Oh, morning coffee, how I love thee. But coffee and I have a problem right now. When coffee is put in a coffee pot and heated it releases all sorts of acids and the bitterness it's known for. My stomach is not a happy camper, neither is my esophagus. Hence, my problem. I was looking at giving it, my coffee pot and my local roaster up.
I ran into my coffee roasting guy at the farmer's market and brought up my dilemma. Little did I know, cold brewing coffee reduces the acid in your morning cup by over 60% . He suggested putting a cup of coffee in a four cups of water in a one quart mason jar, putting a lid on, shaking it and letting it sit for 12 hours. Then you strain it, store in the refrigerator and use your concentrate for your morning cup whether hot or cold.
But there is a controversy over HOW exactly to cold brew it. I found this great article that focuses on the cold brew technique. Here and Now on Cold Brew Coffee
The mason jar and even the guys' advice seemed too simple, too inexpensive. So I went to google and found this baby averaging $250.
Um, no. Besides being pricey, this one, found on Reddit, reminded me too much of my days working in a lab. But it is all glass, another reason I wanted to ignore my coffee pot (hence, the sad face).
So I did a hack using what I had to see: 1) if I really liked cold-brewed coffee and 2) if it really was low acid as everyone from baristas to scientists claim. I needed filtered water (just because I think it makes a better cup of coffee), a four cup measuring cup, an old loose tea filter, and my favorite freshly ground coffee.
|You will also need plastic wrap to cover the cup.|
There are a gazillion articles out there about the mason jar method, room temp brewing versus refrigerator, how to strain the coffee, how long to brew it etc. I've been experimenting and made the following decisions for what I'd try.
1) Refrigerator method: Lots of folks swear by room temperature for 12 hours. But my microbiology trained mind worried about bacteria and mold. Didn't need to chance that and I even found some articles to support it. So I decided it was worth doing the colder brew, even if the coffee wasn't quite as aromatic.
2) Loose coffee versus permanent filter or coffee "sock": I tried it both ways. I made sure to swirl the coffee during the brewing process to make sure the grounds were really wet, just like if I had used the mason jar. I managed to strain the loose just fine through the filter that is a part of my coffee pot system. The filter worked fine too. Again, I made sure I stirred the ground coffee and swirled the container (holding the filter of course).
3) Time brewed: Lots of various advice but 12 hours seemed to do for me.
4) So here is the set-up for an experimental try:
Add a half cup of ground coffee to the filter. Set in measuring cup. Slowly pour three cups of water through filter (it will seep out the filter). Stir grounds gently to get thoroughly wet. Filter shouldn't move or tip. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 12 hours, swirling the water gently at 2-3 hours.
Remove grounds and filter. Store in refrigerator a few days, recovering with fresh plastic wrap.
Determine your own ration of coffee to water and/or milk but most folks suggest one to four or one to three. That works best for me. I just put it in the microwave and zap for a few minutes on high and have my latte in my favorite mug!
|My two cup measure takes 1/3 coffee concentrate, 1/3 water, 1/3 milk.|
PS: I also forgot cold brewing extracts less acid but MORE caffeine. Oops! I was hopping around like a crazed rabbit for a couple days before I remembered. I needed to use less concentrate.
There you go, an alternative to iced tea in the summer! Have you tried iced coffee? Made cold brewed coffee? Or are you still an iced tea person?