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Iced coffee

December 25, 2010

There are quite a few ways that I make iced coffee, which I happen to think is delicious even in the middle of winter. The following is not my favorite method--might do a post on that later--but it can be convenient if you don't like making coffee everyday.

Cold-brew coffee is big in the South. This is where coarsely ground coffee sleeps overnight in cold or room-temperature water and is filtered the following morning. It produces this long-lasting concentrate that, in my opinion, is typically not very tasty drunk black. My grandmother had this trick that I don't mind sharing (I'm not of the "if I told you I'd have to kill you" lamely-joking-but-not-really ilk.)

 What's wrong with cold brew. Well, you need hot water to get the fruity acidity out of a coffee. The best thing about coffee as far as I'm concerned. One simplistic way to think of it: when you wet coffee you're priming the solvents in it that will subsequently get washed out. Cold water doesn't prime the coffee properly.

Gold star if you see where I'm going with this.

Prime the coffee with hot water. Then cool it down.

Maintaining a 10:1 (in weight) ratio between water and coffee--same as a standard Toddy recipe--I'll pour some of the water as hot water and let the grounds swell for maybe 30 seconds. I'll gently stir to make sure it's all wet. Then I'll make up the remaining water with slightly cold water. Steep overnight 8-12 hours. Success has a lot to do with grind-size. Mine is like sea salt. It's also better to steep outside the fridge. Again, water temperature.

Filtration. It's easiest through some sort of paper drip cone. Usual paper caveats apply (wash your paper beforehand). If the grounds have mostly settled to the bottom of your container, then pouring is simple. If you've got a crust, you might in the interest of speed want to scoop that out or push it down before pouring. 

Again, this isn't my favorite way to make iced coffee. Better than the usual Toddy stuff but still a little too mellow for me. The good thing is you can make a week's worth of coffee all in one go and just keep it in the fridge. Best (imo) diluted with ice.





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