It’s another hot day in the middle of a sweltering summer. You wake up in the morning with beads of sweat on your brow. How is it already this hot? It’s only 8:00 AM!
As the day rolls on, the heat only gets worse. This is the kind of mugginess that a mere ceiling fan can’t push away. If you crank up your A/C, your electric bill will surely double. The only thing you have enough energy to do is to sit around and sweat.
Don’t worry. There is a solution to your problem: coffee.
Not the hot kind— we’re talking cold brewed iced coffee. Delicious homemade, cold brewed iced java made with a French press is the cure for all your summertime heat wave woes.
Why Use a French Press?
Coffee contains natural oils that taste delicious. But if you use a coffee filter, these oils get trapped inside the paper and never make it to your mouth.
Also– unlike a normal coffee machine– a French press is easy to clean. If you switch to making coffee with a French press, you’ll never have to deal with that funky old coffee taste that’s a result of dried-up coffee residue.
Once you make the change, you’ll never want to go back.
No Ice Cubes Allowed!
Don’t you dare just plunk a hunk of ice into a perfectly good steaming hot batch of coffee. Lots of people make their iced coffee that way, but if you opt to go that route you’d be making a big mistake.
Ice contains water, and water dilutes the taste of coffee. Unless you’re absolutely desperate, you should not use this extremely flawed method of making iced coffee.
Patience Is the Key
Did you know that you don’t need hot water to make coffee? Given enough time to steep, coffee will magically turn cold water into delicious java.
The taste of cold brewed coffee is very similar to normal coffee, but the flavor is slightly more delicate.
For best results, you should set aside at least 10 hours of steep time. If you begin the process before you go to bed at night, a fresh vat of ice cold coffee will be ready for you in the morning.
This Is How the Coffee Pros Do It
Have you ever wondered why ice coffee you buy at a coffee shop tastes so much better than the iced coffee you make at home? You don’t need an exotic type of coffee bean to get the same type of flavor. There’s no magic trick involved. It’s just that most coffee shops prepare their iced coffee ahead of time using the method described in the recipe listed below.
What Does Cold Brewed Coffee Taste Like, Exactly?
If you’ve never tried coffee this way before, get your mouth prepared to experience a flavor explosion. Cold-brewed coffee is extra strong, yet also extra smooth. Also, the taste of black cold brewed coffee isn’t nearly as bitter as hot black coffee.
If you normally don’t like black coffee, you may want to take a sip before you add in your normal splash of milk or sugar. You may actually decide that you like your cold brewed coffee plain.
And Now For the Recipe!
Think of the recipe below as a guide. When it comes to coffee, nothing is set in stone. Most coffee fanatics are quite particular about the way they make their cup of joe. Everything depends on your personal preferences– so don’t be afraid to tweak the recipe and make it your own.
If you like your coffee a bit stronger, go ahead and add in more coffee beans. If you prefer a lighter caffeine buzz, add more water to the mix.
The World’s Best Iced Coffee Recipe
Makes 1 coffee drink
Here’s What You Need
1/3 cup whole coffee beans
1 1/2 cups of filtered cold water
Milk, to taste
Optional sweeteners: syrup, caramel, chocolate, etc.
1. Grind up 1/3 cup of coffee beans. The key here is getting the right kind of grind. The final product needs to be coarse enough to get trapped in the French press, yet fine enough to infuse well in cold water. If your grinder has a grind setting, select medium or medium-course.
2. Put the coffee in your French press and fill it up with filtered water. Okay, you don’t have to use filtered water– but you will be much happier with the final product if you do. Funky tap water can easily ruin the delicate taste of cold brew coffee.
3. Stir. As always, remember to use a wooden spoon or stick to stir the water and coffee together in your French press. A metal spoon can not only affect the taste of the end result, it can also potentially break the glass of your French press container.
4. Put the French press lid on. It’s important to put a lid over your coffee so that it doesn’t absorb food smells and other odors emanating from your fridge.
5. Steep the coffee overnight. You may need to rearrange the contents of your fridge a bit so that you have enough vertical space to accommodate your French press in the “plunger up” position.
6. The next morning, press the plunger down to separate the coffee from the grounds. This is where the magic happens. Press down nice and slow to ensure that your French press captures all the grounds.
7. Now pour yourself a glass of delicious iced coffee. It’s time to enjoy the fruit of your hard labor. Enjoy!
Add Milk or Ice… If You So Desire
If you think that you will be able to drink your coffee before your ice melts and waters down the brew, go ahead and add a few cubes to your glass before you pour your iced coffee in. Because it’s already cold, the ice won’t have much of an impact on the taste.
If you find that your coffee is a little stronger than you thought it would be, feel free to add a splash of milk to counteract any bitter flavors.
Some Like It Sweet
If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to consider adding a sweetener to the mix once you’ve poured yourself a cup of cold brew coffee. Here are a few ideas for those who like their coffee sweet.
- Cajeta caramel. Cajeta caramel is a special sweetener from Mexico that’s made from goat’s milk, cinnamon and vanilla bean. It tastes great on pretty much any dessert, but it’s especially delicious in cold brew coffee.
- Chocolate fudge. Though it is somewhat less exotic compared to cajeta caramel, plain old chocolate fudge also tastes delicious in any kind of coffee.
- Sea salt. By itself, sea salt can bring out the taste of any type of coffee bean. Combine sea salt with fudge or caramel to make the sweet flavors sparkle.
- Cinnamon. A little dash of cinnamon will add some spice and aroma to your cup of java. Just don’t overdo it, because if you add in too much cinnamon a disgusting layer of cinnamon goo will form at the bottom of your cup.