In addition to my morning cup of Joe, I really like a mid-afternoon coffee. However, it is hard to fathom drinking a hot cup of coffee in the hottest part of the day during the summer in Florida. So, I usually prepare cold brew over the weekend to have for the upcoming week.
I found myself wanting coffee this Sunday afternoon, but I had no cold brew ready to consume. Although I was tempted to go get coffee from one of our many excellent local coffee shops, I really didn’t want to go anywhere. I decided to mix things up a little and make a coffee and tonic instead.
Coffee and Tonic may seem like an odd combination, but the result is light and refreshing. Perfect for a hot afternoon in late summer. It is also very easy to make:
Pack a pint glass full of ice. Pour 3 ounces of freshly brewed, hot coffee over the ice. For this recipe, I suggest a brighter coffee with citrus notes. Top off the coffee off with 4 ounces of tonic water. Add 2 or 3 dashes of bitters and stir with a spoon. I used orange bitters, but you can use whatever bitters you prefer.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine from college asked for some thoughts on urbanism. He went to Florida State with me, but now resides in Seattle (you can read about his experiences with walkable living and in Seattle here). So, I sent him two books that I think capture the essence of what’s gone wrong with America’s cities and what we should do to improve our quality of life: Suburban Nation and Walkable City. A few days later, this arrived in my mailbox:
I briefly debated what method to use for brewing the coffee, but quickly decided to use the classic French press. I like this method of brewing because of its simplicity and because of the richness of the coffee it brews.
One of the keys to making great coffee in a French press is coarsely grinding the coffee beans. Use a small, manual ceramic burr grinder to get a medium-coarse grind from the beans. A grind that is too fine will result in coffee sludge.
Water temperature is also important. Use an electric kettle to bring water just to a boil. Wait about five seconds and pour some of the hot water (about 1/8 cup) into a 32 oz French press and swirl it around to heat up the glass. Empty the water from the press, add six heaping tablespoons of the coffee, and fill the press with hot water to about an inch from the top. Using a small spatula, gently stir the coffee. Place the plunger assembly on the press pot and wait four minutes. Slowly press the plunger down. This should take about 20-25 seconds. Pour the coffee from the French press (coffee that remains in the press will continue to brew and will become too strong) and enjoy.
I typically use a standard drip coffeemaker to brew my coffee every morning, but when I get a special gift or splurge on a bag of higher quality beans, I try to take a little extra care in brewing it. I enjoyed my cup of coffee and thought about how I should plan a visit to Seattle one day.