Thursday, September 29, 2011

National Coffee Day

Or, as it is known by me, the high holy day. Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not function well without coffee in the mornings. I will pretty much drink it however it is given to me. When I make it at home, all I need is creamer. No sugar for me. And just plain creamer, none of the flavored sweet stuff.  Generally, I like it hot (that's what she said. Sorry, I couldn't resist). But I decided it might be time to try something different.

Thus, my foray into the world of Homemade Iced Coffee. I found two recipes (one from the Pioneer Woman and one from Smitten Kitchen). They're pretty similar and not too complicated. I followed the one from Smitten Kitchen because it was simpler. Of course, I found them because of the beauty that is Pinterest.

Both recommend cold brewing the coffee, rather than brewing coffee like usual and then placing it in the refrigerator to cool. This is what I did.

from Smitten Kitchen (I really want to call this site Smitten Kitten).

Cold-Brewed Ice Coffee
From The New York Times (via Smitten Kitchen)

Yield: Two drinks

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

1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.
2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

I tripled this recipe, so 1 cup of ground coffee and 4 1/2 cups of water (right? I don't do math. It worked, though, so I guess I was right. Take that, fraction addition).  I used pretty cheap coffee (see above, I will drink whatever is available) and it tasted fine to me, but use whatever coffee you like.  As far as straining goes, I placed a paper towel in our fine mesh sieve (because the mesh just isn't quite fine enough. I do, however, like that calling it a "fine mesh sieve" makes it sound super fancy). It helps to take a wooden spoon to the coffee grounds, just press gently (be careful not to rip the paper towel) and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can.

After you've separated the coffee grounds out, you might want to refrigerate the cold brewed coffee. Or not. Maybe you want your caffeine NOW. Maybe I know exactly how you feel. 

After you've decided whether or not to be patient, grab a glass. Fill it with ice cubes. Then, fill half way (or more, depending on your desired coffee to milk ratio). Fill the remainder of the glass with milk (or half and half, whatever floats your boat). 

One of those recipes (I think the Pioneer Woman) suggests adding sugar or making a simple sugar with a flavoring, like vanilla. So, I did. But I made it with peppermint extract.  

Simple (really) Sugar
-1 part sugar
-1 part water
-peppermint extract to taste (or vanilla or whatever else your little heart desires)

Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Seriously simple.

This is what I added to my iced coffee this morning. It takes about 3 minutes to make. But, the peppermint sugar tastes bitter in the coffee unless you let it sit for a bit. I took my drink back to my room, played on the internet, blogged about mexican pizza, and then took a sip of my iced coffee. It was ten times better. Maybe the vanilla wouldn't be like that. Peppermint, why you gotta be like that? But the upside is that the coffee was cold when I added it to the drink, so the ice didn't melt and water the drink down while I was doing other things. 

Now, if only I was drinking my coffee out of these:


  1. 1. Iced coffee is the only way I function most days.
    2. If you have a French press, it works really well for the cold brew.
    3. If you don't have one already, invest in a large tervis tumbler. Iced coffee will stay cold all day!

  2. I don't usually like iced coffee, but this was pretty good. I have a large tervis tumbler somewhere. Now that you mention it, I should probably figure out exactly where it is.


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