It started in 2007. Ann Marie and I had moved to E.7th street in the winter and it was our first warm weather in our 6th floor walkup. And by warm weather I mean it was hot as blue blazes. She worked from home (inexplicably, marvelously, and exclusively by fax), I was bartending and it was an amazing time of long, jort filled days. We had taken to drinking whole pots of espresso in highly sugared three-quarter-tasse cups during our first New York Februaries but now that the clothes were coming off and the air conditioners had not yet been delivered to deliver us from July evils we needed something different. Enter New Orleans Cold Brew Coffee. The superbly easy, utterly delicious, and super cheap wiles of coffee concentrate suited us like ugly on a monkey. Deep, dark and smooth, not at all bitter, inky and mellow, a little milk, lots of ice, it was perfect. One by one, like bad girls, we got everyone we knew hooked on it. Our mothers bought toddys and perfected the 8′oclock cheap brew, Molly downed it by the mason jar, Andrew drinks it hand over tervis-tumbler-fist, it put Sara back on caffeine, and McKay discovered it abroad (and sent back the picture above).
The Recipe that Started it All:
1 pound dark roast coffee and chicory, medium ground
10 cups cold water
1. Put coffee in a nonreactive container, like a stainless-steel stockpot. Add 2 cups water, stirring gently to wet the grounds, then add remaining 8 cups water, agitating the grounds as little as possible. Cover and let steep at room temperature for 12 hours.
2. Strain coffee concentrate through a medium sieve, then again through a fine-mesh sieve.
3. To make iced coffee, fill a glass with ice, add ¼ cup coffee concentrate and 3/4 to 1 cup milk, then stir. (Concentrate will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.)