A Bevy of Brews
I do love my coffee in the morning. Every morning. But when it’s hot, I prefer cold brew to anything steamy.
In case you’re not familiar, cold brew is not the same as iced coffee. You can brew coffee in a few minutes with hot water, then quickly ice it, tasting the same as hot-brewed coffee, just served at a different temperature.
Cold brewing is a completely different process. It is usually ground more coarsely than for hot coffee, and is steeped like tea, usually for 12-24 hours. The result is a smooth, concentrated coffee that will feel, smell, and taste different from coffee brewed with hot water - no acidity or bitterness.
You can buy cold brew in bottles, but it can tend to be expensive because of the amount if time it has to steep. And it’s easy to make your own.
I’ll start with the basic recipe, but there are so many fun things you can do with the cold brew concentrate for summer.
Pour 3/4 cup coarsely ground coffee into your quart jug or mason jar and fill it with 1.5 cups filtered water - cold or room temperature. Stir to combine. Add another 1.5 cups water, and stir.
Close the jar and let the coffee steep in your refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
Using a coffee filter, pour the steeped coffee into another jar or pitcher, catching the grounds (which are great for your garden, by the way).
What you’ll have is concentrated, so you’ll want to mix it half and half with water if you simply serve it on ice.
But for something special, try one of these to suit a few summer occasions.
Summer Soda Brew
2/3 cup prepared cold-brew coffee
Lavender simple syrup to sweeten*
1/3 cup tonic or seltzer water
Lavender sprig, for garnish
Mix all ingredients and garnish with the lavender.
*Lavender Simple Syrup
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh or dried lavender flowers
6 ounces sugar
Put all together in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Let steep for 1 hour off the heat and strain out the flowers before use.
You can trade out the lavender for mint, rosemary or other herbs you have around.
1 cup ice
1/2 - 3/4 cup cold brew
3 pitted dates (or a heaping teaspoon of sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk if you prefer
Throw everything into a high-powered blender until completely blended.
Top with whipped cream or cinnamon or both.
2oz cold brew coffee
½ oz simple syrup
Chocolate syrup (or Kahlua or Bailey’s) to rim the glass
A shot of milk or cream
Rim the martini glass by holding it horizontally, slowly twisting the glass as you pour syrup on the rim.
Put the cold brew, syrup and vodka in a shaker with some ice.
Pour the shot of cream in before serving.
If you’re looking for a good bean to use, go Wheelys Farmstand Cafe and ask my son, Dave, to grind a bag of beans coarsely for you to use with cold brew. The coffee beans we get are single source, organic and fair trade from Peru. It makes a big difference.
Or just come get a cold brew all ready for you so you can see for yourself.