Is it just me, or did "cold brew" just arrive this summer? It's as if iced coffee – when you brew coffee and add ice – is suddenly passé and this new, chic arrival has shown it up. Well, I sort of noticed the change. You see, I'm not much of a coffee person, personally. I've judiciously stayed away from it, except in emergency situations when I'm about to pass out in a public, professional situation. Or when I'm on deadline for a story, it's 2 pm, the couch is a few steps away and ... NOPE I AM GOING TO FINISH THIS STORY. Or when it's 11:30 pm, I have a full night of serious partying ahead of me, and I didn't find time to take a disco nap. I could find cocaine if I needed it (I live in NYC, it's everywhere), but as I tell anyone who offers it to me, "Doing cocaine is very against my brand. It's sort of the opposite of Fair Trade. Like, people died to get it up here. So that would be weird for me to be pro-Guatemalan-artisan-made shoes and then do cocaine. Thank you, though!" Since I rarely drink coffee, two-thirds of a typical cup or one shot of espresso is enough to keep me nice and awake until at least 5 am. And I can get it Fair Trade and organic. Given the fact that I drink it maybe once a week, having a huge coffee maker on my tiny kitchen counter was making me annoyed. So when Cuppow offered to send me a cold brew kit, I was like, "Eh, I'll try it. Maybe this will be the solution I need!" Some quick explanations: 1. Cuppow is a company that make low-impact products for every day life. It mostly revolves around accessories that adapt mason jars to super-useful versions, like a small salad dressing cup for a mason jar salad, or a lid and cozy for a mason jar coffee cup. This thing they sent me was an cold brew kit adaptor for a giant mason jar. Explanation 2. Cold brew is when you soak your coffee grounds in cold water for about 10 hours. It's not as fast as pressing the button on your Keurig, but it's way less wasteful, and doesn't require any electricity, or even an plastic
, except for the tiny plastic ring on the coffee sock. (Correction: The ring is glass. No plastic at all!) And the coffee supposedly tastes better, too. It's richer and smoother.
To try it out, I picked up beans from Toby's Estate (their Brooklyn Blend because I know nothing about coffee and I enjoy Brooklyn and things associated with Brooklyn). Then I realized that I needed to grind them. I didn't want to get a little plastic coffee grinder with a cord, so I bid on and won this beautiful hand-powered coffee grinder. (Rodale's has a slightly smaller hand-powered coffee grinder that is pretty enough that it is making me kind of regret my decision to buy this big vintage grinder.)
It takes quite a bit of manpower to grind all the beans down. But it's satisfying to finish and see a full drawer of grounds, which equals about one cup. Then you pour them into the coffee sock, twist it, wrap the cord around twice, and shove it through the little ring.
You pour some water over the grounds into the jar, let it sit for 60 seconds, then fill the jar up to the top. Then leave the grounds soaking for about 10 hours.
The result is six cups of rich coffee that is smoother and less biting than the typical stuff. I just pour myself a cup when I need it. Especially in the summer, it's a nice, cool treat! And I don't have cords snaking all over my counter. Just some beautiful glass, metal and wooden tools that I'm happy to keep out in view.
I'm an official convert to cold brew. Merci bien, Cuppow. You just saved me some serious counter space and electricity.