Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cold Brewed Coffee

I'm not really a coffee snob, but I'm not a coffee purist, either. In college, I started my addiction to General Foods Internationals French Vanilla Cafe, and I still drink a cup of it a day... But earlier this year, a friend of mine became a Direct Sales Associate with a company called Inspired Aroma (her number is 0356 if you order ;)). I went to a home party (ala Tupperware) and was fascinated by all that I learned about coffee and tea. I booked a party of my own, and earned (or earned credit toward) a coffee grinder, a milk frother, an espresso pot, and some other items. My goal was to save money (who wants to pay $4 at Starbucks when it should cost mere pennies at home?), and to be able to enjoy yummy coffee drinks more often.

Well, I have to say that I haven't used my stuff as much as I'd hoped. I do use the grinder, and I've used the espresso pot, but the milk frother was used only once. And my drinks didn't taste like Starbucks'!

When the weather warmed up, I wanted to try to make iced coffee drinks. I watched, after ordering one at a coffee shop, and found that they were simply made with a shot of espresso, some flavored syrup, and a lot of milk, then poured over ice. Easy enough!

But my espresso didn't taste all that great. It was okay, but not something I wanted to spend the time to make.

At the Inspired Aroma party, Nikki had talked about a product called a toddy maker. Toddy makers "brew" coffee without boiling the water. It results in a less acidic, bitter tasting coffee, and even people who can no longer stomach coffee are usually able to drink coffee made in a toddy maker. But that was another $40 and I'd already invested too much money "saving" money on coffee shops! Still, I was reading more and more online about how good cold-brewed coffee was.

I found a link that showed how to make your own toddy maker out of two fast food supersize plastic cups. I considered trying it, but then I'd have to go to a fast food place and order two supersize beverages! But last week I stumbled upon an article raving again about cold-brewed coffee and I found (somewhere!) the "magical" formula of 1/3 cup coffee grounds to 1 cup water, and so I ground up some coffee, put it in a glass jar with filtered water, and let it sit overnight.

The next morning I rubber-banded a coffee filter over another jar, and poured the mixture (slowly) through it. I then stored this concentrate in the fridge (covered).

Today I finally decided to give it a try.

I used a shot of french vanilla syrup (I've found that Torani really seems to be the best brand!) and some of my concentrate, then put in ice cubes and filled the glass with milk. I tasted the best iced coffee ever!

It just might be worth investing in a toddy maker for convenience, but I really strongly suggest that you try the cold brewing at least once. Supposedly you can mix the concentrate with boiling water for a warm cup (I'll try that some other time), but this was a wonderful iced drink!


mamafitz said...

really? i love the smell of coffee, but think it tastes like shit. i've read that if you brew your coffee with boiling water, it makes it taste bitter. we have a french press, so for david's coffee i bring the teapot to a boil (the boys say it's 'screaming'), and then let it cool before pouring it in the press.

i love our grinder.

wonder if i could do the same thing with the press.

New Mama said...

I first read about this many years ago but have been too lazy to ever try it, lol. Plus I'm not sure I would know the difference, with my non-gourmet-coffee palate. But I do like that you found a free solution to trying it out!

Abby said...

I make my coffee using a Melitta Filter Cone - I think it's a similar idea. I'll have to experiment with letting the water cool before putting it in. I use a hot shot (which they don't make anymore) to bring the water to boiling before pouring it in. I love the way it tastes. Here's what I'm talking about (cheap, too):

Elspeth said...

Sounds so good, I might have to try it!