As I brewed my coffee this morning, I realized that tomorrow there would be scores of people preparing special meals starting with breakfast. This happened partially because I was prepping for today’s and tomorrow’s breakfast (although I am well aware of the ‘holiday’). I enjoy coffee a great deal but I do better if I exercise moderation. Thus coffee has become a treat in the morning, two if I exercise restraint. A cup of hot black hazelnut roast on a damp morning is a comfort and the brewed pot produces enough for that and to chill for the morrow.
I tend to have iced coffee more than hot and use three methods to accomplish that. Since ice cubes in hot or room temperature coffee only makes for diluted coffee I either store the leftover coffee in ice cube trays in the freezer (make sure you keep separate trays for this, I have found those with covers work well); store leftover coffee in the frig or make cold brew coffee. On those days when I need an extra boost or treat I will combine all three to make a perfect ‘cuppa’.
I use these methods typically for my dose of black coffee, you should prepare it to your taste with milk, sugar, etc, but I will provide two recipes below that I also use as a special treat.
When my coffee has finished brewing I pour about half a cup and let it sit to take some of the heat off as well as turn off the coffee maker. This won’t work for those who have asbestos tongues-that is you like your drinks screaming hot. It produces a cup of coffee that I can begin sipping as I finish making breakfast; I then refill the cup to enjoy with my meal. Some days I wait for the half a cup to cool to room temp and then add coffee ice cubes to chill it. Then there are mornings when I pull yesterday’s coffee out of the frig and enjoy it like that. Chilling the coffee as such retains the same flavor as the day it was made and will last up to two days as long as you keep it tightly covered. The next occasion might see me adding coffee ice cubes to the chilled coffee along with a splash of vanilla, cinnamon or a dash of Irish whiskey.
In addition to the hot brew coffee I also make cold brew coffee, especially in the warmer months. Cold brew coffee requires more coffee and a coarser ground than hot brew coffee. It has been reported to be less acidic as well, although I don’t have any proof of that. Perhaps one of these days I will take one for the team and imbibe a larger quantity so I can report back on that. Cold brew coffee is made stronger to develop the flavor and because it is typically diluted.
As with adding milk, sugar, flavorings etc to your coffee the ratio of coffee used in cold brew is up to your personal preference. For cold brew I use 3/4 cup coarse ground coffee beans to 4 cups of room temp or cold water (remember you will be diluting this strong blend with ice. You can try your regular measurements for hot coffee and drink straight from the frig but this will taste watered down) . The cold brew should sit covered overnight in the frig. Strain into another container using a sieve lined with double layers of coffee filters or cheesecloth. Be patient, this will take a while and it is best to do it gradually. Do note that if you skip this step or rush it, your cold brew will contain grounds. Gently press the grounds once the dripping stops and your cold brew is ready to enjoy. Now add your ice and favorite coffee condiments. Cold brew will last in the frig for two weeks as long as it is well covered and hasn’t been diluted (the cover keeps out frig odors).
Here is where my first ‘recipe’ comes in – I add coconut evaporated milk to taste or for an over the top dessert type coffee I stir in a tsp or so of condensed milk (also coconut when I can find it) along with a tsp of vanilla extract.
If you have a french press, now is a good time to drag it out and use for your trial runs on your cold brew ratios. In my french press I use 1-2 tbsp coarse ground coffee per 1 1/2 cup of water; again your preference, so start out on the low end and don’t forget you will be diluting. Remove the press, cover and refrigerate overnight as well. Next morning re-insert the press, work and then pour coffee through coffee filter into your glass. Add your extras and enjoy.
One last word before I get back on topic (yes I’ve digressed). For just cold coffee I refrigerate my hot brew coffee; for a hearty ice coffee with extras or a well iced glass I use cold brew.
So back to making breakfast for two days and a coffee treat for tomorrow. Breakfast was an omelet made with yesterday’s chili as a filling. I heated 2 tbsp of chili in a skillet, then added the omelet ingredients topping it with shredded mozzarella just before removing the pan from the heat. I made enough so that there would be extras to wrap in a tortilla tomorrow to serve with homemade salsa. Of course I forgot to take a picture… Just a suggestion for tomorrow’s breakfast or you could reheat the chili, add it to scrambled eggs and serve in a burrito or bowl. Finally the coffee recipe…sitting in the frig is a banana that is just right (placing bananas in frig stops ripening but turns the skin a dark color). So for a breakfast drink treat or a prelude to brunch…
- 10 -12 oz room temp, chilled or cold brew coffee
- 1 medium banana in large chunks, room temp, chilled or frozen
- splash (to taste) of milk or creamer of choice (coconut milk here)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- dash cayenne (optional)
- combine all ingredients in high speed blender or mixer
- serve in tall glass with straw
- add ice if desired
- sip and enjoy
- leftovers store well 1 day in frig
- add 1-2 tbsp of favorite protein powder to make a breakfast smoothie
- use cold brew and pour over ice for an extra kick
- if cayenne worries you, use a dash of cinnamon
- for an extra coconut taste add a tbsp of unsweetened coconut flakes
- covering the coffee stored in the refrigerator keeps out odors
- all shelf life times are for undiluted coffee
- leftover coffee with milk or creamers do not store well
- for your breakfast burrito – heat a large tortilla in microwave or oven according to package directions, scramble eggs adding shredded cheese to taste, re-heat chili, place scrambled eggs in center of tortilla leaving border around them, layer chili over eggs along with additional shredded cheese if desired, roll short ends of tortilla over stuffing, fold over long end nearest you and roll opposite end over, top with salsa and serve