~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, April 22, 2013

Coffee Concentrate... cold brew method without a coffee maker.

Coffee Concentrate(Coffee without a coffee maker)... single cup serving, coffee for a crowd, or used in desserts. A few months ago, our favorite coffee maker gave up on us. And because we love having our daily cup of coffee, we had to  find another coffee maker. In our search for a new coffee maker, we decided to settle on a french press this time around. Even though the french press may look like a simple coffee maker, it makes some outstanding coffee! Love it.  However, there is a drawback with the french press. Our old coffee maker could make a large batch of coffee, and it was especially handy when we had guests. But with the french press, making coffee for a crowd isn't that convenient.

Recently the Kitchn came up with a recipe for making coffee for a large crowd... even without the use of a coffee maker! The technique was rather simple, one that I had known about before. It's allowing coffee grounds to be steeped in water, infused, and strained... yielding a highly concentrated coffee flavored liquid. Yet I had only associated this idea with making iced coffee. Somehow it just never clicked with me that I could also use the concentrate to make a hot cup of coffee. The idea was brilliant! So I set out to make a batch, because I rather liked the idea of having a coffee concentrate that could serve a crowd... or even a single serving for that matter. And I simply loved the idea that you could adjust the strength according to preference.

The coffee concentrate was a real winner! I've really been enjoying the hot coffee... the concentrate produces a smooth tasting cup of coffee.... super quick. Once the concentrate is made, all you have to do is add some boiling water  and you have a great cup of coffee instantly. And of course, you can add milk, sugar, etc to the coffee to make your own a customized version. Loved that you can use the concentrate for other uses as well. It's great for making iced coffee, but it's quite helpful when you want to add a mocha flavor to any baked dessert, ice cream, or frosting. You could even use it in savory dishes, such as chili, stews, sauces. Hope you enjoy...       

You will need:  from the Kitchn

12 oz ground coffee
6 cups cold water

boiling water (for hot coffee)
cold water (for iced coffee)
milk/nut milk
sweetened condensed milk for Vietnamese-style coffee, if desired. 
sugar or flavorings of choice

1. Place ground coffee in large container/bowl
2. Pour cold water over coffee grounds and stir to completely wet all the coffee. After it sits for a few minutes, you will notice some coffee grinds forming a thin layer on top. Stir the mixture yet again. This will ensure maximum contact of water and grinds. 
3. Cover coffee mixture and allow to "steep" at room temperature for about 24 hours. 
4. Strain coffee concentrate using a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, paper towels/coffee liners, etc... the cheesecloth, coffee liners take longer to strain.
I found it best to use a simple fine mesh strainer... it works especially if you are careful not to disturb the coffee grounds that settle on the bottom. I like to press on the grounds to extract as much of the coffee as possible. You might still get some grounds in the concentrate, but it does settle on the  bottom, so when you pour concentrate in the cup, it's mostly free of grounds. However, feel free to use whatever method works for you.
5. Store coffee concentrate in fridge.  
~Use 1:2 ratio( coffee to boiling water) for a cup of coffee. You can easily adjust the ratio to preference. A 1:3 ratio works well, too... especially when you add some milk.   

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