This third week of July has been a time for making lots of abstract art, cooking light, summery dinners to enjoy outside on the patio with my family and buying three new vegetarian cookbooks (namely Honestly Healthy, The Modern Vegetarian and The Ultimate Vegetarian Collection) to fuel my ever-growing obsession with all things colourful and hardback.
This third week of July has also been stormy, tropical and humid – almost unbearably so – although I’m in no position to complain. I welcome the heat with open arms as I’m really not good with the cold (or any other temperature under 20 degrees C) so for now, this weather can stay. As a consequence of the July heatwave I’ve been drinking glass upon glass of iced coffee – so much so that I’ve whittled my way through a two-kilogram bag of ice cubes by myself in a week. The struggle is real.
Last week when I was writing my first article for the Fall issue of Chickpea magazine (which I’m really excited about), I made myself an ice-cold beverage to sip on as I worked. Cold brew coffee, maple, almond milk & vanilla over ice. I have to admit that when I’ve made iced coffees in the past I’ve simply made an espresso and chilled it in the fridge until it was cool enough to work with or, embarrassingly, lazily poured the hot shot over ice. When I stumbled upon this article I discovered I was doing it all wrong and, inspired, set out to make my own cold brew coffee concentrate.
The result was a sweeter flavour without the bitterness and acidity that comes about from extraction using hot water then chilling – which coagulates the oils and interferes with the taste of the espresso. The extra brewing time produces a smoother, more intense tang as the liquid hits your lips. Perfect for the iced coffees I am craving this time of the year.
Though the simple mixology of half coffee concentrate, half almond milk over ice is refreshing and oh-so delicious, it’s fun to play around a little. I’m having dreams about flavour variations that I need to try. This one is a winner because let’s face it, who can resist a glass of cold brew drizzled with minty maple chocolate syrup piled high with ice, brimming with rich coconut milk, toasted coconut flakes and fresh mint? Not this girl, that’s for sure.
COLD BREW COFFEE CONCENTRATE (makes 3-5 drinks)
- 70g whole coffee beans
- 375ml cold filtered water
- Grind the coffee beans (you want a coarse grind for a cold brew).
- Place ground coffee in a nut milk bag or cheese-cloth bag. Seal, then place in a large container (I used a 1L kilner jar) and add the cold water. Leave to steep overnight or for 12 hours.
- Remove nut milk bag and gently squeeze to extract excess liquid. Discard coffee solids.
- Can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Keep chilled.
MINTY COCONUT ICED MOCHA (makes one 500ml glass)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp almond milk or water
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 75ml cold brew coffee concentrate (more or less, depending on personal preference)
- 200ml coconut milk (light will work, but full-fat is deliciously indulgent)
- Ice cubes
- Fresh mint and toasted coconut flakes, to serve
- Firstly, make the mint chocolate syrup. Stir together the cocoa, maple syrup, peppermint extract and almond milk/water until smooth. Drizzle in the bottom and around the sides of the glass.
- Fill the glass with ice and pour over the cold brew coffee concentrate, then top up with coconut milk.
- Garnish with fresh mint leaves and toasted coconut flakes. Sip (or slurp, nobody’s judging) to your heart’s content.