Mrs H’s Cold Brew Coffee, in words and pictures!

Okay, there are admittedly LOTS of ways that cold brew coffee can be made and I’ll spare you the long discourse explaining them all. This is my way.  (And I did it MYYYYYY WAYYYYY!!!) Yes, I sang that last part in my head as I typed it. Someone else probably already figured out the method I use a long time ago, and possibly even posted it somewhere on the web, truly there is nothing new under the sun, but as far as I know this is my own invention.  This is my easy-peasy small batch method, and these are the things that you will need to make it:

• 1 quart-sized Mason jar with lid

• Cool, filtered water

• A high-quality food grade fine mesh stainless steel (paperless, washable/reusable) cone-shaped filter with stand. The little stand that came with mine has a slip-proof band around the base of it, and the cone filter has a silicone grip on the handle – both are VERY HELPFUL! You can get it at Amazon. It’s pictured below.

* This is a handy little device for lots of things.  You can make hot coffee by simply placing coffee grounds into the funnel part, placing it on top of your mug, and pouring boiling water over them into a large mug.  Makes for a very cheap coffee maker!  Also awesome for when the electricity goes out and you can’t use your fancy espresso machine.  All you’ve got to do is figure out how to boil water – perhaps on a gas stove, in the fireplace or firepit, on the BBQ, or using a Sterno can under your water kettle. You can also use it to make hot tea.  Drop your loose leaf tea into the bottom of the cone and then set the cone down into a large mug.  Pour hot boiling water over the leaves and let them sit and soak a bit.  Then just lift the cone out of the cup and tap the leaves in the trash or garden. 

** If you don’t have one of these fancy little devices and don’t want to go out and buy one, you can, in a pinch, use a cone type paper filter placed inside of a large automotive funnel, and pour your water through that.  Plastic is not good to use with hot stuff (and especially non-food grade plastic).

• A hand crank burr coffee grinder, that can be adjusted to grind coarse, medium, and fine espresso grinds. Or you can just purchase your coffee already ground, if you want. I would suggest getting the whole bean and grinding it at the store at least.

• A glass or ceramic pitcher (I have a French coffee press which works perfectly, plunger removed, pictured below)

• Organic Fairtrade whole coffee beans (you can get really fancy on this and insist that they are mountain grown, in the shade, at cooler temperatures, in Peru, and all that jazz, if you insist). I personally like the dark roasted (French Roast) beans, and if you are a fan of Alton Brown, he says they should be coarse ground, but I’ve used finely ground and it worked out okay.  If you’ve developed a discriminating pallet you’ll probably have your own preferences.

Step One

Fill a clean quart-sized mason jar with cool, filtered water. (I actually use Hydrogen/Alkaline water – I go through about 5 gallons in a couple weeks)

Step Two

Grind the beans (or use pre-ground beans if you prefer, but just make sure they are a good quality).  For a quart of water I use 4 heaping tablespoons of coffee grounds.  FYI: My husband dropped this bit of trivia on me this morning –  whole coffee beans will keep in the pantry for about 3 months, or in the freezer for about a year.  Ground coffee beans will keep for about 1 month in the pantry, but not at all in the freezer.  Freeze dried instant coffee will last a few years, unopened, in the pantry and indefinitely in the freezer. 

* I use organic fairtrade coffee beans because they are grown without pesticides, and I think they also have less chemicals in the processing.  But, I’m actually an organic everything person now that I’ve experienced cancer.  It may cost a little more to buy organic things vs non-organic, but when you are mostly just shopping in the produce section and limited by the lesser amounts of organic stuff available, I think I actually spend less money than I used to on groceries to feed myself.  It’s honestly the Junk food, processed foods, drinks, and snack foods that are expensive.  If all you are buying are the basics (fruits and veggies, little bit of dairy, tiny bit of meats, and an occasional bread product) and you prepare it all yourself, you’d be surprised at how much less it costs to eat and how much better you feel.  

** I use a burr grinder (recommended by my daughter) to get uniform pieces of bean.  Alton suggests a coarse grind.  I have used medium and fine grinds and had adequate success.  Again, it’s a taste preference. Experiment and see if you can tell a difference.  An electric burr grinder would be a nice tool too, if you can afford it.

Step Three

Add the coffee grounds to the water in the Mason jar, seal with a tight-fitting lid, and give the jar a good but gentle shaking to mix everything up. 

Step Four

Place the Mason jar on your kitchen countertop and let it steep at room temperature for about 24 hours.  I give mine a little gentle shake and swirl several times during the day.

Step Five

Set the cone filter on top of the ceramic pitcher and then pour the coffee through it to separate out the grounds. 

Step Six

Dispose of the grounds however you see fit.  You can toss them in the trash, or use them for compost in the garden.

Step Seven

Pour yourself a freshly cold brewed cup of wonderfulness, adding whatever sweetener you like, or not, and a splash of Half and Half, or not.  Save the remainder of the freshly brewed coffee into a clean Mason jar with a tight fitting lid and store it for up to a week in the fridge. 

P.S. Alton uses a concoction of honey, Agave Nectar, Blackstrap Molasses, and a splash of water mixed together in a squeeze bottle to sweeten his cold brew.  He also augments his coffee beans with chicory.  Check out his Good Eats episode on the Food Network. I don’t care for sweet coffee, just creamy, and of course I only use organic Half and Half. 

BTW: Ever notice how far out the expiration date is on organic milk products? Yes, it’s more expensive than the regular stuff, but it also lasts three times longer in the fridge.  You don’t end up tossing out half used gallons of stinky, expired milk.

Step Eight

Wash everything.  Store it away.  Start all over again in a week – or sooner if you want to live on the wild side and drink 2 cups a day. LOL

NOTE: You could use a French coffee press for making your coffee.  In fact, I have one of those too. It makes fabulous hot coffee. But it works equally well for cold brewing. After adding the water and grounds to the press, and stirring, cover it with the lid, but leave the plunger thingy all the way up until after the coffee has brewed for 24 hours.  During the brewing phase periodically remove lid and stir the contents throughout the day and just leave it sitting on the kitchen counter.  The next day slowly press the plunger down to force the spent grounds to the bottom of the appliance.  Pour out your beverage and enjoy.  If using your press and you have leftovers, you’ll want to transfer the coffee to another container so you can remove the spent grounds before storing the coffee in the fridge.  The smaller press would be a great option for when you just want to make a fresh batch every day.  Less water will require less grounds, of course, than what I use for my Mason jar method.  But maybe you like your coffee STRONG? You’ll have to experiment until you get it just the way you like it. 

The Long Monologue…

Now here’s my story part … if you are interested. I’ve tucked it all the way down here, instead of at the top of my post, so that you wouldn’t have to suffer through a sea of words just to get to the silly recipe, which is sometimes all you really care about, right? You’re welcome! But seriously, this is interesting so please keep reading. LOL

Soooooo, here’s the thing about cold brew coffee.  And this could just be me – as I am totally aware that I do have some pretty unique and uncanny eccentricities about me, but it’s entirely possible, and so I warn you up front, that once you’ve tasted this magnificent, eye-popping beverage you may find yourself as instantaneously and hopelessly swallowed up by its intoxicating qualities as I am. 

I mean, it would be easy to make an idol of the danged stuff.  Seriously!  I spend most my days obsessed and utterly preoccupied with the thought of the taste of it.  And I’ll tell you, God and coffee go extremely well together, as it turns out, and it would be really easy to just let the two of them be friends, and I be the glue that holds them both together, FOREVER!  That’s how bad my craving tries to become. I even have all the accoutrements for making it – well, maybe not ALL of the accoutrements. But I also have a supply of beans in my freezer at all times, as a prepping exercise, should things on earth go suddenly south, and I not have access to my morning beverage. Does that make me a coffee snob?  Eeeks!  

Honestly, it’s on my mind from the minute the last drop of my singular morning cup has rolled over my tongue and slidden (is that a word?) past the gauntlet of my tonsils and uvula, over my windpipe, and down my gullet.  I barely make it to lunchtime before I am tempted again, and then there is the afternoon craving, and the suppertime one, and another that hits me when I sit down to watch a little bit of TV before bed. I tell you, I find myself counting down the hours to my next cup like the count down clock of a sports period. I can hardly wait for morning.

It’s my delirious daydream right up until I finally fall asleep at night.  I’m sure I probably dream about it too, if I could remember my dreams. I wake up in the morning giddy and excited, uttering the words “coffee, coffee, coffee” in my head like a maniacal lunatic and a broken record, over and over again, as I grope for my slippers by the soft rays of sunlight gleaming through my bedroom windows, and dance (yes dance) on my tippy-toes, spinning in little circles all the way to the kitchen, wagging my tail as I go.  Okay, some of that might be an exaggeration. But I confess, I’ve got the fever!!!!!  Which could explain why I am here taking pictures and blogging about it a mile a minute at 2:30 in the afternoon. I need help, but please don’t help me. Just run, while you still can, if you haven’t already fallen into the trap.

Of course I’m trying to be funny, which may or may not be working. I really do have to make a conscious effort to take dominion over this particular craving and make my body submit. So I limit myself to one small cup in the morning. I make myself drink water first, take my supplements, and let them absorb before hitting my bloodstream with caffeine. I walk during that time (for an hour, and sometimes two) and spend that time praising God and praying, and then I let myself have that one lone little cup of joe while I read the scriptures or listen to a preaching podcast, or do my housework. Drinking coffee, thank goodness, isn’t a sin. If it were I’d really be in trouble, because the Bible says that if our eye causes us to sin, that we would be better off poking it out. I’d sure hate to have to cut out my tongue (although I know Jesus was speaking metaphorically). I’m just trying to be grateful for the one cup and not greedy or gluttonous for more. Just this small taste of addiction gives me sympathy for those with serious addictions for other things much more serious, like alcohol, drugs, sex, money, and food. The word of God says that no temptation overcomes us except what is common to men, and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I have the power to overcome because the Holy Spirit lives in me. The word of God tells me to take captive every though to the obedience of Christ. I can either submit to Him or fall prey to my cravings. I’m choosing the former.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.”

1 Corinthians 6:12

UPDATE: My thoughtful oldest daughter read my blogpost and sent me a text asking if she could send me some decaf. OMGosh…Decaf. Duh. How stupid of me. Guess I was having a blonde moment, or maybe a “senior” moment, or a chemo brain moment??? Actually, I’m pretty sure I was just born this way. LOL



Coming soon … 

>>>>>> Mrs. H’s Hibiscus Tea recipe! <<<<<<<

This is how I stayed hydrated through my chemo treatments and kicked my iced tea habit. You don’t want to miss it, so push the subscribe button and stay tuned.

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