Iced Coffee… The Next Level

I am a complete coffee addict.  I can function without coffee, but I shouldn’t.  I managed to avoid coffee at all costs when I was pregnant, but now I’m free to return to my glorious addiction.  This love does cause some problems in the summer though.  Hot brewed coffee is best when it’s hot, but during a heat wave it’s just not a good idea.  I heard about cold brewed iced coffee and read a comment from someone who asks places that sell Iced Coffee how they brew it before ordering it.  He said if it’s not cold brewed, he just has the hot coffee.  It seemed a bit ridiculous, but when there’s someone passionate about something, it’ s at least worth checking out.  I figured a Saturday would be the best time to try it out since if it wasn’t good, I’d still have time to make a cup of hot coffee or start over with hot coffee and then add ice.  These sort of tests are not appropriate for weekdays when I need to rush off to work.

I looked all over and found tons of iced coffee making systems.  They ranged in price, but in the end, I chose to do it without the added expense of a “system” and just went with a glass pitcher and some stretch-tite.  I don’t have a coffee maker for my hot coffee (I just use a simple manual drip funnel and a filter), so it seemed silly to buy a whole system for the iced coffee since I was just testing it out.  So, on a Thursday morning while I was setting up my hot coffee, I started the Iced Coffee Test Run:

 

Cold Brewed Coffee

1 Big Pitcher
3 mounding 1/4 cup scoops Coarse Ground coffee
1 generous quart water.

 

The general recommendation I found was to brew the coffee for 12-48 hours (depending on how strong you want it) and it was extremely important to get coarse ground coffee.  Most places that sell coffee beans have a grinder with a coarse setting so that was simple enough.  The other option was to take beans and grind them in a coffee grinder for a short period of time so it was ground, but the store machine was easier.  So, Friday morning, I made my hot coffee and went to sit in my air conditioned work building.

Then, it was Saturday morning (48 hours later)!  Time to test Cold Brewed Iced Coffee!!!…. I made some for the hubs too since I need an impartial (non-addict’s) opinion.  I strained the coffee with the same filter and manual drip funnel I use for my hot coffee.  Then filled up our cups with ice, poured iced coffee in, and added the half & half.  The hubs likes sugar in his coffee (I disagree completely but I try not to judge) so I added some agave syrup to his. …And we tried it.  It was magical!!!  There was all the coffee flavor, plus some other amazing layer of flavor that is usually covered up by the bitterness that I love in hot coffee.  It was so good, I haven’t been able to even consider going back to my usual coffee spot and getting their iced coffee because I know it won’t have all that extra flavor.

 

So now, I’m a well-rounded coffee addict (The Hubs says snob, but we’ll just ignore that).  Hot brewed for winter (or air conditioning) and cold brewed for summer.  Although since I’m a firm believer in hot coffee staying super hot, doing the cold brewed on a workday does save me a ton of time since I can just make it ahead of time and pour it straight out of the fridge.  And I save 30 seconds from heating up the cream in the microwave.  Cold cream is not meant for hot coffee.  It’s just not.  But it is fantastic in cold brewed iced coffee!!