Thursday, September 11, 2008

by request:

Someone (can't recall who) a while back (can't recall when) asked me for the cold coffee concentrate recipe/technique that I had extolled last summer in this post. Well, of course, I couldn't tell her - now I just throw a bunch of grounds in a pot until it looks vaguely right and then let nature take its course in the fridge. The link in the old post is broken, and so I went to find another similar recipe online.

Well, either I've been doing it wrong for a year (hardly out of the question) or...something. Everything I can find on the webs is all "chickory this" and "whole pound of coffee" that and "12-24 hours on the counter at room temperature" (which makes my food safety antennae perk up with concern, or perhaps retract in shock.) My procedure is smaller and colder.

Okay, so here's what I do, for cold coffee for one or two.

grind some coffee - we get Ethiopian beans when we're flush, but I'll use whatever's hanging around in the freezer otherwise - medium to coarse, as you would for a french press. How much? Hell if I know. 1/3 cup, maybe? I'll check next time. This is a recipe in R&D. And for me, it's been really hard to screw up - regardless of exact amounts, it always makes, you know, coffee. But I will say it really is better with dark roast coffee, ground right then.

drop them into a small container - I use the carafe from my college-dorm-sized, 4 cup Mr. Coffee. Cover with cold tap water and stir.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (which is the same as I take in a large hot coffee) and 3 cardamom pods. Stir again if you want, or just put it in the fridge overnight.

To serve: stir to break up the floating biscuit of coffee grounds, and strain into a glass through a fine strainer (see note below) or through a paper coffee filter in a normal strainer.

Serve with or without ice, about equal proportions of coffee and 2% milk. You can compost your coffee grounds!

I think this makes regular-strength cold coffee if you steep it 8-12 hours, and some great massive strong stuff if you forget it's there and drink it 4 days later. NOTHING BAD HAPPENS IF YOU LEAVE IT FOR A WEEK. Yes, it is still delicious, even if you make it Sunday night and it sits in the carafe until Friday morning. I am serious.

About my strainer: I have this gold mesh conical strainer that I THINK is a tea infuser, which I THINK my brother left at our house, perhaps as far back as when he lived here many years ago. The closest image I can find on the web is this:
which is available from It would be very handy even if you never made coffee this way, or even tea, for that matter. It is indestructible and strains very tiny particles, and yet, surprisingly, is not that hard to clean. I definitely recommend.

People on other websites hasten to remind you, so I will too: cold-brewed coffee has more caffeine than coffee made with hot water - the heat breaks down the caffeine a little. I don't know if there's a caffeine difference between the 8-hour coffee and the 48-hour coffee. What's a little racing heartbeat among friends?

1 comment:

Stacie said...

I know I've asked you about the coffee concentrate at some point in the past, so I'm going to pretend you're talking to me.

In which case, "Hi, Bets! And thanks for the recipe!"