Today it’s all about cold brew.
Why cold brew? As this in depth article from Tech Insider explains, “cold brew is taking the world by storm because it often has a deeper, less acidic and more subtle taste, and is more concentrated than conventionally-brewed coffee.” Also: its great for hot Indiana summers, lasts 2-4 weeks in the fridge, and has a variety of applications. You can make a big batch ahead of time and serve for a unique addition to your next BBQ.
Today I will be making 6 different cold brew coffee treats: regular cold brew iced coffee with simple syrup, iced cold brew with vanilla mint syrup and cream, Vietnamese iced coffee, whiskey coffee, coffee ice cubes, and coffee pops with cream.
To create all these drinks I have on hand a very special blend of coffee made by a very special blend of Hoosier roasters: Tinker Coffee Co. of Indianapolis and Uel Zing of Bloomington. They’ve teamed up to create this cold brew coffee blend, the Zing Blend, which is a signature blend of chocolatey Nicaraguan beans, berry-sweet Ethiopian, and smoky Sumatran. Great for any brewing method, perfect for cold brews.
The back of the bag recommends 12 oz of coarsely ground coffee (one bag) to 9 cups of cold water. Just stir these together, allow to brew for 24 hours, then strain with a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.
As I began to pour in the water I realized was going to need a much bigger pitcher. So instead of my adorable clear vintage fruit pitcher I wanted to show ya’ll I had to pull out this… colorful one. Let’s just say, we didn’t register for that.
After I got my coffee a-brewing I started up on my syrup selections.
I start out with your basic simple syrup: 1:1 water and sugar, heated just until the sugar dissolves. Mine looks brown because its ORGANIC, ok? I put a bit of the plain simple aside and start on the vanilla mint. The recipe is here, but I basically just added a bunch of mint leaves and poured out a splash of vanilla for my homies (cause who has vanilla beans?). I set the rest of that aside, and began on the whiskey syrup. This one you should follow the recipe, and its totally amazing.
Then I went to bed.
Not immediately after that but I did wait all night to stir up these delicious concoctions and it was hard to do. This is the only drawback to iced coffee, which is actually totally worth it because the pitcher lasted in my fridge for the week.
So the next day I got the coffee strained and started the popsicles and coffee cubes first. I poured some of the plain iced coffee into the ice cube tray (don’t make fun of my wee little one) and popped it in the freezer. Then I threw some half and half and sugar together in a jar, shook it up, and poured some into my popsicle molds.
This needs to freeze for about an hour before adding the next layer of coffee.
Then I decided to get a pure taste of this iced coffee with only simple syrup and cream. I add about a tablespoon of the simple syrup and a good dose of half and half (gotta love the swirls) and give it a stir. Did you know chop sticks are perfect drink stirers? They are.
Ladies and gentlemen, this coffee is DELICIOUS. No bitterness here, coffee doubters. This is sweet and creamy and luscious. Seriously. I’m sold on this. And I’m not sleeping tonight. This might be a problem.
Next up, Vietnamese coffee. This is just iced coffee (or hot) mixed with sweetened, condensed milk. Um, have you tried condensed milk? It is thick and creamy and I can tell from my taste test that this is going to be a treat. And it is. Look at those ribbons! I stirred for a while to get the thickness mixed up, but I wasn’t going to be too mad if I had a sweet treat at the bottom of my glass. This stuff is delicious and so easy. Yum.
Now I mix up an iced coffee sweetened with the vanilla mint syrup. Yes, it it delicious. Subtle mint flavor, nice sweet vanilla. It feels so fancy! Especially if you add a sprig of mint to the top. Refreshing too.
Okay, I saved the one I’m most excited about for last. The whiskey coffee! It goes as follows: about 8 oz of coffee, 2 tbsp whiskey syrup, 1 tbsp real actual fresh from the bottle whiskey, and 3 tbsp of cream. If you’re feeling like you really, really need a treat add some whipped cream and cinnamon to the top. This syrup is dark, thick, and smells fantastic. I give it a sip and… WOWZA. This is my favorite. First of all I feel like I’m drinking a milkshake. It is so rich, sweet, and oh my gosh whiskey. Here I am in my kitchen drinking dark brown sugar whiskey coffee while my toddler naps and no one is bothering me: all I do is win win win. You gotta make this.
Let’s not forget about the popsicles and ice cubes! Look at that frosty goodness. This treat was so worth it.
And there you have it. If I had even more ambition and even stronger nerves I would have also made some iced red eye chai with SoBro Cafe’s home-brewed Impeccable Chai. There are just so many ways to utilize this delicious cold brew- its a time saver, too. Just brew, then pour and serve for the rest of the week. Basically, I love everything about it.
Hope to see your sweaty brows out on Mass Ave. this summer! Stop by Homespun and pick up some coffee and other cool goodies while you’re out.