With summer finally upon us, cold coffee suddenly seems sensible.
Cold Brew Coffee is a pretty new idea on this side of the Atlantic (especially all the way down in far flung Devon.)
Despite the name, Cold Brew Coffee is actually brewed at room temperature, usually overnight. The resulting coffee is stronger than hot brewed coffee, and if you believe the experts, has a smoother taste. Because it’s already cool, it works well in cold drinks.
This version (there are several, just check online) is pretty strong. It’s made with a ratio of one part ground coffee to two parts water. The resulting coffee can be served either black or white, with one part of Cold Brew mixed with two parts ice cold milk or water. This higher ratio of coffee to milk than would be used in a traditional espresso-based iced coffees means that the final drink is lighter.
It’s strength means that the concentrated coffee drink takes up less space in your fridge. Unmixed, this can be kept in the fridge for a few days, ready for whenever you need a cool caffeine fix.
Use a fairly coarse ground coffee (suitable for cafetiere or filter) rather than fine ground blends (so avoid espresso.) This is simply because you don’t want to end up with grounds in your drink, and small grounds might seep through your filter.
You will need a jug or bowl to brew the coffee in and a muslin cloth or paper coffee filter to strain the coffee through. A funnel is useful, but you might be able to cope without one if using cloth (as in the picture above.)
I’ve used (UK) measuring cups in this ‘recipe’, but all you really need to remember is the mix of one part coffee to two parts water. If you don’t have measuring cups yourself, use a teacup or pour your coffee straight into a measuring jug until you reach the 240ml / 8 fl oz mark.
1 cup / 240 ml ground coffee
2 cups / 480 ml room temperature water
Combine the coffee and water in a jug or bowl and gently stir until there are no dry grounds left on top. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, away from direct sunlight (mine sits of top of the fridge.)
Leave for eight hours, or preferably overnight. Once it’s brewed, carefully strain it into a clean jug or bowl, and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it (up to three days.)
This is a pretty concentrated coffee, so you will need to dilute it with one part coffee to two parts water (or milk.) For a lighter milk version, dilute with water then finish with just a splash of milk.
If you like to add sugar, go ahead. It will need a very good stir to dissolve in the cold drink, so consider sugar syrup or even a flavoured syrup.
Or, if you are feeling in need of a real treat, try an Ultimate Iced Coffee