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Cold Brewed Coffee Iced Dessert Drink
A step by step pictures illustrated instruction guide to cold brewing coffee with a Starbucks style iced dessert drink recipe.

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San Giorgio Coffee

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Mason Jar With Lid

Let me start off by saying that I'm not a big coffee drinker. When I want a tasty beverage with a caffeine pick me up, I'd much rather have an icy cold Pepsi or some hot Lipton green tea.

An article in The Miami Herald written by Cindy Price from the New York Times about cold brewing coffee inspired me to try out this method.

First I gathered together some San Giorgio coffee that had been sitting in the freezer for at least a few months. Then some Zephyrhills water bottles, a large mason jar with lid, two measuring cups, a metal strainer, a paper coffee filter, cheese cloth, and several insulated Thermos bottles.

The article recommended mixing 1/3 cup of regular or course ground coffee with 1.5 cups water to make about two drinks once you dilute the concentrate.

Measuring Cup
Cold Brewed Coffee Supplies
Extra Large Measuring Cup
Since my mason jar was so enormous, I decided to triple the quantities to 1 cup of ground coffee and 4.5 cups of water. I poured the coffee and water into the mason jar, stirred, closed the lid and let it sit overnight for about 18 hours. The recommended steeping time is anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. I've read that letting the coffee & water mixture sit for more than twenty four hours would be too long and the resulting beverage would contain as much biting acid & bitter oils as hot brewed coffee.
Metal Strainer
Coffee Filter & Cheese Cloth
Thermos Containers
While your coffee is steeping, I'll tell you about the history and benefits of cold brewed coffee. It's said that this technique began in Peru and was brought to the United States in 1964 by a Cornell University chemical engineer named Todd Simpson. Apparently Todd was traveling in Guatemala when he was served a boiling kettle of water and a carafe of cold brewed coffee concentrate to prepare his own java drink.
Cold Brewed Filtering Supplies
1 Cup Coffee Grounds
4.5 Cups Water
After doing some research, he discovered that coffee made without heat contained over 60% less acid compared to the traditional hot drip brewing, French press, or espresso methods. Because the concentrate contains almost no oils or fatty acids that are normally released by heat, people who suffer from GERD (Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease) can enjoy coffee again. Cold brewing may also help to lower cholesterol, alleviate heartburn, stomach ulcers, coughs, laryngitis and acid reflux that may be caused by drinking regular hot brewed coffee.
Pouring Coffee In Mason Jar
4 Cups Water In Jar
1/2 Cup Water
Once the research was done and the benefits were clear, Todd invented his "Toddy Cold Brew System" that retails for anywhere from $25 to $35. I haven't used or reviewed the Toddy system myself but it appears to be a very simple and easy to use cold brew device. You can save some money by using the method on this page but it does require a few more minutes of your time. But since you can cold brew a large amount of coffee at once and then safely store the resulting concentrate in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, it's not that big of a deal to need a few more minutes every 14 days.
Stirring Coffee & Water
Coffee Steeping 12-24 Hours
Strainer On Catch Container
In the morning, I laid out the metal strainer, and the two measuring cups to begin the filtering process. The NY Times article suggested that you needed to filter the mixture twice but I found that once could be enough. I could already smell some pleasant caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and nutty flavors wafting up from the cold brewed coffee as I poured it through the metal strainer attached to the large measuring cup. I sampled a shot glass full of the full power concentrate and it was obviously very strong but was sweet and smooth with almost no acidity or oily tastes.

Filtering Coffee Concentrate
Diluted 1 to 1 With Water
2nd Filtering
Now here's where I made a mistake by following the newspaper article's recipe. I diluted the concentrate 1 to 1 with water which resulted in a weak and watery beverage. At this stage I should have just bottled the concentrate and then mix one coffee drink at a time to taste with milk or water. It might have also been nice to just take a shot of the concentrate when you're in a rush out the door but would rather not skip your morning coffee or have to stop at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks.
Filling Thermos
Kahlua Non-Alcoholic Mixers
Sugar, Kahlua, Creamer
Rather than let this batch go to waste, I had a Starbucks aficionado help me create a tasty iced coffee dessert drink by mixing in some Kahlua Non-Alcoholic French Vanilla and Hazelnut syrup mixes that were left over from a promotional event. We also added some creamer, brown sugar, chocolate syrup and then tossed it in the blender with a few ice cubes. After some blending, I poured the frothy icy mixture into a glass and she topped it off with whip cream and cinnamon sugar powder. This impromptu recipe for a decadent Starbucks style dessert coffee drink actually tasted quite delicious. But then again I've heard that these super sweet dessert drinks have close to a thousand calories, so they had better be good!
Whip Cream & Chocolate Syrup
Blended With Ice
Topped With Cinnamon
The cold brewed coffee concentrate is also great for using in food recipes that call for instant coffee, or you could prepare a Cafe au Lait or Cafe du Monde drink. Another advantage of the concentrate is that you can serve after dinner coffee at a get together either hot or iced in no time without having to wait for your Mr. Coffee machine to percolate.
2nd Batch Coffee Mix
Mixing Coffee & Water
4 Cups Coffee, 8 Cups Water
Now that I felt I had a better understanding of the cold brewed coffee process, I prepared another batch with a full four cups of various coffees mixed together including Seattle's Best, Wolferman's, Starbucks Gold Coast Bold, and San Giorgio. I then added only eight cups of water. Right now I'm drinking a cup of the final product mixed with low fat milk, and some brown sugar. I'll have to admit that it's a tasty beverage and so far my stomach doesn't ache like the few times I've drank normal coffee in the past. Happy brewing!

If you'd rather not do all the work yourself or buy a Toddy system, the Seattle's Best coffee company, which offers cold brewed coffee drinks, is taking over the refreshment operations at over 400 Borders Book store locations.

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