Cold Brew Coffee with Vanilla Syrup

Cold Brew Coffee and Vanilla SyrupAs far as I’m concerned, cold brew coffee can and should be enjoyed throughout the year… but I’m also one of those strange people who orders iced lattes in the dead of winter. Hey, nothing wrong with that! Anyway, summer is around the corner, so there is perhaps no better time to introduce a nice iced beverage. For those of you unacquainted with cold brewing coffee, it really couldn’t be easier. Step one, put dark roasted coffee grounds in a french press (same amount as you would for a brewed cup). Step two add water and stir. Step three, wait for ~24 hours. Step four, press out the grounds and filter. No boiling water required. What your patience achieves is a more intense but at the same time, lighter refreshing beverage great in the morning or afternoon. If you are rushing out the door, it’s also a great time saver to pull out the pitcher, pour over ice and add a splash of milk. But hold on, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by those clouds and curdles of milk winding their way around and intermingling with the ice cubes. Adding a little drama to your morning always helps…

But wait, cold brew can be messed with and tailored, like most of our recipes. Want something a little less intense? Dilute it with extra water (1:1 is ideal for me, and handily turns 2-3 servings into 4-6). Want it creamier? Duh, half and half. A bit of sweetness? Try some homemade vanilla syrup! It is called simple syrup for a reason… 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 vanilla bean (cut with seeds scraped). Heat for 30 minutes in a sauce pan on low and bottle for use when the mood strikes (which may be quite often). I reject the notion that you need a recipe for any of this, so I’ll leave you with my basic descriptions and encourage experimentation. Now go and get caffeinated!

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