This magic coffee has been my morning staple, and a favorite of the knitting ladies (obsession, one might even go so far as to venture) for the last 6 months. The magic is that it requires no coordinated motor skills to assemble, no electronics to make, and doesn't leave a gritty mess of coffee grounds on the counter to re-discover later on in the day, once you're caffeinated and have the energy to get all worked up about it. Plus, as an added bonus, you can easily make this as a hot or cold coffee beverage, perfect for both winter and summer mainlining.
The basic recipe has only two ingredients; coffee, and water. Use the best of both that you can get your hands on.
These are some beauties from Bad Ass Coffee, a company that features Hawaiian-grown coffee. The first time I had their coffee was on a work trip to Park City, Utah. They were just up the street and I drank a lot of coffee at the old mining shack they had kitted out as their cafe. It had a really laid-back vibe ... was it the Hawaiian influence? Or maybe with a name like Bad Ass, you really don't have to prove yourself. I liked it a lot (partly because they have a volcano on their label - how bad-ass is that?), and then one year they were just gone, and I was sadly stuck drinking sub-par coffee. The next year, my work trip relocated to Dillon, Montana. And Bad Ass showed up just down the street. They had come back into my life, my very own personal coffee stalkers. (Clearly, we are not a tea-party household, despite the tea drinking going on here.)
I like a medium blend, not too roasted and definitely not bitter. Sometimes I incorporate some decaf instead of fully leaded. You can do whatever you want - all leaded, all decaf, anything in between. The recipe - more like chemistry, really - is based on Lynne Rosetto Casper's Coffee Concentrate, although my version is seriously more concentrated. Dude, do it up right or go home.
I use 4 measuring cups of beans at a time, which equals 300 grams or 12 ounces or 3/4 pound. I measure, because I usually acquire larger bags of coffee and can't shouldn't drink that much at once. 300 grams makes about 20 fluid ounces of extract, which lasts me for about 2 weeks (or much less if knitting ladies come over and make a serious dent in my supply). I grind my own beans as needed but this is mainly to justify the expensive burr coffee grinder, and you can buy your coffee ground or grind it in the store if that suits you better.
Choose a medium-medium grind. See the little black dot in the middle of medium? This gives me (granulated sugar)-sized grinds and limits coffee dust. The entire amount goes into a big bowl all at once, so there's no pile of ground coffee lingering, losing those lovely essential oils day after day, as it sits around taking up space on the counter and making you guiltily look around for the coffee bean police, coming to cite you for improper storage of beans.
To the 300 grams of coffee beans, ground, I add 6 cups of COLD water. If you had a whole pound of coffee, or about 5.25 measuring cups or 380 grams, you would need a much bigger bowl and would add 8 cups of water. Use good water. If your water tastes terrible, filter it or get some bottled water. We're working with two ingredients here and they both should be the best they can be.
Give this a stir and do not be alarmed - it does indeed look like sludge but it smells like coffee, and you should have hope. Sometimes the grinds float to the top and make a crust, so I try to stir once or twice during the process. It is not necessary, though.
Now, let it sit for at least 12 hours (overnight works well) or up to 24 hours. Then, you need a manual drip cone and filters. Many filters. Plus something to filter the coffee extract into. I use a Mason jar. With my 300 grams and 6 cups of water, I get out about 20 ounces of extract, which just fits perfectly.
Decant the first filter cone's worth of coffee slurry and let it drip through. I try to get as much of the coffee grounds into one filter as possible before it is full and I use another filter. I wind up using 3 paper filters for each batch. It works best if you are passing by and can top up, then come back later and top up again. When the filter fills up with grounds, it can drip v e r y s l o w l y. This is particularly excruciating if it is morning and you are waiting for this process to finish so you can have a cup of coffee. Hovering like a Serengeti vulture waiting for the old, ailing wildebeest to finally drop is not going to speed the process, no matter how great your need for coffee. Trust me on this. You can store this extract in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, Lynne says, but I have had it in there for 3+ and it has been fine.
Now the magic part - do you want hot coffee? Just add hot water to get the concentration you like. I use 3 or 4 tablespoons of extract in a 12 ounce mug, and fill to the top with water. It makes a fairly thick coffee. Don't like it strong? Use less extract. Like it stronger? Drink extract shots. (...hmmm... ...I should try that one day...)
Want iced coffee? Wait - even easier! Add cold water! Really? Really!
Want Magic Coffee?
Take some Amaretto flavoring - I like Monin O'free because it is the only sugar-free brand that I think doesn't have a funny aftertaste, or just plain funny taste. I get it at my local co-op grocery store.
Put 1 tablespoons of flavor in a cup. Add 4 Tablespoons of coffee extract.
Fill to near the top with milk - I use 2 %, but you can use soy or whole or skim. I tried coconut milk once and it was not so good.
And now, the pure genius, the true magic .... add coffee ice cubes.
Yes, make ice cubes out of coffee extract. The add them to your iced drinks. Ever been fed up and frustrated of ice melting and diluting your cold coffee drink? Never again! This is not finding world peace, I grant you, but hey, it is one small step towards global harmony and happiness.
The end result is pure coffee perfection. Find yourself a comfy seat on a patio with a great view, get a good newspaper or paperback actually on (gasp) paper, and tuck in.