I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. -T.S. Eliot
I haven’t always been a coffee addict. In fact I never could drink the stuff until my mid-40s when I was living in Europe. My friends there felt I was somewhat deprived (in addition to being American) and decided it would be their goal to help me understand what I was missing. Frankly I was very captivated with their process of making each cup…..almost like a religious experience.
The coffee freshly ground for each cup, brewed one cup at a time…..then the presentation in a small white cup on a saucer covered with a doily….don’t forget the dainty spoon, fabulous cookie & brown rock sugar.
I was enthralled. It wasn’t just the coffee but the institution of ‘stopping’ everything you were doing to enjoy a cup of coffee. Sitting at a small outdoor table, observing all around you. A bit different from the American method of doing as many things at one time as virtually possible……do we even know what we are drinking ?? Whatever my friends and family had been giving me to drink in order to get me to imbibe in the institution of coffee, it definitely wasn’t this stuff. Long story short…..a great cup of coffee is an essential part of everyday for me now. OK, multiple cups !!
So when I started seeing articles on cold brew coffee this summer (at least it seemed like they appeared daily) I knew I had to try it. I remembered a wonderful cup in a cafe in Mexico City where the waiter poured what appeared to be room-temperature coffee concentrate in my cup, followed by hot water & then warm milk. It was marvelous !! We went to the same cafe for breakfast everyday, just so I could have that coffee.
Since I use a French press for my hot brew, I followed that suggestion for my first experiment. I still use that method, pressing it after 8-12hr sitting on the counter. I’ve also used the coffee in a quart Mason jar method, strained thru a coffee filter or paper towel. Both work equally well for me. The resulting ‘coffee syrup’ is stored in the fridge and lasts a week (very seldom in my case !). I make the concentrate fairly strong and add water 1:1 when using, either for iced coffee or a hot cup, warmed in the microwave. I do like having coffee available anytime to make whatever concoction I wish, including coffee ice cream. However, I sincerely doubt I will totally give up the joy of making a pot of fresh ground French press coffee in the morning. The ritual of stopping everything to honor the making of coffee and starting each morning with a meditative cup of joe, while doing nothing else or maybe even multiple times per day……that is one of the best gifts I give to myself.
COLD BREW COFFEE
Adapted from multiple websites
Add medium or dark roast, finely ground coffee to room temperature water, using 1:3 ratio. In quart Mason jar, use 1 c. coffee to 3 c. water. Allow to ‘brew’ on the counter for 8 to 12 hours, or overnite. Press and/or strain thru fine mess or using a paper filter. You may have fine dregs settled in the bottom of the finish product unless you strain multiple times. Pour into a clean jar & store in fridge for up to a week.
Dilute concentrate 1:1 with water, or to the strength you most enjoy. Use for both iced or hot coffee beverages. Viva la Caffeine !!!