I looooove coffee. But, weirdly, I hate making it just for myself. For a while there, I was making it every morning because B was drinking it too, and it always made my morning a little better. But then B realized that it was bothering his stomach so he stopped drinking it and I stopped making it.
Fast forward to 2 weeks in trial and not enough sleep (and what little sleep I got being interrupted by dreams about cross-examining witnesses), I needed coffee. But I still didn’t want to get up and make it, so I would swing through the Tim Horton’s drive through on my way to the office every morning and buy a cup of a coffee. Tim Hortons makes awesome coffee anyways.
The problem is that 2 weeks back on the coffee train really had me craving it, but I still don’t love making a pot just for myself. Also, with the weather getting hotter I tend to prefer iced coffee which I’ve never made with any success at home. In the past I’d tried cooling brewed coffee but it always turned out weak and bitter.
Enter: The Pioneer Woman. Truthfully, I’ve gone back and forth on my feelings about her/that site and at the moment I don’t actually ready it. However I remembered a while back I read a recipe on her site for cold-brewed iced coffee so I decided to look it up and give it a try this weekend.
Her recipe and suggestions are here.
The problems with her recipe were: I did not have containers big enough to make the quantity she suggested, I did not have a strainer or cheese cloth, and I did not have (or desire to use) sweetened condensed milk (that stuff is like 60 calories PER TABLESPOON and she suggests using at least 3!!).
So here is what I did.
1. I poured half a bag of coffee into an empty 1 gallon container (we have a bunch of these lying around because thats what we buy water in). Fill the rest of the container up with water from the tap. **In the future, I will buy a funnel. I made a crazy mess trying to pour coffee into the jug!**
2. Let it sit for about a day.
3. Use the coffee filter from my coffee maker inserted directly into my coffee pot (I took off the lid) to strain the coffee.
4. Each time I filled the coffee maker, I poured it into a second clean 1 gallon container.
That’s it! It made about 3/4 gallon of what she calls “coffee concentrate.” It is quite strong! So if you like your iced coffee plain with no cream or sugar, you might want to consider using less coffee in the coffee/water mixture, or simply diluting the final product.
I like my coffee creamy and sweet, though, so this mix was PERFECT for me. I played around with a few different ratios of sugar and half and half— because I didn’t want to use the crazy high-cal sweetened condensed milk she suggests.
What wound up being perfect for my tastes is:
1 cup cold brewed coffee concentrate
1/4 cup half and half
1 tbspn sugar
mix will and pour over ice.
This is not just a knock-off of coffee shop iced coffee. This is the best iced coffee I’ve ever had, by far!
And, the calorie count on this is not even too scary, weighing in at 125 calories for the mix above. It does, however, have 7 grams of fat (half and half!), so I’m not sure it is something I’ll be drinking daily. I think I’m going to buy some regular milk and see how much of a difference it makes to the flavor to use that rather than the half and half… and see if I can’t get the fat content down enough that I could drink this every day.
Also, The Pioneer Woman notes that if you store the coffee concentrate in a closed container in your fridge, it should last 3-4 weeks. I’m not sure it WILL last that long in my fridge, because I’ll probably drink it all faster than that! But, it is nice to know it will keep. This makes mornings so super easy because instead of brewing a whole pot of coffee just for myself, I can just mix myself a drink in about 30 seconds!
Has anyone else tried iced coffee at home? Any other recipes or suggestions for coffee drinks? I think I might try this with bailey’s for a night time version of my new favorite treat!