86: Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

Last week was not only unseasonably warm – my building still had the heat on, which meant my office was brutally hot. We would open the windows first thing in the morning, which made the warmth bearable until about 11am. I wish I had taken a thermometer to work so that I could have figured out how warm it was, but I heard that the temperature on the second floor was about 90F. It was probably about that temperature in my office on the first floor as well, since it felt refreshingly cool when I went outside into the record-high mid-80s.

My friend Jason blogged about iced coffee early last week. Specifically, he advocates cold-brewing your coffee if you’re going to drink it chilled. You can read a little more about what he has to say about this and find the instructions for making cold-brewed coffee here. His blog couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as iced coffee sounded incredibly refreshing in the hot, hot afternoons at work. This technique was also something that I’ve been interested in for a while, but I wasn’t sure about what proportions to use when I make it. (Would you believe that I’m still not quite sure how much coffee to use when I make hot coffee, either?)

I halved Jason’s recipe. I put 1/2 cup ground coffee in my french press and added 4 cups of cold water. I did this right before I went to bed so that I’d be able to strain it right before I went to work the next day. The next morning, I uncovered it, plunged the french press, and poured it into a couple of glass jars. I took one to work to have that afternoon, and saved the other to have later on in the week.

cold brewed iced coffee
Cold-brewed iced coffee with a little ice and milk

The first day I had it with just a tiny bit of milk, and the second day with more milk (like in the picture above). This technique yielded a very smooth, strong coffee. I always add sugar or sweetener to hot coffee, but I didn’t feel a need to with this cold coffee. It wasn’t bitter, but it was strong and refreshing, perfect for sipping. I also liked how easy it was to make. I can see myself doing this a lot this summer.

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