Friday, November 07, 2008

Taking On The Establishment


I love coffee, I am not really a coffee-aholic but I do have to have at least one (large) cup a day and I usually have 2, occasionally 3. OK, maybe you could say I AM a bit of a coffee-aholic. But I can stop anytime I want. OK, I can't stop but I can live with just one cup a day.

I would like to say I am a coffee connoisseur. I do love good coffee and I recognize it when I have it. But, I rarely meet a cup of coffee I absolutely won't drink. I guess I would have to say I am more of a coffee slut than a connoisseur.

This comes from years of working EMS. Drinking bad hospital coffee or Convenience Store coffee to stay awake on night shift.I will go as far as reheating coffee I have made earlier in the day (sometimes even the day before). I know, it's gross but sometimes you need a cup of coffee before you are capable of MAKING coffee.

In the morning I prefer my coffee hot but at other times of the day I like it cold. This has me stopping at Starbucks and dishing out 4 bucks on a Iced Mocha WAY more often that my budget likes. But you know us addicts ...we will sell our souls for a fix.

I have tried making Iced coffee at home. You know, with that left over pot from last week this morning. I can't say that it was very tasty but yes I drank it anyway.

When I came across this method for cold brewing coffee I was intrigued. I did not know that was even possible. So, I decided to give it a try. I was amazed by how good it was. When you cold brew the coffee you don't extract as much of the oils and acid in the coffee which is part of what makes it bitter the longer it sits. You do however get a wonderful smooth flavor.

This is an excellent method for making iced coffee. The only downside it that you have to plan ahead. The good news is it will keep in the fridge for several days so you can keep it on hand. I also found that it makes a excellent quick cup of hot coffee when heated (Much better than the reheated stuff from yesterday). There is some debate about the caffeine content of cold brewed. When I researched it I found some sources say it is pretty much equal to hot brewed and others that say it has a bit less. I guess with the amount I drink, it would do me good to have a little less caffeine anyway.

The original directions I found for this directs that this be done in a jar or other glass container with a lid. But I found my French Press (which I think by far makes the best hot coffee) to be really convenient for this because it has a strainer built right in. If you don't have a French Press you should run right out an buy one you can use a jar and a fine mesh strainer or even a paper coffee filter (though this takes a little time).

The instructions advise using a nice blend of coffee coarsely ground coffee. I plan on doing that at some point but I think just your average french roast coffee bought at the grocery store results in a pretty good finished product.

Cold Brew Coffee

2/3 cup ground coffee

3 cups water

Place Coffee and water in French press or glass jar with a lid. Let stand for 12 hours. Strain twice (I found the second strain unnecessary with the french press).This "base" can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Serve over Ice

I prefer one part milk/cream to 2 parts coffee and I often add flavored creamer or sometimes a little chocolate syrup. You can also experiment with your favorite flavored syrups.

Believe it or not sometimes I do drink something beside coffee though. I made the mistake of trying The Carmel Apple Spice the other day. Mistake, because now I would like to drink it everyday! (Again we are back to my wallet protesting) It is like a spiced apple cider with carmel it is SO good!

So, last week I watched them make it and guess what? It is SO easy to make and they sell the syrup there at the store. For the cost of 2 drinks in the store you can make enough for a party and I promise you it will be a hit. My friend Savanna made it for her husbands change of command ceremony (which was outside in the morning and COLD) and put it in a crockpot to keep it warm. Every time the lid was lifted the aroma was heavenly!

Carmel Spiced Cider

6 oz Apple juice or cider

1 oz Cinamon Dulce Syrup

1 tsp Carmel Ice cream topping

Whipped cream and cinnamon for garnish

Heat juice/cider on stove in in microwave to desired temp. Add Cinamon dulce syrup and carmel topping. Stir, Top with whipped cream with a little carmel drizzled over top and sprinkled with a dash of cinamon.

So, while I am here trying to put Starbucks out of Business I will bring back a recipe that I posted last year for "Better than Starbucks, Cranberry Bliss Bars"Just a warning though, don't make them if you are not having a party or taking them somewhere. You don't want a whole pan of these in your house because they are TOTALLY addicting!


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