I’ve been making cold brew coffee at home lately. Aside from cleaning up the filter and waiting a day until it’s ready, cold brew at home is relatively easy and cost efficient as well.
If you haven’t noticed, cold brew is making waves all over the country — even Starbucks is selling their own version. There are posts all over the internet showing how to do it at home without a special carafe but I opted to buy Hario Water Brew Pot from Amazon. (It came free when I applied for the credit card.) Aside from the pot, all I need were some beans and water.
Depending on taste, you can use whatever beans you want and how long to brew. I have some really nice (read: expensive) beans at home but didn’t want to waste them. Instead, I used basic Trader Joe’s beans. Don’t buy the pre-ground stuff; you’ll want to freshly coarse grind yourself. The beans are then soaked at room temperature for 18 hours. Remove the grounds and you’re good to go.
Here’s where I make it special and has me convinced NEVER to buy cold brew again: I shake up the cold brew with vanilla cubes. I basically follow a modified version of this recipe for vanilla cubes — pour some coffee in a mason jar with simple syrup, shake and drink out of the damn jar like a hipster.
The drinking is frothy and the shaking helps melt the vanilla cubes. And since making the vanilla cubes, I’ve discovered that there other uses… like cocktails!
Note: since the cubes use half-and-half, I recommend a special ice cube tray for easy retrieval. Or you can be like me and wait a few minutes until they’re soft and retrieve them using a butter knife.
Super Creamy Vanilla Cubes
1 quart half-and-half
1/3 cup sugar (add more if you don’t want to use simple syrup)
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Add milk and sugar in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium.
While milk is heating, split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds and add both to the pan. Heat until boiling and reduce to low. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring constantly and remove from heat.
Strain liquid into a bowl. Add vanilla extract and cool completely in refrigerator.
Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.