Give Me A Cold Brew

Cold-brewed coffee, that is. Smitten Kitchen’s post on cold-brewed iced coffee inspired me to give it a try. I still haven’t snapped a coffee photo that makes me happy, but I have been enjoying Intelligentsia’s El Gallo Organic Breakfast Blend, cold-brewed and iced, at work all week. I’ve even converted one of my coworkers – a self-proclaimed sugar junkie – to drinking her coffee black.

From Smitten Kitchen:

Where has this been my whole life? If you are an iced coffee drinker, the difference between cold-brewing it and just letting hot coffee cool off is remarkable. The coffee is less bitter, harbors no acidity and all of those background flavors–chocolate, a dark caramelization and even slight smokiness–come through.

Spot-on accurate. Blindfolded, I would assume that there is raw cane sugar, a wee bit of cream, and a pump or two of mocha syrup in my coffee. It’s not bitter at all, it tastes mildly sweetened (but definitely not overwhelmingly so), and for some reason, it’s just more refreshing than regular cooled-off hot coffee over ice.

The Recipe:
Cold-Brewed Ice Coffee
based on the New York Times recipe, via Smitten Kitchen

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)
1 1/2 cups water
Milk (optional)

Do This
Pour water into a mason jar or large glass. Stir the coffee into the water, and cover with a lid. Let this coffee-water mix hang out at room temperature overnight (or at least 12 hours).

Come back to your coffee after it’s had some time to brew. The grounds will be floating in a clump near the top. The NY Times says to strain [it] twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. If you don’t happen to have any of these around, two Bounty paper towels stacked on top of each other will do just fine.

Fill a tall glass with ice, and pour in equal parts coffee concentrate and water (or adjust the ratio to taste). Add milk or sweetener as you see fit, but I like it just as it is. You can get two iced coffees out of this recipe comfortably, but I’ve stretched it to three before.

This discovery is epic. I’m loving the El Gallo blend (organic! direct trade!), but now I have an excuse to try out all of the coffees hanging out in my pantry.

Intelligentsia El Gallo Breakfast Blend I’ve already waxed poetic about this one above, but I’ll recap: organic, direct trade, mocha and raw cane sugar flavors with a slight hint of caramel, doesn’t need cream.

Dunkin Donuts Medium Roast This is the anti-coffee-snob’s coffee. I’m okay with that. Actually, this is the coffee I’m most inclined to brew hot, which is a total carry-over from college, when I first discovered that Dunkin Donuts coffee was sold at grocery stores. It’s extraordinarily consistent, and tastes almost identical when cold-brewed. Unfortunately, this also means there were no wow! moments in which I discovered a secret hazelnut or caramel overtone.

I got a free pound of Starbucks the other day (don’t ask me which blend, it’s sitting on my kitchen counter right now), so that’ll be next.

Watch this post. I’ll be adding more updates/comments about the various blends of coffee I cold-brew. I might add some photos at a later time…if I can take any that don’t look utterly silly!

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2 Responses to “Give Me A Cold Brew”

  1. nikita lostracco Says:

    I lost smitten kitchen’s recipe for the cold brewed iced coffee. can only remember that it was 1/3 cup ground coffee beans…to how much water. please help! E-mail me at nikitayinyang@yahoo.com Thanks

  2. Jenny Says:

    Nikita, I’ve updated the post to include the recipe. It’s 1 1/2 cups water.


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