Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's HOT outside: Iced Coffee

We live in the DC area and maybe you've heard but we are going thru a teensy, tiny heat wave...average high temp for the last two weeks has been 95 degrees with an average low of 80 (at NIGHT!!) me: that is WAY too high and not nearly low enough...but this wouldn't be SO, so terrible if the humidity wasn't pushing the heat index to into triple digits.  (Last week we had one day of 78% humidity!!) 

So, that made 94 degree day feel like a 111 degree day.  Nice.  

There was a local effort to name this weather situation without attaching "ageddon" or "pocalyspe." Both of those suffixes had been worn out by the massive snow storm we had in 2010.  

My top favorites:

5.  The Humidity Is Too Damn High heat wave.

4. Scorch-a-palooza

3. Beltway Meltaway

2. HyperSizzleWave-2011 

1. The Sweat Ceiling

Anyway, all this is just to say that the one thing bright star, the one redeeming factor, the one thing that makes it all that this weather is the perfect excuse to consume lots and lots of ice coffee!!  Pretty much the perfect drink.  I love ice coffee...A LOT and I love it even more since I discovered how incredible it can be when made using a cold-brew process.  And how easy too...

Just for the record, my iced coffee making technique had long ago evolved past dumping a bunch of ice cubes into a hot cup of coffee...I was not doing this but I would make hot coffee...add sugar (stirring to dissolve) then stash in fridge till cold AND then drink...which was fine, I guess. Kind of bitter...

Then the skies parted, the choir began to sing and I learned to do this:

Take pitcher.  Add 1/2 gallon cold water.  Add 6-8 ounces of the strongest ground coffee you have.  Stir/shake to combine.  Cover and let sit on counter, at room temperature,  for 8-12 hours.  Strain grounds out. (I place a coffee filter over sieve and let coffee drain into large bowl.)  
Put strained coffee back in cleaned out pitcher.  Stash in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

THAT IS IT!! could not be easier or simpler.  And what you get is a smooth, very clean brew.  Its kind of amazing really.  Kind of like sun tea but, uh, without the sun...

Then, what I do, is pour the coffee into a glass (without ice).  I add my sugar, stirring to dissolve. (it actually doesn't take much...)  Then I add the ice and milk.  I watch it for a second because it looks so pretty and swirly and then I stir.  Perfection.  In a glass.

And the perfect foil to THE SWEAT CEILING!!!


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