Sunday, May 17, 2009

How To Make Excellent Iced Coffee

I am an iced coffee fanatic. Other than iced tea it's probably my favorite summer drink. I do hate, though, the bitter brew you get at most places that sell it and the prohibitive cost. We all know they brewed it, let it set, and then probably just chilled the leftovers. This is a travesty and a terrible way to treat a coffee bean. The proper way to make iced coffee is a cold-brew system that makes a smooth, non-bitter, creamy drink that is head and shoulders above most commercial offerings. The origins of this drink come from New Orleans where they are very particular about everything they eat and drink. For those of us not in New Orleans where a real iced coffee can be found just about anywhere, here is a simple way to make it at home:

First, get a pound or so of ground coffee. We normally grind our own beans but I am not grinding a pound at a time. I have found that Kroger house brand Italian Roast makes a fine product. It comes in 12 oz. cans so I adjust my recipe accordingly. When it goes on sale for $2.49 I stock up. Second, mix the whole can with 2 cups of cold water. Make sure it's saturated then add 6 more cups cold water for a 12 oz. can or 8 more cups for a pound.

Let it sit covered on the counter for about 10-12 hours. After steeping, strain it until there are no grounds left. This usually takes about 4 or 5 cycles. I use cheesecloth, a fine mesh strainer, coffee filters or a paper towel depending on what I can find at the moment. Store it in a tightly covered jar in the fridge. It will keep its' flavor perfectly for at least two weeks.
When you are ready to use it, fill a glass with ice and about one inch or so of concentrate. Fill the rest of the glass with milk and enjoy!

I don't add any sweetener to this even though I sweeten regular coffee. The milk adds a sweetness that stays intact since there is no bitterness in the coffee. I am also not a plain milk drinker so this gets some real calcium into me without relying on a pill. If you don't want to go through the straining process there is a product called the Toddy. According to them cold-brewing coffee produces a product with 67% less acid which has to be a good thing. It is an easier system than the time consuming straining but so far I've been too stingy to spring for it. You can also heat up your coffee and milk for a fantastic latte or drink it without milk and just add water back to it.


Kim said...

Oooo...I'm ready to try this!

Treehouse Chef said...

The Czar loves ice coffee. he likes to order it from August Moon and the Vietnam Kitchen. Can't wait to try this! Photos look fabulous!

corrie said...

I've never thought to try cold brewing for coffee... what a lightbulb moment!

I plan to take the coffee and put some in the blender with ice cubes and milk to make a slushy treat!

Thanks for inspiration!

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