I wear my sunglasses at night. I drink cold coffee in winter.
Fortunately, only one of those statements is true.
Perhaps this post, a love letter to my favorite java joint in Wappingers sent last Valentine’s Day, revealed that my relationship with coffee is not the norm.
The first step is admitting it.
On a fine day in Queens I found myself habitually sipping some iced Jet Fuel at Sweet Leaf in Long Island City on a cautiously old table. If you’re not a fan of coffee but are in the neighborhood, stop in to try their magical yogurt parfait. This stuff turns from Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, and granola into apple crisp right in your mouth. There are no words. Now for my fellow caffeine fanatics, the Jet Fuel, cold brewed coffee with chicory and maple syrup, and their VooDoo Child, Vietnamese style cold brew, are the stuff of legends. I could get used to that place, and some good strong cold brews.
Aching to be recreated, I happily accepted the cold brew challenge.
Still waiting for that challenge.
Like a good relationship, this brew’s beauty is in its simplicity; in its effortlessness.
Here is what you need (filter not pictured):
For the type of coffee grinds, use what you have. I actually went out of my way, slightly, to venture into the new Aldi on Route 9 in Wappingers for my grinds. Epic fail. It’s like the Big Lots of grocery shopping, which is great for certain things. Fine coffee is just not one of them.
Reading up on this process a little bit, I learned that the quality of coffee is less important. You can also use a variety of types from finely ground to coarsely ground beans. With cold brew, you’re not going to get the earthy, robust, distinguishable flavors that you get when coffee is freshly ground and brewed at its optimum 195-205 degrees F. It yields a smoother and less bitter product, making it ideal for iced creations and can keep up to a week in the fridge.
For the brew, my ratio is 3:1 water to grinds. Adjust ratio to your taste. Typically, you’ll want to aim for 4:1. Obviously, I like rich and strong. Raise your hand if you don’t. Higher. I still don’t see it.
For the method, simply mix your grinds with room temperature water and let it sit for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, covered and kept out at room temp. Then strain the grinds from the coffee concentrate using a filter of your choice, cheese cloth, or a French press.
If you’re going for Vietnamese, or Thai style, add some sweetened condensed milk to a glass full of ice. Add your coffee concentrate and mix. Top with evaporated milk. Enjoy through a bold straw.
That’s so Bangla.
For you St Patty’s Day aficionados out there already planning, this year start your holiday with a cold brew Irish coffee. Replace the water with Jameson, follow the method, and then add your milk or cream over ice. It may not quite be on par with the Buena Vista in San Fran, but it’s a fair start.