That bitter taste no more

I love coffee. Oh boy, do I love coffee. But in these hot, summery times, one can be forgiven for a preference for cold drinks. Iced coffee to the rescue!

The problem with iced coffee is the need to chill warm coffee in order to make it. Chilling rapidly, just as when you alow your coffee to go cold in the mug, taints that delicious roast with a distinctly bitter tone.

The solution, even for those of us who generally do not sweeten our coffee, is to add sugar, or a syrup, such as vanilla. This does a grand job of ousting the bitterness, but also changes the coffee flavour. Don’t get me wrong, this method is thoroughly tasty, but it’s neither right nor the best option.

Cold Brew

Cold brew comes just as it sounds: you brew your coffee without heat. In principle, you introduce your ground coffee to cold water, then stick it all in the fridge. For at least eight hours.

IMG_6307How important the vessel is for brewing, I have no idea, because I have only ever used one: the very stylish Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Pot – which will cost you about the same as a decent quality cafetière.

Could you make it with a cafetière? Possibly. But I’m guessing the way this specialist pot keeps the coffee grounds within the water, not allowing them to just sink, could be a key factor in the final result.

It has an integral, reusable coffee filter, into which you put about 50g of coffee grounds. Allow 500-600ml of water to run through them into the surrounding glass jug, giving the water and grounds a good stir now and then. Finally, put it in your fridge. Eight hours minimum, but I generally leave it there for nearer twelve.

The result is cold coffee that’s as smooth-tasting as your finest hot coffee. Your coffee doesn’t even need to be watered-down with ice, because that is only added in conventional iced coffee to chill the recently brewed espresso shots.

Just pour out some cold brew and add the milk of your choice. You’ll have to experiment with the coffee-to-milk ratio, but I go with one-half to two-thirds coffee, in small glass coffee cups so that it remains cold while drinking it, without having to add ice.

Remembering

The problem I have is remembering to make the next day’s cold brew the evening before. I set myself reminders, alarms, leave obvious notes, but with so much to get done each evening, I all too frequently look into the fridge in the morning to see a disappointing space where the cold brew jug should be.

I find myself checking the next day’s weather forecast, and looking forward to my morning cold brew. Perhaps I should set up a reminder using [IFTTT.com]{http://ifttt.com) which can ping me a message if the next day’s temperature is forecast to be high.

All Japanese – all of it

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The one snag with my choice of the Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Pot, is the utter lack of English on the box, or the cold brew instructions. Everything is in Japanese. Thankfully, cold brew techniaue is pretty much the same regardless of the gear involved, and spotting the prominent “50g” in bold next to the disagram indicating the addition of coffee grounds into the filter area, all was well.

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