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Jul. 8 2010 - 5:08 pm | 191 views | 2 recommendations | 3 comments

Time for A Cold Brew…Coffee

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

Image by thebittenword.com via Flickr

In 72 hours, the weather in Seattle has gone from damp and near-wintry (I was wearing wool on the Fourth of July) to dry and blueberry-pie skies. In fact, there’s a heat advisory today, but a mere drop of sweat compared to the blistering triple-digits conditions that have plagued the mid-Atlantic this week.

Still, anything over 80 degrees means it’s time for iced coffee — and not just brewed coffee with a coupla ice cube floaters that results in brown crayon water, but a gutsy cold caffeinated brew that takes the edge off of a summer scorcher.

For the first time this season (I told ya — a few days ago, we were still wearing our woolies), I’ve whipped up a batch of cold brew coffee, which essentially is a concentrate, dark,  viscous and a little slice of heaven.  Here’s how it works:

Place a half-pound of ground coffee (automatic drip-style) into a mixing bowl and pour 5 cups of  cold water over the coffee, stir and allow the mixture to steep, at least 6 hours.

Strain and pour resulting concentrate into a jar or covered pitcher and keep refrigerated. You’ll end up with at least 3 cups of concentrate.

To make a cold-brew beverage, start with 1/4 cup of concentrate in a 12-ounce glass.  Add 1 cup water or add ice cubes, or if you’re hard core like yours truly, simply add milk and taste along the way until desired java flavor, adding more concentrate as you see fit.

Sugar? Up to you, but the long steeping process results in a sweet, almost chocolate-y richness that makes sugar seem superfluous.

Do try this at home! I just had my first cold brew of the day, straight up, with a milk chaser.  Summertime and the living is  easy


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  1. collapse expand

    I happened to make this yesterday; although I just used whatever coffee I had left (a quarter pound maybe), filled a pitcher with water, mixed, and waited a day. Not exactly your jet black concentrate, but stronger (yet less acidic) than regular iced coffee… and a more economical yield, I think.

    There’s really no way to screw this up, and for my money it’s actually easier than making ice coffee the usual/inferior way. One thing is that it is somewhat of a pain to filter well since the grounds are extra saturated and tend to clog coffee filters. You can speed this up by using a french press; a cheesecloth would probably work as well.

  2. collapse expand

    I remember my parents’ coffee toddy from my teenage years. When doing cold coffee drinks, we tend to use stove top espresso, ice, and milk. I do like the mellow flavor of cold brew coffee, though.


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