Am I the last one to the cold brew party?
So, I like coffee just fine. Not like I like WINE, but I start my day with a cup of brew every morning. I'm no coffee connoisseur. Hence, I always thought "iced coffee" and "cold brew coffee" were the same thing.
Then hubs started working with the young woman who started Icebox Coffee through his volunteer duties at Innovation Depot here in B'ham. He explained to me the difference between the two...."iced coffee" is coffee brewed with hot water poured over ice and "cold brew" is coarsely ground coffee beans soaked in cold or room temperature water for 12-24 hours and then strained. I've tried the iced method before and remember thinking, "This is just a cold watered down version of hot coffee that's even more bitter than the original." Not a fan. So I was skeptical of cold brew. I shouldn't have been! Apparently, with the absence of heat, coffee doesn't become bitter, so after straining, you're left with a smooth, bitter-free, slightly sweeter version. I'm addicted.
It's been so freaking hot here for the past month this is what got me through the two weeks of hell that were moving in. I'd have a small cup of my regular brew to wake me up in the morning, then pour myself a tall glass of cold brew and almond milk and start tackling cardboard.
I make mine by mixing about an ounce or maybe a little more over ice and then adding unsweetened vanilla almond milk to top off the glass. I don't put sugar in my coffee, but if that's your thing, by all means. My niece likes a shot of cold brew mixed with hot water for a better version of a hot cup of coffee. Her hubs drinks the stuff straight....like a shot of espresso. They also prefer the New Orleans blend (which I assume has a chicory flavor?) of Icebox to my preferred Madagascar Vanilla.
Icebox is available online at iceboxcoffee.com and throughout the South, but if you'd like to make your own, checkout this tutorial on Food52. It can be made in your French Press (which makes the straining part easy) or in a container large enough to hold about 4 cups of water. You could also get fancy and go this route!! A little expensive, but how cool would that look sitting on your kitchen counter? And check out a few ideas on other things to do with your finished product here.