June 27, 2010

Ice, Ice Baby

Among the things about which one can be entirely certain, perhaps none are more steadfast than the this: Eastern Kansas summers will be miserable. You will not just suffer through the heat, the humidity. You will wear it like the some sweat-logged wool cardigan.

But summer is hot. Got it. Revolutionary stuff, really. So is coffee. Typically, it's really hot. Brewed somewhere around 200 degrees, hot. Milk based drinks are cooler by about 50 degrees, but still uncomfortable when the heat index is about as high.

Luckily, coffee consumers have an abundance of means with which to fix this problem.

They could do as I do, and simply drink the hot coffee, grumbling all the while about kids these days.

But let's assume that most people don't share my militant affection for scalding-hot coffee. Let's assume that they want something cold.

Coffee bars, of course, offer all manner of cold drinks. It's simply a matter of pulling however many shots are required, then adding milk (or water) and ice. Ta da.

Unfortunately, iced coffee is not so easily prepared. Well, not so easily prepared, if you have any interest in doing it right. You can brew double strength coffee, then bomb it with ice. You can do that, but you really shouldn't. Coffee doesn't like that sort of system shock. To get revenge, it gets all acrid and bitter. Not quite the refreshing drink you wanted.

No, if you want to drink coffee cold, it ought to be brewed cold. The technical aspects of how this goes down are either a) unimportant or b) a future post, so I won't address them here. The more pertinent facts are that the resulting product is sweet, dense, smooth and refreshing. All of these things, no doubt, are worth seeking when you're wearing the weather.

Most places that cold brew their coffee (the name Toddy will probably be invoked somewhere) like to advertise the fact. And why not, the difference really is remarkable? Thus, if a good iced coffee is the goal, it ought to be procured from a place that promises to do it right. Thankfully, that's becoming more the rule than the exception.

1 comment:

  1. A neat way I saw the other day to make the cold brew coffee is with the use of a French press. I have tried it once and it wasn't bad, though I need to try it again to make it better!