01 July 2013
Cold-brewed coffee with homemade almond milk
Well, it finally got hot enough that I don't want to cook anything. I don't even really want to eat anything. So! How about some more drinks?
The heat of summer is a perfect time for cold-brewed coffee. And how about some delicious almond milk to punch it up? No cooking; delightful results.
I hadn't ever made cold-brewed coffee before, so I followed Jess Scone's French press method, minus the delightful-sounding cacao nibs. Grind beans; deposit in brewing vessel of your choice; fill with cold water; wait ten minutes; stir; cover and let sit on the counter overnight; strain. The French press was a perfect brewing vessel, and definitely an optimal choice for straining.
I tried a couple batches of cold brew with different amounts of beans to see what I preferred. It turns out that when I use our standard amount of coffee beans and water to make a batch of cold brew, as recommended by Jess, the result is not only not concentrated, but a bit weak. It tastes good, but it's weak. So I doubled the amount of beans and came up with a much stronger finished product. Perfect.
Mason jars: they're good for everything.
For the almond milk, I followed these instructions from The Kitchn.
Start by soaking half a cup of raw almonds in double their depth of water for 24 hours. Aren't soaked almonds pretty?
The next day, drain your almonds, rinse them, and put them in the blender with a cup of fresh water. Blend for about two minutes for optimal fineness. Strain through the fine-mesh strainer of your choice, squeezing gently to get all the liquid out.
I hear that a nut milk bag or a double layer of cheesecloth is the best idea here for optimal squeezability. Since I didn't have either of those lying around, I used one of my fine nylon yogurt strainers and gently pressed the solids with the back of a spoon. This worked ok, but wasn't as effective as I'd like, considering the fluffy, puddingy texture of the semi-drained meal. Using a cloth of some kind is definitely a better bet.
I wanted to save the leftover almond pulp, but I didn't have any immediate use in mind, so I broke out a small ice cube tray and froze all the pulp into little domes. Perfect!
Now they're in the freezer waiting for further smoothie application, or possibly a plum or peach crumble. We'll see whether I want to turn the oven on anytime soon.
To serve your cold brew, fill a glass of your choice with a handful of ice cubes. Add coffee to fill the glass about 3/4 of the way. Fill the remaining space with almond milk. If you like sweet coffee, add some simple syrup or agave. Stir it all up and consume at your leisure.
What are you drinking to beat the heat?