I love to start my day with a cup of coffee. Wait, no—I need to start my day with a cup of coffee.
It’s a ritual, and I’m probably a more enjoyable person to be around after having one. I believe there is an unspoken understanding about coffee in the morning at SpringHouse. Managers trickle in, retreating to our favorite morning workspaces until we have our daily game plans together, and we are sure that everyone has had at least a cup of coffee before holding meetings.
With summer fast approaching and mornings warming up, sometimes a hot cup of coffee just doesn’t appeal to me. This is when I turn to cold-brew coffee. The process is different and requires a bit more time, but it’s totally worth it. When brewing a normal pot of hot coffee, the heat releases acids from the coffee bean. When that hot coffee cools, it becomes bitter and acidic. However, when you make coffee using the cold-brew method, the acids are never released, resulting in a rich, smooth, stronger cup of coffee. I love keeping a batch in the fridge so I can pour some over ice with a little whole milk. It’s just a bit more refreshing than a piping hot drink on a humid summer morning.
With that in mind, today I’m shairng not only a recipe for cold-brew coffee, but a cocktail to use it in: a grown-up café au lait. You’ll need a large fine mesh strainer, and a large container for brewing the coffee; a large pot with a lid works well.
For the cold brew:
Mix .5 lb coarse ground coffee with 9 cups of cold, filtered water in a large container. Stir well until all grounds are covered with water. Let sit for 24 hours in a cool, dark place. Strain the mixture. Sometimes a second straining through a coffee filter is needed. Keep in refrigerator.
For Grown-up Café au Lait:
Add simple syrup (a pre-made batch of sugar and hot water of a 1:1 ratio), cream, milk, half & half, almond milk, vodka, whiskey, caramel, rum or whatever else you desire. When adding booze, build your coffee drink in a cocktail shaker, shake, then strain over ice.