This post is actually going to be a combination of what I’ve learned but even more than that I’m asking for your suggestions! As many of you know, I used to be a Diet Coke addict (drinking up to 12 cans per day). When I quit almost 2 years ago (cold turkey-yay!) I needed to switch up my drink game because although I’m growing to love water, it’s not always enough. Shortly after leaving the Diet Coke behind, I did what I probably should have done when knee deep in residency all those years ago- I took up coffee! Join us for this Friday Five’s Coffee Talk-all about cold brew coffee.
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So I have a funny little quirk, I don’t usually like hot drinks. Over the past year I have definitely started embracing tea (especially since buying this electric kettle!), but I knew whatever drink I was switching to couldn’t be a hot one. Holly suggested cold brew coffee as a way to start and as always, that girl is a genius. This is what I learned…
1. If you are not a coffee drinker, even cold brew may be an acquired taste. I found it refreshing but initially it tasted fairly bitter to me (keep in mind, my blood was pretty much pure artificial sweetener after drinking oceans of Diet Coke for years). I knew I didn’t want a ton of calories in whatever I drank, but it was important to me that I stayed away from all artificial sweeteners. Although purely sugar (with a hint of vanilla), this Easy Homemade Caramel Coffee Syrup was the answer. Just a tiny bit sweetened my cold brew coffee enough to make it palatable to me. And little by little I was able to decrease the amount of coffee syrup I used until today I prefer my coffee strong and black. Well, unless it’s doubling as my dessert…
2. Why Cold Brew? Why not iced coffee? Now I can drink either, but when I was starting out in the coffee drinking world, I found coffee really acidic. Cold brew, which is exactly what it sounds like, coffee brewed using cold water, was less acidic and had a smoother taste. Luckily for me, cold brew is getting easier and easier to find at coffee shops, even my favorite non-chain places.
3. Make your cold brew at home! So buying cases and cases of Diet Coke is not exactly cheap, but spending $4-5 per drink at Caribou Coffee or Starbucks was going to break me quick. I had to figure out how to make cold brew coffee at home or risk bankruptcy or divorce. And it turns out it is not hard! I bought this inexpensive French Press (I’ve since bought the identical one for my cabin and my inlaws’ house in Arizona) and I definitely recommend getting the largest one you can fit into your fridge. I also have this inexpensive coffee grinder to grind whole beans. Need a quick step by step guide to making your own? Check this one out.
4. The beans. Now this is where I need your help. You can use any beans for making cold brew coffee. But as a coffee novice, I’m not exactly clear what the BEST ones to use are. I’ve tried beans from Starbucks (some good, some great), beans from Caribou (good), and beans from Costco (Kirkland brand is always good). But is there something amazing out there? Something I’m missing out on? Please let me know! I’m always looking for something new to try!
5. New coffee related purchases. I recently bought this Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker as well (my daughter is now drinking cold brew also, one French Press just wasn’t making enough since it has to brew for 12-24 hours). It’s not quite as easy to use (getting the grounds into the inner chamber requires a funnel, or at least a piece of rolled up parchment paper), but so far it makes great coffee! I also bought this glass jar to hold all of the yummy cold brew I’ve been making. What great coffee related purchases have you made lately? What else do I need?