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Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee

The hot weather is coming and everyone is thinking about Summer with the Memorial Day Weekend upon us. Every coffee shop is serving Iced coffee trying to keep you cool and full of Caffeine and keep up the sales. So If you can’t see where they pour the coffee, you don’t  really know. Here are some things you should look for if you want the Real Deal Iced Coffee.

First, try to see if you can sort out the brewer for the Iced Coffee, such as a Toddy of Filtron so that you can tell right away the cafe’ is brewing the coffee properly. Keep in mind, the brew must be either steeped or Double Brewed (more on that in a few) in order to maintain the coffee’s flavor and effect when you either add ice only or ice and cold water since it will dilute the coffee. So if you just take left over coffee and put it over ice, you will end up with nothing more than watered down, stale coffee. So if you notice a pre-made batch or completely different station/machine for Iced Coffee, stay in line. If not, get out of line or don’t order iced coffee.

There are several different methods to properly Cold Brew and make Iced Coffee. As defined by Wikipedia, they are in fact two different things: Cold brew coffee steeped at room temperature for hours, is not to be confused with iced coffee, which refers to coffee that is brewed hot and then chilled by pouring over or adding ice. That enough confusion for one day? Knowledge is power folks, and now you know what to look for and understand exactly what you are ordering and drinking. In a sentence,  Iced coffee will give you the tea-like aromas and flavors displayed in brew that’s made with boiling water and immediately filtered through ice. Meanwhile, cold brew—in which coffee grounds are steeped in room-temperature water for 12 hours or more—favor its minimal acidity and natural sweetness. These differences are due to the coffee bean’s reaction to different water temperatures.

Now for the home brewer and back to the steeping reference above. I direct you to Imbibe’s extremely educational how to on different brew methods, but in short it will require the following method which I have used at home to produce a great Cold Brew coffee concentrate.

Ingredients: 1 lb. coarse coffee grounds (about 5 1/2 cups); 64 oz. (8 cups) room-temperature water; long-handled spoon, 1 gallon of cold water, milk or cream

Tools: 1-gallon jar, bowl or bucket, for brewing; very fine sieve, permanent coffee filter or several layers of cheesecloth, 48-oz. carafe; ice-filled tall glasses

Servings: 10–16

1. Place grounds in a 1-gallon brewing container (jar, bowl, bucket or a French press).

2. Slowly pour 64 oz. of room-temperature water over the grounds, then stir with a long-handled spoon.

3. Let steep at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours, stirring occasionally.

4. After 12 to 16 hours, filter the coffee concentrate into a 48-oz. carafe using a very fine sieve, permanent coffee filter or several layers of cheesecloth. (If you’re using a French press, use the filter provided with your equipment.)

5. Pour the coffee concentrate into ice-filled tall glasses, diluting it with cold water, milk or cream to taste, taking into account the dilution that will come from the ice as it melts (suggested: starting with a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:2, then diluting further to taste). Cover the carafe and store unused coffee concentrate in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Voila! And there you have it!  A delicious Cold brew Concentrate.  May I suggest using Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee and add a shot (or two) of Tia Maria?

JAMAICAN ICED COFFEE MON!! It’s 5 O’clock somewhere…

Cheers!