A few years ago, I heard about cold brew coffee. It’s been a summer-time staple ever since.
Pouring hot coffee over ice only left a disappointing, watered-down beverage.
Cold brew solves this problem and even goes a step further. Apparently, heat releases more of the acid in coffee, so cold brew yields not only a full-strength coffee, but a smoother one, as well.
First you need good coffee.
I’ve been using this one for awhile now. It’s not the high-end coffee you can buy at a nice coffee shop, but it’s one of the better ones at Kroger, and they regularly mark it down. I’ve used both the whole bean and the ground. Just be sure to grind the beans if you go that route.
If you look online, there are several ratios of coffee to water. The one I like is 1/2 pound coffee to 1 gallon water. When I did the math, it worked out to be 3 1/3 cups of coffee.
That goes into a gallon pitcher.
Then you add 1 gallon water. Make sure all the grounds are wet. You might need to spray the water with the nozzle or stir with a large spoon to make this happen.
Believe it or not, that’s it.
Put a lid on it and stick it in the fridge for half a day.
Make sure you wait.
As with many things, it’ll be worth it.
You’ll need a strainer to get rid of all the grounds. I like this one.
Line the strainer with a paper towel or a coffee filter. I always use a small paper towel.
Next pour the coffee through the strainer.
Most all the recipes I’ve read online instruct one to filter the entire batch and store in a container in the refrigerator.
When I first started making cold brew, this was tricky because we only have one container that holds a gallon. I was filtering the large batch into a couple different smaller containers. One week I just poured what I wanted for breakfast and put the rest back in the fridge, grounds and all. Then the next morning I poured off a glassful again. This went on for several days, and I noticed that the flavor was fine. From then on, I’ve just left the cold brew in the fridge with the grounds, filtering a glass each morning.
You’ll know which way you prefer.
There are different ways to doctor your cold brew. Sweetened and creamed. Just sugar or just cream. Milk or half and half. The Pioneer Woman recommends sweetened condensed milk which does both at the same time.
I found my favorite when Dad and I went on our 25th anniversary trip earlier this summer.
We returned to our honeymoon spot, Harbour Island in the Bahamas. Booking a trip back in the old days before Google searches were available left a few more surprises than there are now. We found ourselves on a gorgeous, secluded island that was half a mile wide. Our surprise was that it had only a few very expensive restaurants, and we had very little money with which to pay.
Dad set out on foot the first morning of our honeymoon and found Arthur’s Bakery, a place where we could purchase the most delicious pastries at reasonable prices. A bit more wandering led us to Angela’s Starfish Restaurant. We lived off Mr. Arthur’s pastries for breakfast and Angela’s conch fritters and fresh pineapple for lunch and dinner all week long. Much to our delight, Arthur’s and Angela’s are both still in operation today on Harbour Island. When we returned earlier this summer, we actually got to tell Mr. Arthur thank you for saving us from starvation 25 years ago.
A stroll along the streets of Harbour Island this year
led us to a new establishment.
Coffee shops filled with charm and personality were not abundant in the horse-and-buggy days when we got married. This was a fun find in this modern era.
Bahamas Coffee Roasters is a family-owned business, and they served me the best iced coffee I’ve ever had. It was so good that even DAD almost became a coffee drinker while we were there. After a taste of my cold brew, he asked for a second sip.
It was that good.
The gentleman at the shop recommended using a simple syrup as a sweetener. (Here is how to make some.) When he asked if I’d like some cream, I expected him to offer me milk or half and half.
Instead, he reached for a quart of heavy cream.
Heavy cream, y’all.
Every morning when we went for coffee, he would pour the cream until I said when. It was perfect.
I’ve lived long enough to know that a lot more than fresh-roasted coffee beans and heavy cream went into those delicious cups of coffee, although those were amazing! I was with your dad after all, and everything is better with him. We were celebrating 25 years of marriage in the same little paradise where we first started adventuring together all those years ago. There were so many good things about that cup of coffee.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, though, and I think it has to do with perspective.
Every day when we came back to our cottage, these pretty flowers from the poinciana tree lined our path to the front door. They were so beautiful. I felt like a queen walking through them.
I gotta admit. It was hard to leave, and Dad and I missed Harbour Island a lot when we returned home. He would text me those first few days and wistfully ask me if I wanted to watch the sun set on the bay side that night or the ocean side. A bit of dreaming and reminiscing.
Then a couple days after we’d been home
I noticed these.
They are spent crepe myrtle blooms,
and they line the path to our door.
You see, I was living like a queen here, as well, and didn’t even realize it.
God’s kindnesses are all around me if I only take the time to notice.
They surround you, as well.
Sip on some iced coffee today and look for them.
I love you,