Iced Coffee--the French Press Cold Brew Method

My good Instagram friend, @mrsannamarie, asked me if I'd do a post about the cold brew iced coffee that I make my hubs on a daily basis.  I'm more than happy to do so; although I readily admit that the cold brew method is not my original idea.  It seems that it "hit it big" quite a while ago with this post from The Pioneer Woman...and it appears (from the information provided in her post) that she got a lot of her inspiration from this article in Imbibe Magazine.

We do our cold brew in a French press, in much smaller batches than those of Ree Drummond.  It's what works for us.  I don't have the extra fridge space for a large I think Paul finds some virtue in the "fresh pot daily" concept.

So, with a little help from another IG friend, @cherishstock (a Starbucks barista, incidentally), here's the formula we came up with...
Dump five scoops of ground coffee into the bottom of a standard-size French press.  We have one of these large coffee scoops from best I can tell, one of these scoops rounded is equivalent to two tablespoons.  So basically, you're dumping in 10-ish tablespoons of coffee (which incidentally is also 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons, if that's easier).  And don't ask me what a standard-size French press is...I know, I should have checked.  I took all these pictures at home, though, and now we're nearly a thousand miles away from there.  Any-whooo...dump your ground coffee in.

Then, fill it up with water until it reaches the bottom of that green band at the top of the decanter.  If that's not a scientific enough measurement for you, it's approximately 3 1/2 cups of water.  Yes, I measured it out.  Just for you.  But just so you know, I don't measure it out when I make it.  I just fill it to that line...ish.  Sometimes it goes a little over.  No sweat.  (Also, please note here, we put in a bit over 1/2 cup of grounds, and nearly 3 1/2 cups of it stands to reason that a standard-size French press is around 4 cups.  Like the math I did there?  Impressive, huh?  4 cups...2 pints...1 quart...tomayto...tomahto.)

When you fill it with water, some of the grounds seem to like to ride to the top, floating on the water.  I don't like that.  For some reason (OCD?), I think that if those lazy grounds are just sitting there all dry-like, they certainly aren't releasing all their java-y goodness into the water and flavoring it as much as they should.  I believe every ground should do its fair share to contribute to the iced coffee goodness that is to come.  Therefore, I like to give it all a little stir, just to be sure all those grounds are nice and wet.  And that above is generally what it looks like after they've all been mixed in.

Now you can put the top of your French press on. (Don't press down the plunger, obviously.) (Plunger????  Is that really what it's called?  That just seems wrong, somehow.  I feel like I'm using a toilet term talking about iced coffee.)  Any-whooo, put the top on, and then begins the loooooooong wait.  As in at least 8 hours.  Wait at least 8 hours before you press the coffee.  Usually the grounds will all hang out together at the top like this....☟☟☟
...don't worry...that's fine.  That's what they like to do...and the coffee still turns out how it's supposed to (yes, I was worried about that the first time I made cold brew; that's why I took the time to mention it).

After 8 hours, press the plunger down slowly, but firmly, just like you would if you were making hot coffee.  Once you reach the bottom, you're done.  You can either pour your cold brew (which right now isn't really cold, but more of room temperature) directly over ice, then cream and sweeten it to your desired taste...or you can pour it into a decanter (hopefully your decanter is a really cute, vintage Pyrex one) and refrigerate it until it really is cold, and then proceed as usual.  Pioneer Woman suggests the latter--she prefers hers very cold.  You can also check her cold brew post for recipe ideas--I can't wait to try the Vietnamese Iced Coffee variation.

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