Saturday, July 18, 2009

M. Y. O. I. C. (Make Your Own Iced Coffee)

Well, just this week, summer came to town. Our apartment has reached that stage in which heat creeps in first thing in the morning and stays stubbornly put until well after sundown. It is hot. It is muggy. Visions of ice cream dance in my head. Sometimes I just stand in front of the open refrigerator (I'm totally going to get run out of Cambridge by the energy-flag waving hippies for admitting that).

Sufficed to say, my morning coffee ritual changes with the seasons. Because one must first make espresso (that is, hot espresso) in order to enjoy an iced espresso beverage, and because making that espresso involves heat, and because the thought of any additional heat makes me wilt, and because at any Dunkin Donuts within a 50-mile radius of Boston there is a perma-line, I have finally adopted the coolest (yes, it's a pun) home cold-brew method that you have probably already been doing for, like, ever. It's kind of genius.

What you must do is stir some coarse-ground coffee beans into room temperature water and let it sit out overnight on the counter. Just a wee stir--that's it. In the morning you have a coffee concentrate that is as versatile as it was easy to make. Want cappuccino? Add steamed milk. Want coffee? Add hot water. Want that perfect iced latte with almost no effort? Add ice and milk. Don't even get me started on the dessert applications of this concoction.

Minimal Effort Cold-Brew Coffee
4 oz. coarse-ground coffee beans (that's 1/4-lb.)
2 3/4 cup room temperature water
  1. Stir together and let sit out overnight.
  2. In the morning, strain twice through a fine-mesh sieve.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Because I like espresso, I use dark beans. If you grind at the store or at home, don't get too fine. The long soak will get all the bean-y goodness, I promise. Also, this "recipe" is a ratio thing. The general consensus seems to be 1 lb. (16 oz) of coffee to 12 cups of water. Divide and conquer at will.

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