Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Iced Coffee and the Dilution Solution
Seems that most people make iced coffee by, well, brewing a pot of coffee and pouring it over ice in a glass. But this dilutes the brew and does nothing to give you a really good, smooth coffee experience.
I prefer the way it's done in New Orleans (thanks, Chuck!), where they know a thing or two about beating the heat.
Take a jug of cool water, 5 cups is good, and pour in a half pound of ground coffee (of course, they use chickory in New Orleans, but I find this method works well with most any coffee). After 12 hours, strain out the grounds (a regular old strainer works just fine). What remains is about a quart of lovely coffee extract. It's strong--you only need a bit--but it has none of the bitterness you get with a heat brew. Pour in a smidge of vanilla extract if you like--the real stuff, please!--to balance out the flavor. Then do with it what you will. It's good in a tall glass of ice, about one part coffee to three parts milk (depending on your personal taste). Or get really decadent and use creme (or even Baileys). Sweeten to your liking.
Lest you think you have to sit around staring at it for 12 hours while it works its magic, the coffee extract keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge (if it lasts that long), so it's ready when you need it.
As when you make sun tea--which involves putting a jug of water with a handful of teabags in it (or lots of loose tea) out on the patio for the day--you let time, rather than heat, do all the work. The result is a nice, smooth cuppa. Or glassa.