Try the new chilled joe method that has been percolating in San Francisco coffeehouses. For this “cold drip,” instead of pouring hot coffee over ice (thus rendering it bitter), soak ¾ lbs. grounds in 8 cups cold water overnight in the refrigerator; strain through a fine sieve (or cheesecloth) into a pitcher. What you’ve got is about 24 servings of very strong—and tasty—concentrate that can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. Pour into a tall, narrow glass of ice, filling it 2 to 3 inches from the bottom, and top with milk or water.
What You’ll Need:
- Beans: the micro-lot is today’s premium coffee. The best batches are often certified organic, are grown in the shade, and support fair trade. Or, use your favorite blend. Don’t store in the refrigerator or freezer; cold temps draw moisture to the surface, resulting in a rancid taste. Try an airtight container in the pantry.
- Grounds: Coarse ones are better for soaking overnight and easier to strain than a fine grind.
- Water: Coffee is 98 percent H20, to protect its flavor, don’t use chlorine-heavy unfiltered tap water for soaking the grounds or diluting the concentrate. Use bottled drinking water or filtered tap water.
- Ice: If you make the ice cubes from tap water, make sure it’s filtered or the taste won’t be as smooth as the ice melts.
- Sweeteners: The cold-drip process yields a less acidic and sweeter coffee than traditional hot-to-cold methods. Still, once you’ve topped your concentrate with water or milk, you might want more sweetness. Since granulated sugar doesn’t readily dissolve in cold liquid, try simple syrup or honey. Chocolate lover? Stir in cocoa powder.