth who never switched to the Keurig style maker, then you'll need a pitcher that holds at least ten cups of water. I prefer glass.)
coffee, ground
2 coffee filters (I had just bought a bajillion of the cone style for my coffee maker and haven't used them up yet)
1 small, fine wire mesh strainer (optional, but it takes some of the load off the filters ensuring they won't tear)
Second large glass container (I used an old washed out magnum wine bottle for a while then scored a large glass carafe at the grocery store for $5)

Everyone likes their coffee at different strengths so while this ratio of water to coffee works for me, you may want more or less coffee in your mix. What you're doing is making a coffee concentrate that you will dilute with water so even if you make it my way and it's too strong, you can add more water. Alternately, if it's too weak for your liking, you can use more concentrate, less water. 

Fill coffee pot to 10 cups with cold, filtered water. I have a water cooler with its own filter so we fill it from our tap but get delicious cold or hot filtered water on demand. I can link to what we have at the end of this post. It has changed my life as the water here isn't so great, and I refuse to buy water. Add 1 1/3 c. of ground coffee. Stir well to ensure all coffee grounds are soaked. I use a fork. Cover. I have covered with saran wrap in the past but have just started tossing a a clean dish towel over the pot. Leave on the counter for at least 12 hours. On the morning of my last serving of coffee, I mix mine up and put in the refrigerator at night to be filtered the following morning. Place funnel in collection container, be it carafe or old wine bottle or any other glass bottle or jug or pitcher that will hold the amount you've made. Line funnel with two paper filters. Lay strainer over filters. Pour brewed coffee into strainer until it's reached the top of the funnel. Allow to filter into receptacle. Repeat until coffee pot is empty. Fill 12-18 oz glass half way with coffee concentrate. Add creamer and/or sweetener of choice, if that's your thing. Fill glass with remaining cold, filtered water. Stir, and enjoy! I use a 16 oz glass, fill halfway with concentrate, add 1 Tablespoon of Silk French Vanilla Creamer, then fill the glass with cold, filtered water. Having super cold water means I get my mix just right without having to use ice cubes that might dilute it, but one could easily mix the concentrate with the desired proportion of water and freeze cubes to add to their coffee.

Even my tea loving husband says this is the best coffee he's ever had. It really does taste smoother and milder but maintains that coffee flavor we coffee drinkers are after.

Have you tried cold-brewing? Do you use a Cold Brewing apparatus, a French Press, or something else entirely? 

Here's the water cooler filter I mentioned. We fill it up with a pitcher throughout the day from our tap and enjoy hot/cold delicious filtered water all day. I opt for the mineral rock cartridge option because it makes my crappy city water taste like the mineral-rich water we're used to from a well. You do have to keep up with it, periodically scrubbing the ceramic filter and remembering to change the filters out as needed. I did the math, though, and not only is it more convenient than remembering to pick up water, no weird plastic jugs to lug to and from the store, but it also is cheaper than any of the water suppliers we have available to us. The plastic is BPA free. The cooler was a house warming gift from my folks. Best. Gift. Ever. 


Miachel @ Spiced Curiosity said...

Awesome! I just did cold brew my first time, too. :) I just soaked the fresh grounds in a jar with water (1:2 ratio), then strained it the next morning.

Your water cooler filter looks amazing! What's the name/brand of it?

Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan! said...

Isn't it great? I can't believe I put my poor stomach through years of coffee-induced misery.

It's called a Zen water filter. I used Amazon Prime to get ours, with free shipping it was a bit cheaper than ordering directly from the company. There's a direct link to it on Amazon in the post, that Orange word 'Here's' down in the bottom paragraph. We love it.