It’s August and it’s hot. I still need my coffee to make it through the day. I often want a cup after lunch, but who wants a steamy cup of anything in this hot and sticky August heat?
Coffee, once shunned by health ‘experts’, is now known to have some remarkable health benefits. Drinking even a single cup of coffee a day may lower your risk of skin cancer ( more here ). There is also evidence that drinking moderate amounts of coffee may counter heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, and more ( 7 Benefits of Coffee ).
So on to the recipe.
I offer two methods for making iced coffee. Choose your preferred method for the basic brew.
Semi -Cold Brew
This method requires 4-6 hours but results in a more appealing and less bitter brew. I’ve never had the patience or foresight to start my coffee 16 hours ahead, as the die-hard cold brewers do, so I developed my semi-cold brew method. By adding slightly warm water, just above room temperature (90-100F), you can speed up the process without disturbing the sweeter and more subtle flavor profile of a cold brew.
Combine 8 tablespoons of rich blend coffee and 3 cups of warm, but not hot water in a french press or glass pitcher.
Let it sit for 4-6 hours depending on the boldness of the beans and your tastes. If you start it in the morning, after your first cup of hot-brewed coffee, it will be ready by early afternoon.
Now you have to remove the grounds. If you used a french press then this part is simple – just press and pour into a pitcher. If you used a glass pitcher then you will have to use a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve, or a sieve lined with cheesecloth to remove the grounds as you pour into another pitcher.
This method is simple – brew 3 cups of coffee as you normally would but at 50 percent greater strength. Place the coffee in the freezer for 30 minutes to cool it.
Putting it All Together
Add the following to your brew and stir to combine:
1/2 cup of half & half cream ( You’re not using a low-fat substitute are you? )
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Double the recipe and store it ready-made in the fridge for up to three days.
Serve over ice. For a better cup keep a tray of ice made from coffee in the freezer. This keeps the ice from diluting your afternoon coffee creation.
Makes 2 large or 3 small servings, but who wants a small serving of iced coffee?