Monday Morning Coffee: Cold, No Ice

Coffee is a sacred beverage, high above even the finest beers and whiskeys. Many, many people have devoted pages and pages to the art of brewing the perfect cup. In most cities you can find high-end purveyors of the finest roasts, Chemex pour overs, carefully pulled espresso and more. For my morning cup, I prefer a French press, but I’m the only one who drinks it in my house so I can take the time and the ritual is a major aspect of its enjoyment.

A minor dilemma then, that it is possible that there is such a thing as too hot for coffee. The dry sun blazing down on you like a wrathful eye as you try to peacefully read in the morning. And yet, the rituals must be performed, lest the coffee gods grow unhappy. But how does one make the perfect cup of cold coffee?

Ah but wait, a solution presents itself! Cold-brew coffee, aka Rocket Fuel, aka liquid crack. When done properly, it yields a potent brew without the acidity and bitterness that accompanies strong hot coffee. It tastes the way it smells and has the potential to rob you of restful sleep for days. Better than that, it is incredibly simple, so long as you can be patient.

The current ratio I’m working with is 20oz of coffee to about two gallons of water, steeped at room temperature for 48 hrs. It is then strained through coffee filters twice to remove as many of the solids as possible. Let it chill for a while, or add ice. Depending on your roast, the potency of the brew should be fairly strong.

One of my colleagues is running a similar experiment with medium roast as opposed to my Sumatra, so I’m anxious to see the results.

Given that the cold liquid doesn’t take granulated sugar easily, I recommend making a quick simple syrup to accompany your newly acquires beverage. If you’re feeling fancy, you could add a splash of vanilla or add a few cinnamon sticks to infuse your syrup.

Vanilla Simple Syrup

1 cup granulated white sugar

1 cup water

1 T vanilla extract


Combine ingredients in a 2 qt sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce by a 1/4.  Let cool and enjoy.  Holds cold or at room temp, keep covered with a pour spout, cap, etc.


Bear in mind that the cold-brew coffee, at its most potent, should be treated like a concentrate.  Like espresso, over-consumption will result in a day of twitching and acting like a spaz.  Or provide the superhero-like ability to work 8+ hr shifts on your feet.  If you feel like your heart might explode, that is just the love of the coffee gods and the physical reaction to their blessing.  Maybe sit down and drink some water.


About mthomasmaenpaa

Father, writer, geek, food-lover

Posted on June 27, 2014, in Coffee and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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