Do you remember that moment you fell in love? I’m not talking about only falling in love with a person; I’m talking about falling in love with a “thing.”
Maybe you fell in love with a house that was on your block that seemed like a dream home. Maybe it was a car that your friend’s dad drove and you knew one day you’d search until you had one just like it. It can even be something like a dog breed that for some reason makes you smile just by looking at it.
All of my love moments are set in my head like they were yesterday. (And yes, I can remember the second I knew I was in love with my husband but that is something I actually will keep to myself…because we were naked….just kidding…I just wanted to make my mom spit her coffee out at the computer screen.)
I started thinking about stuff I loved this weekend when I drank something….coffee. I can remember every moment that has lead up to my love affair with coffee.
It started in college. There were these coffee machines in some of the lounges. You would press buttons with your desired coffee attributes. You could get cream and sugar added automatically or get it decaffeinated. It actually didn’t matter what you pressed because each cup tasted the same. (In college, it was just nice to feel in control of something.)
I always found joy watching the cup drop down and the coffee pour. This coffee wasn’t necessarily good but it only cost a quarter and it kept me awake when I’d have a long day of studying ahead.
Every now and then, the cup would come down crooked and there was an art form to knock it straight before your coffee started brewing. The challenge would be not to get burned and knock the cup out completely. (I will admit that I lost a few cups in my early coffee days.)
When I graduated college and got my first big girl job, I had my next affair with coffee. One of the gals who I worked with peer pressured me into trying a mysterious drink called a vanilla latte. She was one coolest people at the company so I had to follow her lead so I could fit in. (Is there such a thing as peer pressure after college?)
The first cup was on her so what did I have to lose. It was creamy, warm and sweet. It had none of the bitterness of my college vending machine coffee. I felt like a woman!!!!
I looked around at the other gals drinking their coffee and hoped that they wouldn’t notice this was my first time. (I looked at my reflection in my computer screen….that coffee cup made me look different…very mature…and a little dangerous!)
After this introduction, I started exploring on my own. I’d try different coffees and espresso delights. Some I’d fall in love with and others were like a one nightstand. (Not like I have any experience in one night stands….I’m not coordinated enough to do anything standing.)
My soul mate drink turned out to be a cappuccino (nonfat with half of a package of raw sugar on the bottom of the cup and the remainder sprinkled on top.) It was my one and only until a few weeks ago…..I strayed. (I am such a coffee hussy.)
On one of the hotter days we’ve had this year, I needed a caffeine boost and just couldn’t bear to drink anything hot. I looked up at the magic blackboard at my Starbucks Drive-thru and locked eyes with it….my new love…the cold brew coffee.
I wasn’t sure if I should do it or not but something (like the 90 degree heat) made me order one. I took a sip….smooooooth….cold……refreshing. I sipped some more and felt like a new woman. How can an icy cup of Joe taste so good? I was in love with this drink and wanted to shout it from the roof top! (Or at least scream it out my car window!)
My only issue was that I still had feeling for my regular drink and really couldn’t justify leaving it behind. So I did what any faithful coffee lover does, I learned how to make the cold brew at home.
It took a lot of questions to my coffee barista friends and reading on the Internet but I figured it out with a very small margin of error. (And as scandalous as it may sound, my husband is into too!)
I know in the winter this summer love affair will probably be over but I’ll always remember the instant attraction I had the first time I pursed my lips around a cup of coffee.
My Top Ten Hints on How to Make a Good Cup of Cold Brew Coffee
- Beans…they need to be coarsely ground. Think of the ground coffee like steeping tealeaves.
- Equipment….go online and figure out the best choice for you. From what I read there are essentially 3 choices (the Toddy, a French Press or a mason jar.) I did it in a Toddy and it was super easy and not messy.
- Measuring….I went with 1 1/3 cups of ground coffee to 4 cups of water. This was part of my trial and error.
- Water Quality….use your good water. If you don’t like the flavor of your tap water, why add it to your coffee?
- Fuss….once your coffee is in the water, leave it alone.
- Patience….Let it sit for 12 hours. When the time is up, let it filter out via gravity and avoid mashing it up.
- Concentrate….remember this initial batch is a concentrate. You’ll need to add some water. My batch was ¼ cup of coffee to 1/3 cup of cold water.
- Flavor….Starbucks makes a vanilla sweet cream. I’d highly recommend it because it is delicious. It is just milk, cream and vanilla syrup.
- Ice…smash up your cubes a little bit for no other reason than to release some tension.
- Taste….if you’ve never had a cold brew….know what you like before you invest into the ingredients and equipment to make it. It is a popular drink at a lot of coffee shops so I’d recommend it!