The Other Cold Brew.
This summer I grew a fondness for cold brew. Although the summer is slowly slipping into autumn and the humidity has seemed to finally ease up, I feel there is always a day or two where an iced coffee still hits the spot. Now, I know there are many of you who question the health benefits of not only caffeine, but the source of the caffeine, in this case coffee, but a lot has been written about the health benefits of coffee over the past few years. I wouldn't say I'm an advocate for coffee, more so for nutrition, but I do have a love for a quality cup of joe. Adding to this, I also am a firm believer in good ol' "moderation" (as I'm sure many of you have heard me mention time and time again), so don't over do it, okay? Remember the saying: variety is the spice of life? Whichever clever gal got caught saying this I'm sure shares my views.
A few things...
For starters, I have been a barista on and off since I left the nest, about 8 years or so now. So, I will gladly toot my own horn when it comes to discussing this hot topic. There was also a time in my life where I was a skim-milk-latte-throw-in-a-couple-splendas kinda gal, too (just being honest here). In these past two years I have learned more about coffee than I could have imagined possible, and I appreciate every bit of knowledge I've gained. For instance, did you know that cold brew has far less acidity than espresso or drip (filtered) coffee? So it's a bit easier on your stomach. I still wouldn't recommend you drink coffee on an empty stomach, it's always a good idea to give it a healthy coating of food (or some mason jar greens) prior to your morning brew.
My view on coffee...
In the case that you are throwing back coffee wanna-be's like sugary frappuccinos and venti vanilla lattes on a daily basis, then yes, "coffee" can be bad for you. When it comes to a solid coffee, say a pour over, a filtered, an espresso or a cold brewed, coffee has been shown to have many benefits.
1. Helps Protect Your Brain. That's right! One study has shown that coffee drinkers are more likely to resist development of dementia and Alzheimer's later on in life.
2. Reduces Stress. A study has shown that just the SMELL of coffee helps to reduce stress that is associated with sleep loss. Those Folgers commercials knew all along...
3. May Help Strengthen Muscles...and your DNA. Sorry, this does not mean that you can put down the weights just yet. A study found that caffeine from coffee actually had a similar effect to our DNA molecules in our muscles as exercise! The study focused on DNA changes of muscles in sedentary individuals and found that positive effects from coffee were similar to effects derived from exercise. The most interesting factor in the study was the fact that these positive changes were seen rather quickly.
Side Note: 'Tis true, coffee is NOT for everyone; I personally don't recommend those who are pregnant, struggling with insomnia or depression have more than a cup a day.
phase one: measure: 1 cup coarsely ground coffee // 4 cups of water (by all means, make a bigger batch if you'd like, don't let my 3-1/2 - 4 cup recipe hold you back).
phase two: steep with cold h2o (filtered - not optional). slowly pour in water and give it a good stir, making sure each and every single ground gets a little love from the water. store in your refrigerator.
phase three: wait...
phase four: wait a little longer... (hope you weren't planning on drinking a cup this morning).
phase five: after your long awaited 12-16 hours you are now allowed to strain. (finally, right?). preferably via a fine mesh strainer lined with a layer of cheese cloth, pass on the cheese cloth if you don't mind a few grinds floating around. if you're an avid almond milk maker, strain through the nut bag!
phase six: dress her up! add a little milk (preferably homemade almond milk, but it's your coffee so do as you wish), maybe even a little liquid sugar.
Though I'm sure it will been consumed within a day or two, this liquid gold lasts up to one week stored in an air tight container in your refrigerator.