Ahhh... coffee. The delicious, aromatic and caffeinated beverage is almost always a necessity to any busy household, including my own! Not a morning goes by in my house that doesn't first start off with a cup of joe. It puts a certain pep in my step and with two young kids, a full-time job and a husband to juggle, it's definitely required! Now, while I love coffee, it sadly did not always reciprocate those same kind of feelings for me. The drink would often cause me to suffer dreadful ailments, such as an upset stomach, cramps, and bloating. Still, I need my coffee! I once worked as a barista and since I was constantly surround by the refreshment, I easily drank at least three iced coffees a day, all loaded up with at least three extra shots of espresso each. Thankfully, I didn't use sugar, but there was always enough cream added until the dark liquid turned almost white.
Granted, that was a bit extreme, even for me. Without a doubt, the excessive amounts did me no favors with the less than pleasant side affects of regularly drinking coffee. It got so bad, I actually had to give up coffee for a while. Yes, you read that correctly. I GAVE IT UP! Well, at least during the week anyways. I would still drink it at home and on the weekends, unable to fully let it go. Then, one day while trolling around on Pinterest (Another addiction to be discussed for another day), I saw cold brew coffee for the first time. I now know that it had long been a thing before I discovered it, but man, it was like finding the Holy Grail of caffeine fixes! Needing more information, I did some research and learned that when coffee is brewed hot, it actually releases more acid than when brewed cold, which is what can cause upset stomachs and acid reflux. On top of that, cold brew also has a smoother taste for me! I still don't need any sugar and I use at least two-thirds less cream than before. I actually tend to drink my cold brew black (Gasp!). But enough. I know you aren't here to read about my stomach issues or addiction to coffee, but instead to get to the cold brew recipe!
I went through a bit of trial and error when I first started to make cold brew. Then, while making coffee for my husband in our french press one day, it hit me! Why was I not using this to make my cold brew? It easily strains the grounds out and it's easy to pour into the mason jar that I use to store the coffee. DUH, SARAH! I couldn't believe how long it look me to figure that out. It may seem self explanatory, but if you're like me and need help, here are the step-by-step instructions:
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Step 1: Buy a French press, if you don't already have one. You can find them at almost any kitchen section within most department stores. The link below takes you to the one that I use, which I got it from Amazon.com. It's able to easily makes the perfect amount of cold brew coffee for me to drink and store, which is about three days worth.
Step 2: Pick out your coffee. We buy our coffee from either roasters or whole bean from Marshall's and TJ Maxx. This website is where we get the majority of our coffee though: www.thecoffeebarrel.com. Highlander Grog is my favorite, but I honestly have yet to have a coffee from here that I don't like. It's a small business in Holt, Michigan, which is an added bonus for me because I love to support the local businessman whenever possible.
Step 3: Put your coffee in your French press. I have a 34 ounce press and I use nine tablespoons for each brew. So, math time, that equals to roughly two tablespoons for every four ounce. You can obviously adjust to your taste and preference though. Sometimes, I will add an extra two tablespoons if I know the coffee tends to brew a little weak. Don't be afraid to experiment!
Step 4: Add water to your press and stir. I use the filtered water from our sink, but you can use whatever water you prefer. If you are a coffee connoisseur, then you may prefer something a little fancier. I myself can't taste the difference, so I'm happy with plain old filter water from the tap.
Step 5: Let the coffee steep for 12 to 24 hours. I let mine steep on the kitchen counter, but if you'd rather put it in the fridge, go for it! When I pour the last cup from my cold brew stockpile in the morning, then that same morning, I will go ahead and make another batch for tomorrow morning. That way, it will steep for 24 hours. If your mornings are bit too chaotic to add this to your routine, then I've also made it in the evening for the next morning, allowing a 12 hour steep. They are both equal in taste and quality.
Step 6: After your cold brew has steeped, press down and pour! I like to store mine in a mason jar and keep it in the fridge.
My favorite cream is Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream. A splash adds just enough sweetness without overpowering the coffee flavor. Have you made Cold Brew with this method? Do you have any other tips and tricks? Leave them in the comments below, I'd love to hear them!!