Friday, July 16, 2010

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

Most moms I know have complained, at one point or another, about not being able to fit in a morning shower. But they always get their coffee.

I have the opposite problem. I've never skipped the shower, but there's rarely time to brew coffee. I'm the only one with a java habit in our home, so no one else misses it.

Come summer, cold-brewed coffee solves my problem (and saves me from dropping a lot of cash at a certain coffee shop). Just after the kids go to bed, I stir coffee grounds into a jar of water and leave it on the counter. In the morning, I strain it through a coffee filter once or twice, toss the used grounds in the grass or compost heap, and enjoy some strong, smooth iced coffee.

This coffee concentrate stays good in the refrigerator at least a week or two. It works well in recipes requiring strong coffee. You also can zap it in the microwave for a hot cup.

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

Scale the recipe to make as much as you want. I usually make a double or quadruple batch.

3-4 tablespoons ground coffee
1 cup water

Put coffee in a glass jar and add water. Stir with a chopstick or butter knife to combine. Put lid on jar and let sit on counter for 12 hours (overnight).

Line a small fine-mesh strainer with a coffee filter, and set strainer over a small bowl. Pour coffee and water through strainer; repeat if strained coffee looks sludgy. Rinse remaining coffee grounds from jar and lid. Pour coffee concentrate into jar and store in refrigerator.

To make coffee, combine equal parts water and coffee concentrate, or to taste, adding milk, cream or sweetener as desired. And lots of ice. Try adding sweetened condensed milk for an easy Vietnamese coffee. For hot coffee, heat in microwave.

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