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World’s Best Iced Coffee

2011 July 18
by bvoboril

I was raised in a coffee-loving household. So I am a coffee fanatic.

I remember my dad grinding coffee beans every evening so he wouldn’t wake the house with the noise in the morning. There was rarely a morning without coffee being brewed. I married a coffee freak too. Stu must have coffee every morning (and sometimes in the afternoons too). He likes his coffee black, while I prefer the latte variety. I don’t need 10 cups a day, I just need one REALLY good coffee a day.

About seven years ago we invested in our secret weapon—a Nespresso C-190. After months of research, I decided this was the best home espresso machine available and begged for one for Christmas. I swore I would never need another present again. At the time, this model was new, making it a very pricey gift.

Making some coffee for ice cubes…a full measuring cup makes one tray.

Fast forward to today, and it turns out that little Nespresso machine was a very smart investment! Stu and I use it every single day…sometimes more then once. It fits very nicely on the counter without taking up too much room. We make big cups of coffee and shots of espresso to drink alone or in lattes and cappuccinos. Our guests LOVE the coffee from this ingenious contraption and we’ve convinced many friends and family to purchase one. Go figure, they are now for sale on Ebay for about 1/4 the price!

But this machine was not the tool for the best iced coffee…

In the summer, my favorite way to drink coffee is on ice. To make it, I ran shots through the Nespresso machine and added milk, ice, and a sweetener or flavor (sugar free vanilla). About a year ago I learned about ‘cold brew’. My favorite coffee shops (Foundation Grounds in STL, Misha’s in VA) use this method for their iced coffees and I decided it was high time I used it too. It is less bitter, harbors no acidity, and all of the fragrant, rich flavors really come through.

The method:
I start with a 1/2 pound of Misha’s Route 66 dark roast grounds. I pour the coffee grounds in a large pitcher and add one gallon (64 ounces) of cold water. I use a whisk to mix it all together and then cover the pitcher with plastic wrap. Let it sit for about 8 hours. 

My brewing pitcher mid-way through the straining process.

Using a fine mesh seive and two sheets of cheese cloth, I strain the coffee into another pitcher. This pitcher isn’t as pretty, but it has a lid which is good for keeping the coffee safe for a week. Or less depending on how many coffees I need…

This takes a few minutes…and it’s hard to be patient! I use a spoon to squeeze every drop of goodness out of the grounds. What you end up with is delectable, dense coffee concentrate.

Get your coffee ice cubes into a tall glass. Don’t have any? Make some! They keep your iced coffee from getting watery. I keep them on hand in a Zip Lock bag in my freezer.

Note: I wouldn’t use this tray for regular ice cubes or baby food…coffee flavor is pretty hard to get out.

After the concentrate has cooled in the fridge, I pour the liquid gold over my coffee ice cubes and add sweetener (spenda or a sugar free syrup) and my new obsession—almond milk. I just can’t drink a whole glass of cow’s milk in the morning. Plus, almond milk adds a nutty, round flavor to coffee drinks. And in case your are interested, Trader Joe’s has the BEST almond milk. I’ve tried quite a few and Joe’s tops the charts (what’s new?). But you can of course use any kind of milk you’d like, or just a splash of half and half if you like really strong coffee.

So there you have it! Can’t get anything better at a coffee shop. I have one every morning after Ethan, Dewey, and I do our walk/run (soon to be more run then walk I hope!). It helps me keep going even when I wake up at 5:30am due to someone’s grumbly tummy. Stu begs me to make these for him on the weekends, which I’m happy to do—otherwise he drinks most of mine.

Anyone else have coffee tips/tricks? What’s your favorite at-home coffee? Have you tried cold brew?

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Sandy Schon permalink
    July 18, 2011

    Looks great. Should have tried one when we were there. You can help me make some in August when you visit.

  2. July 18, 2011

    I just tried cold brew last week, but the recipe i used was WEAK!! I used to work at a coffee shop for years and we had strong ass coffee :) So I can’t handle the hot brown water junk. I will have to even out the coffee to water ratio. And I need to try the coffee ice cubes, that’s a great idea. I will have to check out your espresso machine, I’ve actually wanted one for awhile but it wasn’t ever pressing. But…Christmas is five months away, time to start with the hints.

  3. July 19, 2011

    I. Want. It. Now.

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