Monday, August 20, 2012

Iced Coffee

When I was a kid, no one understood how I could eat coffee-flavored ice cream. Everyone thought that cold plus coffee equaled a bad idea. I don't know why. I loved coffee ice cream. I still do. It's because while, yes, actual cold coffee is disgusting, the intentional mixture of coffee flavor and cold refreshment is delicious. That's where iced coffee comes in.

Having worked at a coffee shop, I can be a little bit of a coffee snob from time to time--I apologize--and iced coffee is one of the areas where my snobbery takes over. Many otherwise respectable establishments and generally good people make hot coffee (either double-strength or not, depending on where you get it) and pour it over ice. This, however, results in bitter, acidic, cold coffee. The proper way to make iced coffee is to cold-brew it. It results in a much smoother, richer, tastier final product. Trust me on this. Or don't. Go try it yourself. Make a pot of hot coffee and pour it over ice. I'll wait here. Now try this recipe. Believe me. You'll like this one better.

To make this iced coffee, you need a French press. I'm sure there are other ways to do it, but for me this is the easiest. It might also be helpful to have a coffee grinder, preferably a burr grinder, not a blade one, but I won't get into all that. The grinder is helpful because you want to use coarse-ground coffee with a French press and that can be hard to find in packages at the grocery store. If you don't have a grinder and don't want to invest in one, however, just buy your coffee from a grocery store that has whole bean dispensers and a grinder right there in the store. Once you've made your iced coffee, you can drink it black or mix it with some milk and simple syrup (regular sugar doesn't mix into cold drinks very well), which also allows you the fun of watching the milk swirl around like in the picture above. You could also try out a Fake Frappe, if you're so inclined.


1/4 c coarse ground coffee
16 oz cold water, preferably filtered


Pour the ground coffee into your French press. Pour the water over the grinds, and give them a gentle stir to be sure they're all moistened. Place top on French press but do not depress plunger. Refrigerate for approximately 12 hours. (If your French press won't fit in the fridge with the top on--mine won't--cover it with plastic wrap, and then put the top on when you take it out of the fridge the next day.)

When ready to drink, slowly and steadily depress the plunger as far as it will go. Iced coffee can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Servings: 1-4

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