Everyday Iced Coffee (and how to cold brew coffee)

I'm not your "can't-live-without-coffee" kinda girl. I know of people who can't begin their days without a huge mug of strong coffee or can't pull through it without 4-5 cups of the same. I'm not like that. I mean I do love my coffee all right, but I don't die without it either. I also have this notoriosly ridiculous reputation of drinking the same mug of coffee (or tea for that matter) over two days! Ask my former flatmate and she'd be able to vouch for it. Yeah, I'm a pathetically slow drinker like that. Even this Iced Mocha Caramel Shake that I made a few days back, I couldn't help myself to more than 2-3 sips at a single time. And it was bloody awesome. So you get the picture, right?
But all that changed when I discovered the wonders of cold brew. Cold brew is nothing but letting the ground coffee soak in water in room temperature or refrigerator for a prolonged period of time. This helps bring out the robust flavour of coffee without the usual bitterness that you get when you heat it. I have always preferred a chilled variant of coffee (blame it on our tropical weather) and cold brew came as a Godsend to me. It has now changed the way I look at coffee and has become a way of life. Ever so often I make a huge batch of coffee concentrate enough to last me a month or so. I don't generally take milk in my beverages (both tea and coffee) but when paired with this cold brew I don't really mind a splatter of it. And the fun part is, there are countless possibilities of what you can do with this and how you can enjoy your coffee. I have tried to enunciate some ways in the recipe section but go ahead and feel free to churn it up your way. It's almost like Parash Paathor, whatever you touch it with, becomes gold. :P

Here's how to cold brew coffee:
Makes 1.25 litres of coffee concentrate

Ingredients:

Coffee beans, freshly ground into a coarse powder: 2 cups
Cold water: 10 cups

I used a ratio of 1:4.5 (coffee:water). You can vary that of course depending on how strong or light you like it. But personally, I'd suggest that you make it slightly on the stronger side because you always have the option of diluting it later with water or milk but not the other way round.

Method:

1. In a big container/pitcher place the 2 cups of ground coffee and cover it with 10 cups of cold water. Stir to mix, cover it with a lid and keep it either in room temperature or the refrigerator. Forget all about it for 12-24 hours. Give the coffee time to soak. Cold brew takes time but the result is well worth it.

2. After 12-24 hours when you're ready to filter the coffee concentrate keep another large container handy along with a sieve and a cheesecloth. Pour the coffee concentrate from the container to the other one through the sieve until the liquid has drained through and the coffee granules are trapped. Wash the first container and sieve and repeat the process twice with the sieve and another couple of times with the cheesecloth (the cheesecloth helps to filter the teensy bits that might have escaped through the sieve).

Alternatively, if you have a French Press, you can just soak the coffee and water in that and after 12-24 can just filter the liquid out directly without undergoing the sieve/cheesecloth hassle!

3. After all your liquid is drained out, store it in a big bottle in the refrigerator or freeze them as ice cubes. I normally freeze 2 trays as ice cubes and keep the remaining as liquid.
How to make the Iced Coffee:
Serves: 1
Ingredients:

Cold brew coffee concentrate: 1/2 cup
Milk: 1/2 cup
Plain ice cubes: 4-5
Sugar: to taste

Method:

1.Pour the coffee concentrate in a serving cup. Drop a few ice cubes on it and pour the milk over it. Add sugar and stir to combine. It can't get simpler than this.

Again, all quantities are subject to change according to your preference. I make it in many different ways. At times I don't add milk and a bit more ice cubes in its place. Sometimes I use a little less coffee concentrate and 3-4 coffee ice cubes along with plain ice cubes. At times I blend everything together to get a slushy texture. Or at other times I use only coffee ice cubes and milk, no liquid concentrate. You can also try drizzling some chocolate syrup to make it an Iced Mocha. Just a little though, 'cause you'd surely not want to compromise with the coffee intensity. Oh, did I say that you can also add cream, whenever and however much? :P

See, 2-3 ingredients, endless possibilities! Happy coffee-binge-ing. :)
Summertime Love: Day 12
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