"Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue"
~ Vice President Richard Cheney

Monday, August 15, 2011

Glorious, Delicious Iced Pressed Coffee: How I Love Thee.

Hello Friends! If I seem a bit perky to you, its probably because I am one who absolutely ADORES coffee. The robust taste, the incredible smell, a happy cup of "good morning" to send me on my action packed day in the land of St. Louis Park Public Schools. I have a relationship with my coffee. After my husband, and violin, coffee and I are soul mates. Coffee gets me through 6:45am rehearsals on a cold, blustery morning. Coffee is there when I'm catching up with good friends. And I'm pretty sure when the treaty for world peace is signed, coffee will be there.
Unfortunately, (cue dramatic soap opera music: dun, dun, duuuun.) my deep and undying love of coffee was beginning to cost me a pretty penny. Now, I'm not and never have been one to buy coffee on a daily basis for long periods of time. However, being a full-time teacher and a performing musician, there are times throughout the year such as finals, long slews of concert evenings several days in a row, group travel/performance opportunities with little or no sleep, and covering conferences in the 5 buildings I teach in do in fact require large amounts of coffee. During these 1-2 week stretches, I am known to purchase a large iced skim-latte on a daily basis. Now I am naturally a high-energy person. But lets face it people: even I go into survival mode.
Unfortunately, my husband and I also have many, many student loans. In fact, more than half of my salary and my husbands salary go directly to our student loans and will... probably forever. This means that one week of drinking skim-lattes during survival mode = Peanut Butter and Jelly for every meal during the next two weeks. So I got to thinking: what if I made my own iced coffee at home? Would it be worth it? Would it still taste as amazing and inspiring as the iced-skim latte I could purchase at my local coffee shop?
Turns out: IT IS! So, I began to research on Dr. Google, and learned that it is not only dirt cheap in comparison to purchasing a skim-latte everyday for a week, but it is also extremely easy as well. The short? Mix ground coffee in a container and let sit for 12-24 hours. Strain. Pour over ice/add milk/creamer. Viola! Here is my favorite explanation at The Pioneer Woman: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/06/perfect-iced-coffee/
This is how I make my Iced Coffee
What you'll need
-1 Pound Ground Coffee (I generally buy fair-trade and rain forest friendly... about $9-$10/bag... if this is too expensive, you can mix it with another $4-$5 pound bag for a compromise and save the extra pound for next time). Friends of mine also use espresso ground or Turkish coffee.
-A large Jar or Container
-Strainer with coffee filter OR a metal coffee filter
-Spoon to stir
What you do
-Pour coffee in Jar/Container.
-Add 9-10 cups water.
-Mix with spoon.
-Cover and let sit 12-24 hours depending on desired strength. I let mine sit 18-24 hours. You can leave it out on the counter or put it in the fridge during this time. I put mine in the fridge.
After 12-24 hours
-Strain coffee mixture with strainer and coffee filter.
-Pour coffee over ice and enjoy plain or add milk/creamer.
-I store extra coffee in a jar in the fridge to drink throughout the week.
If you'd like to make a smaller amount, the ratio is 1/3-1/2 cup ground coffee to 1 & 1/2 cups cold water. The finer the coffee is ground, the stronger the iced coffee with be.
I use about 1 & 1/4 cups of cold pressed coffee + 1 cup milk per latte. Soy milk and almond milk are also delicious!
Other reasons for drinking cold-pressed coffee:
-The acidity is much lower. If you get heartburn, cold-pressed coffee can become a good friend!
-Like fine wine or chocolate, coffee has complexities on the palate. Cold-pressed coffee can bring out the earthy, carmel, and even smoky flavors of a dark roast.
-It can be much more refreshing to drink iced-coffee instead of hot coffee on a 90-degree MN summer morning with 70% humidity.
So there it is! I hope this brings hope to all those other coffee lovers out there who also live on a shoe-string budget but do not want to give up their "fancy coffee". And while the rest of us wait for world peace, we might as well enjoy an amazing glass of refreshing, iced, cold-pressed coffee.
-Miriam Zien Edgar


  1. Bless you, Miriam. Where do you buy your coffee?

  2. It depends on who's got a sale going, but I generally buy my coffee at Whole Foods, Cub Foods, Costco, or Trader Joes. Also, I *Always* check Target's coffee row because they often put fair-trade/organic on sale and I can stock up then. Coffee freezes too...so if you buy a large bag in bulk at Costco, you can always freeze the extra. Hope this helps!