I really like coffee. I have to be careful not to say the other “L” word though, because I know a lot of people who their coffee very, very seriously. And I am not one of those people. I did work at a coffee shop on-and-off for 3 years. But I’m not a coffee snob and I’m not a caffeine junkie either. I don’t sniff to find the subtle notes of vanilla, chocolate, the faint aroma of berries [or whatever]. I don’t fall into a stupor, or worse, erupt into a volcano of rage, if I’m deprived of my morning cup o’ joe. I don’t do espresso, I won’t drink it black, and I won’t look down my nose at you if you don’t either.
Nope, I’m the one at the milk station in the corner, pouring in the cream and loading up on sugar until your tooth aches just looking at me. That is, if I didn’t order the carmel-icious-vanilly-yummy-drink-with-extra-whipped-cream. But coffee snobs of the world: don’t look down your nose at me. Don’t judge me and tell me I don’t really like coffee if I load it with sugar, cream, caramel, chocolate, or whatever tickles my fancy that day. Because I do. I really, really do. So nanner-nanner-boo-boo. I’ll drink my coffee and my sugar too.
But it’s hot here. Have I mentioned that before? It’s very, very hot. Hot enough that a swim in the ocean at 7:00 in the morning is not an insane act of bravado, but rather, a cool, refreshing relief. All. Year. Long. So a scalding cup of coffee, as delicious as I agree it is, isn’t what I generally crave in the morning as I wake up sweating under my one sheet with my fan on in 80 degree weather at 6:30 am. Obviously, some genius already thought of a solution to this problem of hot-drinks-in-hot-weather, namely, ice. Duh. But seriously star-bean-peet-leaf? 3 bucks? To put some ice in your already-not-that-great coffee? No thanks. I’ve got a better idea.
If you’ve ever tried to make iced coffee yourself, you’ll know that the way to do it is not to throw ice in hot coffee, because that ends up tasting watered down and usually the ice melts in about three seconds and you’re left with lukewarm coffee. Ick. It works better if you use espresso, but it’s still not quite right. At the coffee shop I worked at, our iced coffee was bomb. [Yeah that’s right I said bomb. I grew up in the 90s. nuff said.] We had a super strong concentrate [called toddy] that we would make in huge vats and then mix with water to make de-e-elicious iced coffee beverages. But how to make it on a small scale? Cue my favorite food blog, um, ever who has already done it. BOOM. COLD BREW. Brewing the coffee in cold water over a long time makes it smooth and not at all bitter. Plus you can make just enough to fill those old spaghetti jars you have on your shelves! If you, like me, prefer to drink your coffee with copious amounts of sugar, you’re probably thinking this “But Erin! Sugar won’t dissolve in cold water!” Do not fret, my darlings. I have solved that problem too. Read below, and you shall have the icy-est coffee of your dreams.
ICED COFFEE [adapted from smittenkitchen]
First, make CONCENTRATE: Mix 1/3 cup medium-coarse ground coffee [your favorite kind] with 1 1/2 cups cold water in a jar with a lid. Let sit overnight [or 12 hours if you make it in the morning I suppose]. Strain twice, once with a fine mesh strainer, into a measuring cup with a spout, and then again through a cone filter into a clean jar with a lid. DONE! The concentrate can be stored in the fridge until you drink it all.
Then make COFFEE: In a glass filled with ice, mix equal parts of concentrate with either milk or water, depending on how you take your iced coffee. DONE! Drink and Enjoy! If you need sugar in your coffee, keep reading.
If you like, add SIMPLE SYRUP: Mix equal parts water and sugar; heat until water is boiling and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool and then pour in as much as you want into your coffee-milk mixture. mmmmmmmmm!! Drink and Enjoy!