Sunday, July 28, 2013

DIY Iced Coffee

I put in some time as a barista during my senior year of high school, and I have pretty much been a coffee fiend ever since. I'm usually content to brew my own at home or the office in a good ol' fashioned Mr. Coffee. Once summer hits, though, nothing but sweet, sweet iced coffee will do, so for years I've been forking my cash over to local coffee houses and the ever present Starbucks conglomerate to scratch my caffeine itch. 

Thanks as always to Pinterest, I've tested a few different methods of cold brewing my own iced coffee concentrate, and I present to you my perfected recipe.

You'll need:
- a large pitcher, a large mixing bowl and a strainer
- 3/4 cup of ground coffee beans of your choosing
- 4 1/2 cups cold, filtered water

This is going to make about enough iced coffee concentrate to make yourself a morning iced coffee all week long.

In a large pitcher, dump in the ground coffee beans. Pour in 4 1/2 cups of cold, filtered water. Filtered is key here. If you've got a Britta or your fridge has a filtered water dispenser, you're good. Stir with a large mixing spoon until the coffee and water are well mixed. Over time, some of the ground coffee will float to the top - that's totally fine. I have yet to find a way to fight gravity, and it does not seem to have any affect on the final product.

Place the coffee and water mix in the fridge for at least 8 hours. I usually mix this Sunday night so it's ready for me Monday morning. 

Before filtering                                         After filtering

Once the mixture has set for at least 8 hours, it's ready for filtering. Pour the pitcher's contents through a strainer into a large mixing bowl, separating the grounds from the liquid coffee concentrate. Rinse the pitcher thoroughly so there are no grounds left. Filter the liquid coffee concentrate back into the clean pitcher. This is your coffee concentrate mix. 

The first strain.                                The second strain.

Note that you have now made iced coffee concentrate. It is concentrated, so you really don't want to drink it straight unless you like really, really strong coffee. What you do with the iced coffee concentrate from this point on is up to your personal taste. If you like strong, pure coffee, just pouring the concentrate over ice may be all you want. 

Here's my daily iced coffee recipe:

1) Take your personal travel tumbler or favorite tall glass. Add three large ice cubes.
2) Pour in 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk.
3) Add iced coffee concentrate to the top of the glass.
4) Stir in 1 tsp of agave nectar. Stir.
5) Drink during your walk to work. Come to the office ready to take on the world, all for 35 calories.

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