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cold brewed coffee + the mornings now


My heart seems to belong to coffee. It hasn’t always been quite like this. My days used to start so early with a big, cozy mug of tea, some reading, a little industriousness, but mostly quiet puttering about before I made my day. Summer busyness is bringing some later nights, which means slightly later mornings (with plenty of puttering about still, thank goodness). As soon as I snap out of my mid-morning haze, I start craving the dark, roasty, slightly acidic tang of strong coffee. There’s a lot of power in that first sip.

I’ve noticed that a few recent posts have been rather long and wordy. Thanks for sticking with me, but this one’s going to cut to the chase. Less reading means more time to get the aromatic grinds steeping away. This is pretty important.  From my own experience, fussing about or hesitating are not particularly ideal reactions when dealing with the caffeine habit. Let it lure you in and go to work.

I tried this cold-brewing method straight out of Bon Appetit’s July issue and it’s fantastic. As long as you plan ahead and source some good coffee, you’re in for a treat. The beverage is a whole different animal when given this treatment. Still dark and powerful, but smoother,  more filled-out and chocolaty tasting. It’s also the easiest way to make iced coffee that I’ve encountered with perfect consistency every time. How refreshing, right?

cold brewed coffee concentrate
with guidance from Bon Appetit, July 2012 issue and The New York Times
you will need: coffee filters, a fine sieve, 2 medium-large pitchers
serves: Makes around 5 cups of concentrate
notes: Show a barista a bit of love. Buy your beans and have them ground at a local coffee shop. You won’t regret it.

2 1/3 cups coarsely ground coffee (like for a French press)
7 1/2 cups cold water

Place ground coffee into a large pitcher. Slowly pour the 7 1/2 cups of water on top. Lightly stir them together to ensure that all coffee is moistened. Cover the top of the pitcher with a cheesecloth or sheets of paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Let the coffee steep overnight (or up to 15 hours).

After you’ve steeped the coffee, strain the mixture into another large pitcher with a fine sieve. Discard the grinds and rinse out the sieve. Rinse the original steeping pitcher out. Place a coffee filter into the fine sieve. Strain the mixture one more time into the original pitcher with the coffee filter lined sieve. All done!

To serve: Place ice cubes into a glass. Fill halfway with the cold brew coffee concentrate. Top up the remaining half with cold water or milk of your choice (or a combination). I use almond milk with a swizzle of maple syrup to sweeten it up. Enjoy!

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Erin06/07/2012 - 12:51 pm

I am going to have to try this! I always take a long walk in the morning, usually with coffee in hand but with it being 90˚, hot coffee doesn’t quite fit.

(Ps- I always enjoy your wordiness, it’s one of the many reasons I love your blog :)

sam06/07/2012 - 1:33 pm

As a budding photographer and avid coffee drinker, the most beautiful sight is cream going into iced coffee. I love the way it looks! I will have to try this coffee. I typically french press mine, so coarse ground is always on hand.

Shanna06/07/2012 - 2:32 pm

I swear, with every post, your photos amaze me more.

Kathryn06/07/2012 - 5:16 pm

I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker but you make me wish that I was with this post. Lovely pictures and words, as ever.

sarah07/07/2012 - 11:28 pm

I must agree with all your above comments – I love your wordiness, your photos are more incredible with each post, and I am smitten at the sight of white cold cream being poured into dreamy dark coffee. I received a toddy maker years ago as a gift, and I drink cold press all year long – it’s just so good!!

Carrie | acookgrowsinbrooklyn09/07/2012 - 9:11 am

I couldn’t be more excited that you shared this, errr, recipe? Maybe it’s a technique…anyway, I have been LONGING to make iced coffee at home – because I am zombie-like until I have my first 12 ouncer and this heat is unbearable. I’m talking like, good iced coffee – not watered down hot coffee. I thought all was lost because I don’t own a French Press. THANK YOU – you have made my summer mornings!

Courtney09/07/2012 - 11:29 am

I’ve always been more of a tea person so my days start with a nice mug of tea, but lately the summer heat has had me craving iced coffee. I read about this technique in BA as well and have been wanting to try it so it’s good to know it works! Oh, and I enjoy reading your posts, wordy or not :)

Jeanine10/07/2012 - 4:39 pm

I love cold brewed coffee – I totally buy it from the store though, never thought of making it myself but I should try :)

Kasey11/07/2012 - 11:35 am

Having just returned from a trip to Sicily where it was hot hot hot, I can’t think of a more refreshing drink. Love the idea of adding almond milk and maple syrup to a beautiful cold brew. Hope all is well in your land, lady!

adrienne11/07/2012 - 1:39 pm

I live on this stuff. I make batches in my mason jar all week long. I love the way it cuts out the acidity, and brings out more of the coffee profile… hints of chocolate and blueberries.

Emily11/07/2012 - 2:58 pm

Laura, I’ve been loving this cold brewed coffee all week long now. Thanks for an awesome post and such fantastic photos!

Sophia13/07/2012 - 5:39 am

Laura,

I hear you on the iced coffee – I even convinced my espresso-chugging dad to keep a mason jar of the cold-brewed stuff in the fridge during the summer (we use this 5 year old recipe from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/27/dining/276drex.html – works perfectly every time) … in fact, I am just slurping the remainder of this moring’s iced coffee (lots of ice, decent amount of the cold brew, a good sized splash of milk and some home-made vanilla sugar).

All the best

Sophia

Julia08/08/2012 - 11:23 am

I’ve been using the NY Times-published recipe for a few summers now (similar to yours, but less concentrated, so you don’t add water after brewing). I’ve been straining out the grounds by pouring the mixture over a (prerinsed) paper coffee filter. This is easier than multiple rounds with a sieve or cheescloth, and gets even the very fine coffee bits out, which I think helps keeps the brew tasting good after days of storage in the fridge.

Stephanie15/08/2012 - 3:12 pm

I just stumbled across this recipe on mint, and it sounds just right! I’m a tea girl at heart, but have recently switched to coffee for that caffeine kick in the morning.

As soon as I saw that you add maple syrup to your coffee, I knew you must be Canadian. Love it! The first time I heard that suggestion was at Ottawa Bluesfest from one of the vendors and I haven’t looked back! Except for the occasional days where I use honey.. but sugar sounds so blah to me now!

Summer Breeze! | Sun Bound12/07/2013 - 9:11 pm

[...] Drinking all of the cold brewed coffee! [...]

Leah10/07/2014 - 12:38 pm

Currently enjoying my first cup right now!! i used a blend of hazelnut coffee beans and a dark roast.. a swizzle of maple syrup is the perfect sweetener! Thanks so much for this delightful recipe, so perfect for the summer :)

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