Then one day a few weeks ago I ran into Trader Joe's and happened upon their Cold Brew. Not knowing what it was, I made a mental note to look into it when I got home. I did, and I'll tell you what...it's the bomb!
The gist...when coffee is brewed with hot water it creates an acidity and some bitterness in the flavor, hence the milk and sweetener I require. In addition, creating cold coffee drinks out of hot brewed coffee creates even MORE acidity making it taste astringent-like. No wonder my iced lattes out of hot lattes were always somewhat of a fail. Anyhow, the cold brew method creates less acidity making for a sweeter brew. In addition to the pre-bottled kind (like from Trader Joe's), it can also be made at home. There are cold brew pots that can be purchased or a French press can be used, but I spent some time researching alternative home-brew methods and found one that works for me.
I add about a cup and a half of coarsely ground coffee beans to the bottom of a pitcher. Then pour three and a half cups of cool water over the top of it. I run a wooden spoon through the mixture a couple of times and then let sit on the counter about 12 hours. When time is up, I put a regular coffee filter inside a fine mesh strainer and set over a bowl. The pitcher of newly brewed cold brew is slowly poured into the filter/strainer a little at a time.
Now the thing about cold brew is that it's more like a concentrate. Some might be able to drink it like that, but the intent is to mix it with water or milk or both and serve over ice. I fill my Starbucks insulated cup with ice, pour the concentrate in half way, and then add equal parts milk and water to the remaining half. Sometimes I add some agave or honey, but I can actually drink this without sweetener too.
I add the straw, twist on the lid, and head to work. It is a great start to my day!