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Café Glacé

I own two French presses, I have a reasonably competent electric grinder and by and large that makes my morning coffee a pretty pleasant thing. I usually brew my coffee in the smaller of the two; as much as I love coffee I don’t have the time or inclination to drink an entire pot in one sitting, so that one stays on the shelf most of the time.

But when summer rolls around, it’s a different story; the larger bodum – similar to this dingus from Ikea, though I picked mine up at a yard sale for $2 – starts to get a lot of attention, because cold-brewed iced coffee is a great summer-morning drink.

It’s about as easy to make as anything could be. If you’ve got a decent grinder dial it down to a coarse grind, and in about a five to one ratio of cold water to coffee, mix it in the french press. Then put it, unpressed, in the fridge the night before you want to drink it. Throw it in while you’re making dinner, it should have a good 10-12 hours.

My fridge doesn’t have the vertical space to leave the unpressed plunger in, so that part stays on the counter; I’ve tried covering it with saran wrap or not, it doesn’t seem to make a difference that I can detect. Regardless, you push the plunger down in the morning, and you’re left with an uncomplicated, crisp cup of cold coffee with lots of flavor and very little of the bitterness and acidity that can ruin a mishandled bean.

There’s no accounting for taste, so some people still want to put milk and sugar into this, but I urge you to give it a try neat before you do; you’re not going to need to mask the bitterness of industrial-coffee here, or rush to drink it before it becomes unbearable. Be advised, though: that same lack of acidity makes it very easy to drink, and iced coffee is at least, and maybe more, caffeinated than standard drip coffee or espresso. So it’s very easy to get the jitters, if you’re not careful. Just pour it over some ice cubes and off you go.

It’s so easy, and so good.

3 Comments | Skip to comment form

  1. gnomon

    Gosh, that’s far more civilized than cold-brewing coffee in breast milk bags (c.f. http://boingboing.net/2011/11/14/howto-attain-radical-hotel-roo.html). And I just happen to have a rarely-used French press on hand.

    There needs to be a liquid-appropriate version of the old “omnomnom” onomatopoeia. Somehow “urpslurpslurp” seems… misleading.

  2. mhoye

    God, that article is about nine different kinds of brain damage.

  3. Guillaume

    If you’re in a hurry and have an aeropress, this is a favourite of mine:
    http://coffeegeek.com/guides/aeropresscoldbrew

    Or if you’ve got $200 lying around burning a hole in your pocket, a whole lot of patience, and a lot of counter space one of these is always fun:
    http://www.greenbeanery.ca/bean/catalog/yama-cold-brew-coffee-tower-black-finish-p-13917.html
    Alternatively, you could just pick up a cup from one of those from either Te Aro location.