Beverages

A fresh take on ice coffee

 
 
Cold-brewed iced coffee
Cold-brewed iced coffee
Matthew Mead / AP

Cold Brewed Coffee

• In a glass jar slightly larger than 1 quart, combine 4 cups spring water and 1 generous cup coarse ground coffee. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 to 12 hours.

• Uncover the jar and stir. Line a mesh strainer with several layers of cheesecloth, then set it over a large bowl. Pour the coffee mixture into the strainer and let the coffee concentrate drip into the pitcher, working in batches if necessary.

• Pour the coffee concentrate into a clean glass jar, and refrigerate until ready to drink.

• To serve, fill tall glasses with ice and any desired sweetener or cream. Pour 1/2 cup of the coffee concentrate into each glass. Stir and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.


Associated Press

Simply put, I love coffee. My morning coffee is my favorite part of the day. I even travel with a mini espresso maker so that all my mornings can start with a steaming shot of rich, dark coffee.

And last summer I became obsessed with a fresh approach to my favorite beverage – cold brewing. It’s no more complicated than it sounds. Instead of running hot water through ground coffee, you use cold. And instead of straining the water through it quickly, you steep the grounds in it for longer, as much as 8 to 12 hours.

The result is a rich coffee concentrate that is so worth the wait. You then dilute the concentrate with either hot or cold water (more on that later) to produce a cup of coffee that is light, yet rich and virtually acid-free. This is because the grounds steep slowly, which is a gentler extraction process than traditional brewing. And it quite naturally makes the most amazing iced coffee, one of my favorite summer drinks.

When I started experimenting with making it at home, I made it in canning jars and old milk jugs. But straining the grounds at the end was always a bit of a hassle. A light went off in my caffeine-charged brain when I thought of my somewhat abandoned French press. The coffee press could brew and filter the coffee in one piece!

Of course, I’m hardly the first person to think of it. In fact, French press maker Bodum even has a model designed for cold brewing. That version comes with a lid for the overnight brew and the plunger part has a locking pourer “spout,” which allows you to keep the cold brew in the refrigerator for as long as it lasts. You just clean it and get rid of the coffee grounds when you are ready to make a new batch.

There are a few points to consider when making your perfect brew. For cold-brewed coffee, you must use coarsely ground coffee. If you use a fine grind, it will be difficult to strain the coffee and your iced coffee will be filled with sediment. I use a 4-to-1 ratio of water to coffee. It is easy to remember and makes a good strong coffee “concentrate,” but not too strong.

One of the reasons I love to use cold-brewed coffee for my iced coffee is that it doesn’t get watered down when poured over ice. Traditionally brewed coffee loses its punch when the ice melts. But if you use the cold-brewed concentrate straight up, it can handle the ice without losing its flavor.

Another iced coffee tip along those lines – whenever you have leftover coffee (no matter how you make it), pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Then when you make iced coffee, use those cubes instead regular ice. This way as the ice melts, your coffee just gets better and better rather than watered down.

A final note, about sweeteners. Anyone who loves iced coffee surely has noticed that granulated sugar doesn’t dissolve well in cold beverages. So instead use simple syrup (sugar and water mixed at a 2-to-1 ratio, simmered, then cooled), agave syrup or even maple syrup.

Read more Food stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Bhindi masala: </span>Fried okra in a flavorful spice paste is a surefire way to fall in love with the misunderstood vegetable.

    YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

    No slime: Indian dish brings out the best of okra

    I am glad that no one ever forced stewed okra on me during my childhood, because the stories I’ve heard from stewed-okra veterans have been traumatizing. Friends and colleagues have described memories of okra that was sulfurous and slimy and yet left a cottony feeling on their tongues and gums. (This is no coincidence: The okra plant is related to the cotton plant.)

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Layered Tomato-Watermelon Salad</span>

    Cooking

    7 new ways to build a 7-layer salad

    From fruits to pastas, novel ideas to liven it up the next time you layer it on.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Keeps bitterness in check: </span>Soaking radicchio in cold water helps mellow out its bite.

    Today’s Special

    Water bath takes some bite out of bitter radicchio

    These tips turn radicchio into something radical.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category