Cold-brewed iced coffee
This has been a life-changing summer for me with regards to iced coffee. I have made coffee for myself almost every day since I was in the ninth grade. I’ve done machines, espresso makers, French presses, stovetop espresso, and almost anything else you can think of, but I always come back to the paper filter in a plastic cone on top of a carafe. It’s the easiest way and it gives me complete control over the strength and amount.
Two years ago, I started to enjoy having cold coffee in the morning in summertime. Pouring my hot coffee into a pitcher and refrigerating it overnight seemed like the smartest way, and I had a good time making fun of Kim Severson for making it too complex (exactly one year ago).
Earlier this summer, an article ($) came out about cold-brewed iced coffee, which I’d tried before and didn’t enjoy. But I attempted this method with excellent results, and I’ve since gotten myself into an easy pattern of cold brewing. Cold-brewed coffee is so smooth that you don’t need milk in it. It has none of that bitterness that I didn’t even notice before in hot-brewed iced coffee.
I don’t bother with measurements; if it’s too hard or makes too many dishes, I’ll burn out and go back to my old ways. I think people don’t make coffee for themselves—choosing instead to waste money at Starbucks—because they don’t get into a good, mindless habit. That’s the only way for me to make it work.
At first, I would brew the coffee at night and finish it in the morning. But I don’t want to bother with straining in the morning if I don’t have to. So instead, I brew it in the morning and strain it at night, leaving it in the fridge overnight to chill. This eliminates the need for ice cubes, which melt so fast in this apartment that you feel like you’re in a race to get your fix.
To begin, grind about a 1/2 cup of beans until they are medium-coarse (I fill my small Braun grinder and grind for a little less than ten seconds). Put the grounds in a quart jar, fill it the rest of the way with water, cover it, and let it sit out all day. At night, pour it through a strainer into a bowl.
While it’s straining, rinse out the jar. Next, pour the strained liquid back into the jar through a paper filter.
While that’s pouring, rinse out your strainer and the bowl. Cover the coffee and put it in the fridge, and you’re done. Whatever is leftover in the morning, I use as part of the liquid for the next batch, so it gets a bit stronger every day until we finish the jar and start over. I don’t know how sanitary that is, but it’s fun to brew coffee with coffee.