It's undeniable that as a society, we love coffee. For many, the coffee craze is elaborately ritualistic and an essential daily practice. The Food and Drug Administration even says it's a quick shot of energy to the brain, it kicks in quickly and stays around for several hours, working wonders for concentration and mental performance. Plus, it tastes awesome. We're even more spoiled now with the seemingly infinite amount of consumption methods, varieties, and specialty coffee beverages. You can get whatever your heart desires in the world of coffee, but it's safe to say that among coffee drinkers, regular coffee is the most popular, most prevalent style. Iced in the summer, hot in the winter, few things are worked harder than the office coffee maker (aside from baristas).
Don't Buy Your Brew, Build It.
Unfortunately, the office coffee maker takes a good deal of abuse and it's inconvenient to have to depart and pay for the sweet nectar of the caffeine gods every time you want a cup (it gets pricey, too). Enter batch-able cold brew coffee. Yeah, you can lump it into the specialty category, but it's the ultimate splash of energy laden deliciousness. It requires a little patience, but the end result will have your taste buds dancing in the street.
Not Your Average Cup of Joe
This is a far cry from your commercial single cup office coffee maker spitting out hot brown swill water. If you have your coffee of choice, a little time to wait, and a resealable container, you're in business making a big 'ol batch of the finest cold brew around. Leave the office coffee supplies on the shelf and don't short change yourself with subpar stuff, invest in some decent beans and treat yourself. It'll still be cheaper than buying them a la carte day in and day out!
It's NOT Iced Coffee!
It's a fairly common misconception among less serious coffee drinkers that cold brew and iced coffee are the same. The only similarity they share is their temperature being cold and the fact that they are both, indeed, coffee. Otherwise they're made differently. Iced coffee is merely coffee brewed hot with higher potency to make up for being diluted with ice cubes. Cold brew coffee is steeped in cold water for about a day (preference to taste, but usually 24 hours is good). Because it's steeped in cold water, the brewing process takes a little extra time and it's gentler on the beans, offering a softer, sweeter end beverage versus the generally acidic nature of traditionally brewed hot coffee.
Here's a little crash course on how to do your brew. It's incredibly easy:
Grab your jar and coffee grounds, here we go. Once you've put the grounds in your receptacle (jars are nice, but anything that seals will work), pour cold, filtered water over them until your container is full. Some people insist that a specific coffee-to-water ratio of 1:8 is necessary, but you know your taste preferences better than anyone else, so experiment as much as you'd like! Once you seal your jar, let it sit in the fridge for a day, then after waiting, strain the grounds out with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and voila! You've got your first batch of homemade cold brew. Enjoy, share the wealth, spread the word. Salut!