Over the course of the past few weeks, I've seen at least a jillion references online to the brilliant iced coffee directions/recipe given by Ree at The Pioneer Woman. As a big coffee snob myself, I, of course, tried Ree's method, and I think she's spot on. The iced coffee that comes out of her recipe is delicious.
I also think it's too much work and takes up too much space for someone with a single, regular-sized fridge. Large containers and cheesecloth? These are things those of us without big-ass ranch kitchens (not to mention those of us who don't actually cook) might not have. So...I worked on a modification for my lifestyle. And I think I've perfected it, so I'm gonna share it with my similarly ill-equipped (or, you know, lazy) readers:
1. Before I go to bed, I grind up a big French press worth of coffee beans. I used good beans. If you aren't going to use decent coffee, I pretty much think you should just skip this. I don't measure, generally, but for the sake of science, I did measure last night, and it's about 10 coffee scoops worth of grounds. More than you'd use in a regular hot French press by about a third or so. I put that in my French press and then fill it with water from my Brita pitcher. I know I should stir, but I don't want to get a spoon dirty, so I just kinda try to pour the water over the grounds enough that it all gets wet. I put the top on the French press and push it down very slightly to ensure that all the grounds are trapped, then I go to bed.
2. In the morning, I push the press down like a regular French press of coffee and pour the darkly brewed java in a water bottle to take to work. One mostly-full French press fits perfectly in my tall Oggi stainless steel bottles--17 oz, I think?
3. When I get to work, I fill my plastic tumbler-with-lid-and-straw (adult sippy cup!) with ice, then sprinkle about 2 tsp of sugar over the ice, then dump two individual half-and-half containers over that (oddly, though I drink hot coffee black, I like my iced coffee slightly sweetened and lightened). Then I fill the rest of the cup with the cold coffee from my bottle. The bottle will make three of these. I make sure the lid is screwed on tight and shake it up really well, then sip and slurp away!
4. On the weekend, I replace the office-provided sugar and half-and-half with my own skim milk and brown sugar simple syrup, but the rest of the process is the same.
Is this as good as PW's recipe? Not quite. However, it takes no time, no supplies I don't already have, and it's pretty darn tasty.
Long live the lazy and caffeine addicted!
Note: The photo above is my current iced coffee, in my cube, taken by my iPhone. Much like my cooking, my photography is not exactly in Pioneer Woman's league. We all do what we can.