Cold brew coffee.
You’ve seriously got to try this. Cold brewing coffee yields an amazing, mellow brew that plays nicely with a light sweetener and a splash of cream. Or not. The coffee has so little acidity that many coffee -n- cream users can drink straight black.
Iced Coffee is made by brewing hot coffee, cooling it down and serving over ice. And don’t get me wrong -- I love iced coffee. But it is a different beverage than a nice cold brew. Iced coffee retains some of the acidity, yielding a brighter but edgier coffee. Cold brew, brewed by cold water extracting the flavor from the grounds, yields a much smoother, gentler coffee with more complexity in its flavors.
At its essence, cold brewing involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12 - 24 hours. Most cold brew systems available for purchase will encase the grounds in a filtering system as they steep, but for those of you who want to take a DIY approach, get a handy Mason jar! Put the grounds in the jar, place the jar in the refrigerator, and forget about it for 12 - 24 hours. When you are ready to sample your cold brew, you will need to filter the grounds from the water. You can use any number of methods to do that, from doubled cheesecloth to a paper towel (not my recommendation -- they bleach those things!) to a dish towel.
Keep the proportion of water to coffee around 3 to 1 to start. In my 2 serving system, I use about 5 Tbsp. of ground coffee to 15 oz. of cold water. You can vary the intensity of our cold brew by using less liquid or allowing the grounds to steep longer.
We’re nomads, here at Republican Coffee. If you find yourself on the road often -- or just running out the door at a breakneck pace -- you might like our hand travel bottle for cold brew. It has a cap on each end. To make the coffee I just open up the bottom, put 5 Tbsp in the filter basket, and reattach the cap. Flip the bottle over and fill it with cold water, leaving some room in the top for cream or milk if you are taking it on the run. Give the bottle a little shake to get the air bubbles out of the grounds and you are done!