Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Cold Caffeine to Start the Day
Re-entry is a bitch.
After four, glorious, relaxing, responsibility-free days along the Washington and Oregon coast, I came home to a funky, barnyard-ish smell emanating from the uncleaned guinea pig cage that gave way — as I made my way through the house — to the decidedly burnt aroma of a seriously overcooked dinner. Unwashed dishes sat next to the sink along with a lunchbox, still packed with an uneaten tortilla wrap and tangerine. From Friday, two whole, hot days before.
It was a far cry from the respite with my oldest and dearest friend (we go back to grade school) and her sweet cousin at a beach house. We kicked back and read and went to a spa and ate at a lovely, homespun cafe that smelled like heaven.
We savored warm blueberry-lemon scones — soft and buttery inside with a wonderful, crunchy exterior — from Bailey's Bakery and Cafe in Nahcotta, at the northern end of Long Beach Peninsula, Wash. I would love to have a bakery like this some day.
An old fridge sat in the corner holding an array of drinks. A black, wood-burning stove pumped out a little heat. You could see the owner in the back, baking and cooking the day's specials. Such a charming place, and it cracks me up that a rustic spot would have a Web site. Ah, the 21st century.
Right next to Bailey's was a drive-up coffee place that served toddies. I laughed when I saw that, but toddies are not the same as the alcoholic hot toddy. No, a toddy is cold-brewed coffee. It's lower in acid and less bitter because you use a cold water soaking method to make it. I've actually been doing this for a few months now — after too much regular, hot brewed coffee nearly burned a hole in my stomach — but I didn't realize it had a name.
With warmer weather looming, an iced coffee made with the cold brew is the perfect way to jump-start the day.
My recipe for cold-brewed coffee (aka "a toddy")
• 6 ounces of coarse coffee or espresso
• 4 cups of cold water
• a glass container (plastic would get icky stains and taste like coffee forever)
Pour the ground coffee into the glass container. Add the water. Stir. Refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, strain the brewed coffee through the cheesecloth into another container. This is very concentrated, so you'll want to dilute it with milk or more water. Add ice and enjoy the low-acid jolt. Store the leftovers in the fridge.
Note: You can also add more water — I do half the amount, 2 cups — for a weaker brew to get good use out of those beans.