Taste Test Completed: Cold Brew is a Winner!

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At 5 PM yesterday, I added my 4.5 ounces of Starbucks French Roast coffee (purchased at Marshall’s for $6.19) to my 3.5 cups of bottled water in my handy-dandy french press that I’ve had forever. The first lesson is learned is to put the coffee in first. I put the water in first to make sure it was all going to fit, and I had coffee grounds all over my cabinet. Coffee grounds sort of float on top of water until you submerge them. Once I got them pushed down, it all fit fine in my 34-ounce french press. I put the plunger on top and just let it sit overnight. At 5 AM this morning, the instructions said it would be ready.

My 34 ounce french press

My 34 ounce french press

I actually let it sit until 6 AM because I had to do morning walk with Ashok, so it steeped for 13 hours. I pushed the plunger down … or at least I tried to push the plunger down. The coffee grounds had formed sort of a cake on the top of the water. So, I took the plunger off and just stirred it with a knife once or twice. Then, the plunger submerged fine. I poured the already once-filtered water through my gold coffee filter to get the big chunks out and then filtered it again through a regular paper coffee filter. It took a little while to drip through that, but it wasn’t too big of a hassle. As long as I don’t have to do this every day, it would certainly be worth it.

Gold coffee filter

Gold coffee filter

The cold brew method produces a coffee concentrate, so you mix it with equal parts water or milk to drink. So, I took out too small glasses and filled one with 1/4 cup of my homemade cold brew and the other one with the recommended serving size of the CoolBrew that I purchased yesterday. The CoolBrew bottle has a self-measuring function. You just squeeze the bottle. It measures the recommended serving into a little chamber. Pour that into the cup. Then, I added 1/4 cup whole milk to each glass. I tasted mine first. It was good! I was afraid that it wouldn’t be that great because I wasn’t sure I had the right grind or the right type of coffee. (See my blog yesterday for suggestions I’d found.) But, it was very smooth, and I liked the depth of the French Roast. The CoolBrew was definitely more concentrated than mine. It had a darker color, and it tasted stronger. I really like it. I liked it better, in fact, but not so much better that I might continue buying it instead of making it at home.

I poured them both in a tall glass, added some more milk and ice and took a big sip. I didn’t even want sweetener. It is so much better than iced coffee made with hot brewing. I’m sold. You can also make hot coffee with the concentrate. I’m interested in trying it. I would suspect it would be a great option for camping or for those times when fooling with a coffeemaker is a pain. It would certainly simplify things. Just throw your coffee concentrate in your cooler along with some ice and creamer, and you’ve got instant coffee waiting. And, since my batch only cost me about $3.50 to make, it’s a lot cheaper to buy than coffee-house versions. I’ll probably get 8-10 coffees out of my little batch. I figure I just saved $40-$50!

So, now that I’m sold on cold brewing for iced coffee, I thought I’d see if I could get better results with a cold brew coffeemaker. It seems that there are a few types on the market. The Filtron is one of the oldest and most recommended versions. And, I know French Truck recommends the Toddy. Neither one is that expensive. In fact, with my $40-$50 I saved making my own, I could buy either easily. But, I found this article about the 5 best ways to make cold brew, and it seems that my french press is right up there with the machines. Since there are parts I would probably lose on the other two, I don’t know if I’ll purchase one right away, but one day I might. I’ll make sure I continue to like this iced coffee thing. I have never been a fan before, but I’m always open to a new adventure.

The article did make a suggestion that I steep my coffee in the french press for 24 hours instead of the 12 in the other recipe. I think next time I’ll try steeping it for 24 hours to see if I can get a deeper flavor like that of the Coolbrew concentrate. I’m really happy with my little experiment. I was sweaty when I came back from my walk, and it was nice to have iced coffee instead of something hot to drink. I’m just really sad that right now I only have some bits of ice and a tiny bit of watered down iced coffee left in my glass. Since I’m only allowed one serving of caffeine a day, the party’s over for me. But I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Have a great day! Try something new today …. you might just like it!

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