Monday, May 28, 2012

Coffee on A Stick?

One of the best things about this unseasonably warm spring has been enjoying icy treats! It started with iced coffee. Then I decided to put it in the blender and make a "frappuccino".

Today I decided to take it one step further... a coffee popsicle! It's easy, fun, and delicious!

I took about a tablespoon of whipped cream and put it in the bottom of a popsicle mold and let that freeze for about 30 minutes. While that was freezing I brewed some strong coffee. With the coffee still hot I added sugar to taste and let the coffee cool to room temp. It's a good idea to make it a bit sweeter than you normally would because we will add milk later.

Once the whipped cream is frozen in your molds it's time to continue. Pour half of your sweetened coffee into a separate container and add milk. Just add enough to lighten it up. You want the color to be between the white cream and the black coffee. Pour you lightened coffee into the molds filling it a little more than half way. Place it in the freezer without the stick until the surface is frozen enough to support your last layer.

Once it's frozen enough to support your final layer pour your sweetened black coffee in the molds to fill them the rest of the way. Add your stick and pop them back in the freezer. Once they are frozen solid, pop them out and enjoy your layered delight!!

I'll post pics later when they come out of their last freeze! Everyone loves them, even my daughter. Don't worry about letting kids have them, the caffeine content is less than a cup of coffee. If you're worried though, use decaf.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Super Cold Brew

Today I enjoyed a delicious iced coffee using cold brewed coffee. If you have never tried cold brew coffee I suggest you give it a try. Brewing coffee cold prevents bitterness and enhances the sweetness. A lot of people turn to cold brew coffee because it is not only smoother tasting but it also is much gentler on the stomach.

Cold brewing is super simple. If you Google the topic of cold brew you will soon discover that there as many ways to do it as there are varieties of coffee beans! Some people get very technical about it; weigh the coffee to the gram and carefully measure their water. Some people have sophisticated equipment designed specifically for cold brewing. Me, I wing it and it comes out great every time!
Here’s my method. Again, there are many ways to do it but this is just mine. It yields a sort of “coffee concentrate” that you can use in coffee drinks or drink as a modified “Americano”… but more on that later.

What you need:
· A 1qt Mason jar with lid or any vessel with a lid that can hold your water and coffee.
· Cold water.
· Coffee beans.
· Coffee grinder.
· Metal mesh coffee filter or a French press.

My method:
· Set the coffee grinder for a medium grind. A grind you would use for drip coffee.
· Grind up 8 heaping Tbsp. of fresh coffee beans (I like the “Symphony” blend from TeenyTinyCoffeeCo.)
· Dump your fresh ground coffee into your jar (or container of choice).
· Add about 3-5 cups of water. 
· Stir and place the lid on.
· Park it in the ‘fridge overnight (8-12 hours).
· In the morning, shake up your mix and then strain it. I like to dump it in my French press and press it but pouring it through a metal coffee filter also works well.
· Store the resulting coffee “concentrate” in an airtight container in the ‘fridge for up to 2 weeks.

It’s that easy! You can make larger batches if you want, so don’t worry too much about measurements. My rule of thumb is to double the amount of coffee you would normally use for the given amount of water. So if you usually use 1 Tbsp of coffee per cup of water in your hot prep, use 2 Tbsp. per cup for cold brew. 
If you want to enjoy it hot just add equal parts coffee concentrate and hot water. I would call this a modified “Americano”. A traditional “Americano” uses espresso and hot water. 

I like to make Iced Coffee by using equal parts cold brewed coffee and milk. Then add some sugar or flavored syrups and pour it over a glass of ice.

I hope you try your hand at cold brew. It’s easy and delicious!