Coffee and I have always had a love hate relationship, one of which I have always felt as unfair. I watch people around me drinking coffee, eating wheat filled pastries, drinking wine like water and I have to sit on the sidelines asking myself why my body has such issues with these three items. I mean, I can handle the wheat free thing because there are luckily Pamela's brownies to help me cope through the pain. But there isn't a good substitute for coffee or wine in my opinion. I'm not allergic to either yet they seem to react poorly with my body. I'm a lightweight with the wine and I usually feel worse than better after a couple glasses. Luckily I can get away with drinking this delightful drink that leaves me still standing as well as a sweet taste that lingers in my mouth. Coffee leaves me sort of messed up. I get light headed, headaches, stomach aches and so on. Yet coffee is everywhere telling me to drink more and more. On tv and in the movies it is like the cigarettes of the 60's. Everyone has a latte cup in there hand waving it around teasing me. The hardest part about coffee for me is the fact that I love the flavor of coffee. It is by far my favorite taste on this planet and when I go dry it just hurts. Okay I realize I sound like a total addict but honestly these symptoms are from 1-2 cups of coffee not from 5 or 6 cups. Every few months I would get fed up with the side effects and I would cut myself off. Even when dh walked into the room with a latte I would just look the other way. Damn him. Last summer I was really sick and when I would have the smallest sip of coffee I would find myself up at 11pm trying to not have a panic attack. I felt like I was going crazy in a way. I stopped completely so that I could get it out of my system and try to feel normal again. That's when we discovered this amazing cafe.
This is where I tasted the world's best lemonade made with bubbly water, basil, lemon juice and agave. Also on their menu was cold press coffee. Having cut myself off completely I had to rely on Dave to tell me his thoughts on the drink. I took a whiff and pretended I was drinking but couldn't get much of a feel for it. When we returned home from California last summer, I bought their raw cookbook. Once again it mentioned cold press coffee and I considered looking into it but I became caught up with the start of school and trying to feel good again. The winter was spent feeling depressed off and on, drinking coffee and then not drinking coffee. This last spring I was diagnosed with asthma by a medical doctor because I had pain in my chest that felt like I constantly had bronchitis. Thankfully the doctor was completely wrong which led me to find a good chiropractor and naturopath to help me. It turns out I wasn't breathing in my stomach which I guess is a bad thing, I had terrible posture at the computer which kind of froze my chest up and I had too much acid in my diet.
This long winded story led me to purchase this coffee system. There are two systems out there, the Filtron and The Toddy. While the toddy is certainly the sweeter name of the two, I went with Cafe Gratitude's suggested system which was the Filtron. I know lots of people who read this blog are thrifters, so here is a link to make your own if you want to keep to your frugal roots. I went with the least messiest type since I've been known to be compared with her.
The best reason to go with cold brew is the lack of acids and oils in the coffee. The cold pressed coffee is probably the smoothest coffee I have ever had. All of the symptoms I mentioned above have disappeared and I am able to drink coffee like the rest of them. Not only that but when I stopped drinking coffee to fight of a cold in June, I barely had a caffeine withdrawal headache.
Here are the steps.
Start with some high quality coffee beans.
I grind our coffee but this can be done in the store too. I like that the vita-mixer can grind a pound at a time.
The Filtron system. These coffee systems have actually been around for years and Toddy used to make them in glass. I'd prefer a glass system and hope to find one on my thrifty travels. They were common in the 50's.
I place the stopper in the bottom of this large bowl (remember to plug it the right way because if you do it the wrong way it makes a real mess-don't ask me how I know), place the filter in a little round hole, add the coffee and place the white thingy with holes on top of it. Add water to the fill line.
The coffee soaks for 24 hours which is a good reason not to wait until your last cup to make more.
Dave and I refer to this coffee concentrate as the Nectar. At this stage it can be added to anything from hot water, to a smoothie, in a scoop of french vanilla ice-cream or in a shot glass. The nectar can be kept in the fridge for up to six weeks.
I add 3 tbsp of nectar in my coffee cup followed by 8 ounces of hot water.
Add sweetener of your choice. I prefer turbinado for that slightly molasses flavor but raw agave works too.
While I have always loved my coffee sweet and white, they do say that because cold pressed coffee is so smooth that even those like me may find themselves one day drinking it black.
A perfect cup of coffee.
After drinking this coffee at my house, my friend Jacki went and ordered her own kit. When I mentioned it on my booksellers email list three of them went and ordered their own. I asked if any of them had something to add and Julie Anna my book mentor, had this to say:
"If you love coffee from the exquisite coffee shops you will love the coffee you get through a cold brew system. I finally have mastered the Starbucks taste. I told my husband yesterday that I'll never go back to his acidic coffee (aka drip coffee pot made). I nearly have panic attacks when I am running low of my Filtron coffee. Yes, it's *that* good."
We actually took our nectar on vacation with us and kept it in a cooler. It traveled well although it was a bit of a pain to keep restocking the ice each morning. It was worth it though.