Coffee is sacrosanct to billions of people around the world and for many different reasons. Of course, most love the caffeine energy boost, but others drink it because they love the flavors and aroma, the ritual, the soothing warmth. With recent research proving that coffee and caffeine actually have some health benefits, there are more reasons than ever to enjoy a cup. And here's another: cold brewing.
Coffee that's been cold-brewed is less acidic, which is better for your body, especially if you have a sensitive stomach or are dealing with any illnesses (you want a more alkaline pH in most cases to help fight infections). It's also smoother in flavor, highlighting the delicate notes and complexities of the coffee bean (fruity, spicy, chocolate, vanilla, etc), while also decreasing the bitterness that can be a turn-off to many.
Cold brewing coffee is incredibly easy and worth giving a try. Here's how.
From the Organic Authority Files
What You Need
1/3 cup freshly ground coffee (organic and Fair Trade recommended) to 1 cup water (8 ounces). If you like it stronger, add more coffee! *Note that most coffee shop coffee cups are 16 ounces, or twice this recipe. So you may want to triple or quadruple your batch. (Optional: I like to scrape a vanilla bean in mine for an even smoother flavor.)
What You Do
In a French press or glass jar with lid, mix coffee and water, stirring well. The grinds should eventually float up to the top. Cover and let sit overnight—or for at least 8 hours. You can let it sit for as long as 24 hours though (and I've heard of people soaking even longer). It will make it stronger the longer you soak it.
After the coffee has soaked, using a fine mesh strainer (you can even put a coffee filter in there to remove any grinds), slowly pour the coffee through the strainer into another container. You now have a cold-brew coffee concentrate. Dilute this in a 1:3 ratio of coffee to water. You can heat this up gently on the stovetop if you like, or serve iced. The concentrate will stay fresh for at least a week. Sweeten and add milk to taste. Enjoy!
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger