Today I'm fighting Spring allergies and trying to get my head in the game to write, so what did I think to blog about? Coffee. Why? Because that's the only thing on my mind this morning. *needs ALL the coffee*
The other day I mentioned on Twitter that I love my cold brew coffee and a few people asked me what it is or how I make it. So I figured that we can always use a little more caffeine in our life. :)
I am not a lifelong coffee drinker. I actually was an avid coffee hater until a year ago. I had tried all kinds of different versions, everything from the basic to the frothed, whipped, chocolatified kind of coffee and always found it - yuck. Then, last year on a trip to Napa (God, that sounds pretentious), I was cold and hubs got a pour over coffee and it smelled really good and I thought--okay, I'm going to try again. Lo and behold, after a few sips, I realized I liked it.
This also may be due to the fact that we'd been wine-tasting for a few days and I'd learned the technique of getting your tastebuds acclimated to a new taste. Meaning, you probably aren't going to like the new thing on the first or second sip because your tastebuds are all--what the hell is this? Is it poison?! Abort! But by the third sip, you're tastebuds are all--oh, look at that, we didn't die. We can like this. Carry on. Yum.
So since that day, I've become quite an avid coffee drinker. And I like to try new versions of it. So last summer, when I was wanting iced coffee (because a cup of a hot coffee just doesn't have the same effect in 100 degree Texas heat), I started researching how to make it home. That led me to the concept of cold brew coffee, which is different from iced coffee (and tastier! and more caffeinated!) Cold brew means just what it said. The coffee isn't heated up to brew it. This means that much of the acid in coffee never makes it into the brew (yay!) leaving a smoother, almost chocolate-y taste. It's delish. I sampled it at Starbucks first. (Make sure to ask for cold brew not iced coffee. Iced coffee is just cooled regularly brewed coffee poured over ice.)
But I work from home and didn't want to drive to Starbucks every day, so I needed to figure out how to make it myself. Because if you try to buy cold brew concentrate at the store, you'll find out that it's freaking expnsive. I was not down with that. So I researched.
There are some basic ways to make it involving filters and mason jars, but I wanted the easiest system possible. Enter the OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker.
This thing is exactly what I needed because a) I don't like complicated kitchen equipment and b) I hate to clean intricate stuff. This fixed both. All you do is put in your coffee (recipe below), add your water, and then leave it on your counter overnight. In the morning, you put the carafe beneath, flip the switch, and your delicious cold brew concentrate comes out. (Note: There are tiny little paper filters you can buy that go with this. I use those.)
And here's the best part, the concentrate will last in your fridge for TWO WEEKS without getting stale. Though, a batch only late a week around here.
And this is CONCENTRATE. You don't drink this straight up. It's meant to be mixed with your milk and water. So you get a lot of cups out of one batch. And you can make it over ice or you can mix it with hot water to get a hot cup. Easy easy. And so tasty. Plus, it's a hellavu lot of caffeine, lol.
So if you decide you want to try it, here's my favorite recipe:
To make the large batch of cold brew (will keep in fridge for two weeks):
- 3.5 cups of your favorite fresh ground coffee (I use Starbucks Pike)
- 5 cups of filtered water
Let brew on your counter for about 12 hours or overnight.
To make an individual travel size cup of iced cold brew coffee once your concentrate is ready:
- Fill travel mug halfway or so with ice
- 1/3 cup of cold brew (OXO recommends 1/4, but what are we? Amateurs?)
- 1/3 cup of low sugar vanilla almond milk or milk of your choice
- Sweetener of choice (I use one sweet n low)
- Whatever room is left, fill to top with filtered water
Enjoy and be caffeinated. :)
What's your favorite way to have your coffee?
*This post isn't sponsored but any Amazon links are affiliate links.