Summer in South Florida is moist, humid and HOT, HOT, HOT! And although I love the heat (just call me Jungle Jean) sometimes I need to keep it cool in the AM. And here’s the thing, there is nothing quite like a tall glass of fresh cold-brew coffee. As you know, my adoring, loyal peeps, I am a java junkie supreme, so believe me when I tell you that getting a cold brew pitcher is the best investment for your summer. (And no, I’m not pitching any brand, this is all on me).
Growing up, I found my love of coffee at a very young age. Of course, I didn’t know my mom was simply mixing coffee flavored syrup into my milk, but by the age of 9, I was drinking a 50/50 mix of the real deal. YUM. Hot, warm, iced – I loved it. In the summer, my mom would use her Farberware percolator (do they still make those?) a silvery pot of bubbling sensory overload (sorry, I can still smell it) to brew some of those magic beans. She would let it cool, pour it into a pitcher, and if I was lucky (OK, calm and well-behaved), I was granted a glass of iced coffee in the late afternoon. Milky, a little sweet, but still coffee. Now iced coffee back in the day was just the leftovers poured over ice, and sometimes, it got a little rank – bitter tasting, aslittle bits of grinds settled at the bottom (no percolator is perfect.)
Fast forward to the 21st century. Somewhere, somehow, someone decided that using the leftover coffee just wasn’t right. Since “something was rotten in the state of Denmark,” (thanks, Willy S.) someone decided that ground coffee mixed with cold or room-temperature water, brewed (sitting?) for 24 hours gets you a phenomenal, fantastic, non-bitter, amazing full-bodied cup of joe. Most people use this as a concentrate. I just pour over ice – I’m a java junkie, remember?
Seriously folks, cold brew should be your summer go to – even DD has it on the offerings, and there are tons of little coffee cafes opening up to sell you overpriced cold brew to beat the heat. Cold brewed coffee is brewed slowly, giving the resulting beverage a smooth, sweeter, full bodied flavor (geez, I should be an ad for coffee in general) and the best part is it’s less acidic, and you can mix it up to your funky taste buds. I, of course, take it black, like my soul (just kidding) over ice, but you can try any of the following recipes. You can thank me later.
First – here’s a how to if you don’t have a cold brew maker. All you need is about 16 (I use 18) scoops of coarsely ground coffee, appx. 7 cups of water and a vessel (pitcher, pot, vat) large enough to hold it all. Also necessary is a colander or strainer and a piece of cheesecloth that fits in the colander. (I use the Primula cold brew maker – it’s under $15 at Homegoods peeps).
The How To: Put 1 cup of water into your holding container followed by about half the ground coffee. SLOWLY pour the remaining water over the grounds, making sure to soak them utterly and completely. Now add the rest of the grounds. Repeat the water pouring ritual (just kidding- no ritual, just be sure to soak all the beans) You can let the coffee sit on your counter now for up to 14 hours or stick it in the fridge. Once done, line that strainer with cheesecloth and slowly pour the coffee in. The sludge (grinds) should remain in the strainer, and the concentrated coffee will be left in your container or pitcher. It will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. Again, I use the cold brew pitcher, and it’s much easier- but old school works too.
OK, so now you’re thinking, Helene, you promised me some recipes…where are they? Chill my friends – here you go:
- Coffee Soda. (Yes- you read that right) In a glass, add some ice. Fill the cup 1/3 full with some of your cold brew concentrate and then fill the remainder of the glass with seltzer of ginger beer/ale. I prefer it straight with the seltzer, but those of you with a little sweet tooth will prefer the ginger ale. You can garnish with a piece of orange peel, which if you let infuse, will also add some sweetness. This is also nice by the pitcherful for guests. (Think sangria with a java twist?) 🙂
- Coffee Mock Cocktail. (is that a mocktail?) Since I mentioned sangria (which if you message me I will pass on the best and easiest recipe ever), I looked up coffee cocktails. This reminds me of a coffee infused Cherry Garcia, and yes, I tried it, it’s YUMMY! Use a cocktail shaker – combine some ice, 2 oz. coffee concentrate, 2 teaspoons cherry syrup (found this at Walmart) and shake really well. See, it’s an upper torso workout as well, Morning Beans brings you the best in coffee and working out for fun! lol.When the shaker feels very cold, strain the coffee/cherry mixture into a martini glass (it looks cool, OK?) This drink, online referred to as a Shakerato, can get VERY foamy. If you need to spice it up with spirits, try adding a little Kahlua or Bailey’s with this.
- Infused Iced Coffee. This one is inspired by my friend Suzanne’s cardamom coffee (served hot and made in a saucepan). Using a shaker is best, but you can stir it up if you do so vigorously. Combine 2 oz. of coffee concentrate, a little milk (almond milk is OK here) 1/8 teaspoon of a mix of the following dried spices: ginger, cloves, and cardamom. If using a shaker, (I use an old Quik shaker) add some ice and shake well. Otherwise, stir well in a TALL glass. To serve at a fancy part, garnish with a cinnamon stick.
And summing up my lovely caffeinated peeps, I hope you enjoy the rest of summer and of course some good, cold brews. (Read that how you like, you know where I stand 😊) If anyone has any other recipes to add, feel free to post in the comments.
Stay cool, motivated and caffeinated!😉☕