Although I am not a huge coffee drinker I do like the many health benefits that are present in coffee such as the lower risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases, diabetes, certain cancers, and even depression. I also love the social aspect of having a cup of coffee with friends or guests in my home. I don’t, however, love the acidifying properties that coffee has on the body including the dramatic effects it has on fertility, therefore I keep my consumption to a bare minimum.
Cold-brewed coffee is another story. Iced coffee appeals to my love of simplicity, especially in the mornings when I am often pressed for time, yet my inner scientist, which loves having to get the ratios of coffee to water just right, stir at just the right time, strain without getting coffee all over my kitchen, and get just enough extract to water to create the perfect Parisian coffee shop worthy iced coffee.
There are many advantages to cold brewed coffee that allow me to encourage you to try it if you are a coffee lover. Even if you don’t love coffee, organic medium roast beans can be a great source of antioxidants with an ORAC value (scale by which antioxidant properties are measured) of 15000 and 17000 depending on the roast and type of bean. The extract is a great addition to a Super Banana Smoothie in the morning. Cold-brewed coffee is simple to make, is both less acidic and less caffeinated, and is much less bitter than traditionally brewed coffee. With less bitterness comes a greater depth of flavor profiles such as chocolate, vanilla, and even fruity undertones, likened to the different flavor profiles and undertones of wine. A true coffee lover will find that cold-brewed coffee allows for greater enjoyment of the actual coffee rather than merely looking for the “jolt” of energy from gulping down a cup.
To make cold-brewed coffee you will need:
A medium roast coffee bean, finely ground. (Many recipes call for coarse ground beans but I find the flavor develops better with a finer grind.)
Distilled, filtered or spring water in a 4:1 ratio to the coffee. An example would be 4 cups water to 1 cup ground coffee.
- Mix ground coffee and room temperature water in a french press, jar, or carafe in a 4:1 ratio.
- Allow to sit for about 10 minutes until a solid raft appears on the top.
- Give a good stir from the bottom to incorporate the coffee and water.
Let sit for 24 hours. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Refrigerate extract for up to two weeks. Use a ratio of 1 part coffee extract to 1 part water when making iced coffee (unless you really like strong coffee and then all bets are off.). Try a pinch of celtic sea salt in your coffee to bring out the flavors of the coffee. I enjoy my iced coffee with a little homemade almond, hazelnut, or coconut milk.