Picture it: Summer 2008. The first Sex and the City movie was in theaters, Michael Phelps was swimming in obscurity, and Sarah Palin was a mostly unknown governor up in Alaska.
And we fell in love with Cold Brewed Iced Coffee -- and wrote about it here on the blog.
It's a simple idea: Put coffee grounds in a jar, fill that jar with water, and then place the jar in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, you have a jar full of strong but refreshing coffee. It instantly became a staple in our house during hot summer months.
Since then, iced coffee has definitely been the blog item we've made most often in our own home (although sometimes we wish this cake held that distinction). When it's warm outside, we're brewing at least one batch of cold coffee each night. Sometimes we brew two batches.
But in browsing that old post a few weeks ago, we realized that we no longer make our iced coffee the same way we described back then. In 2008, we were brewing the coffee in jars, and then straining it through coffee filters. It was a messy affair that too often led to a mess on our countertops. Also: double straining, as we recommended then? For the birds!
So we took the suggestions of a reader and learned how to make better iced coffee at home. And we've never looked back.
Buying a French press is a good investment if you're going to make coffee at home, especially if it's going to prevent you from buying coffee elsewhere. Two days ago, for example, we actually forgot to make iced coffee before we went to bed. So on the way in to work yesterday, we stopped off at Starbucks for two iced Americanos that set us back nearly $6.
So now that you have your press pot, here's what you do. Get some coffee grinds that you like (or you can grind your own, of course) and place them in the French press. We make our coffee strong, placing about 8 tablespoons (or 1/2 cup) of ground coffee into our 8-cup press. We don't measure the coffee anymore and just eyeball it each day.
You should experiment with the coffee, making it stronger or weaker by adding more or less coffee, depending on your taste. And don't worry -- if it turns out too strong the next morning, you can just add water when your pour it into a glass.
Fill the press with water. We use cold water, straight from the tap.
Give the whole thing a big stir.
Place the lid on the press but leave the plunger up.
Clear a space in your fridge and let the press sit there overnight.
The next morning, when you're ready for some coffee, take the press out of the refrigerator and slowly plunge the filter, which will strain the coffee.
Pour the coffee over ice.
Take a sip. Too strong? Add some water. Too weak? Whoops! Make it stronger next time.
If you're into it, add some milk or cream. If you're not quite awake yet, get dazed by pretty dairy floating through the coffee.
So that it -- easy iced coffee at home!
If we weren't making this each day, we'd be poor from buying coffee on the way to work.
On the other hand, we'd probably be sleeping more soundly...