As temperatures rise, our steamy morning cups of joe and afternoon lattes and macchiatos suddenly seem too darn hot. With the coming of spring, we start thinking, "mmm...iced coffee."
Most iced coffee is made from old hot coffee and tends to taste bitter and stale (pass the sugar and half and half, please). Moreover, at a couple of dollars a pop, it's annoying to purchase when, in the back or your mind, you know it would just be chucked at the end of the day anyway.
The best option: make your own sublime cold coffee concentrate. The recipe calls for a minimum of 12 hours to brew so set it up on the weekend. This iced coffee will smoothly take you through the week and costs a fraction of what you would pay at your local Starbucks.
Cold Brewed Coffee
1 cup freshly ground coffee beans (medium-coarse)
4 cups cold tap water
Glass pitcher, carafe, or large jar
Large basket paper filter or cheesecloth
Metal strainer (or colander if the wholes aren't too big)
Place coffee grounds in pitcher, stir in water. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Place strainer over mixing bowl and line with filter or cheesecloth. Slowly, pour the coffee mixture through the lined strainer (from personal experience: if you pour too fast, you risk having a coffee ground explosion all over your counter top). Rinse pitcher and use to store coffee concentrate for up to a week in the refrigerator. Add one half cup water per half cup of concentrate for black coffee or one part milk to one part coffee if you prefer a creamy, strong brew. You can play with the water to coffee ratio to suit your taste. For a decadent variation on classic Vietnamese iced coffee, use sweetened condensed milk.
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