We (coffee and I) met when I was quite young. My grandpa and I would sit around the kitchen table dunking grandma’s homemade molasses cookies into steaming cups of coffee. Of course my cup wasn’t really steaming, as it was mostly milk and sugar with a little coffee mixed in, but you get the idea.
Then we lost touch for quite a few years. Up until I was 30 years old, I didn’t even know how to brew a pot of coffee. (I know, I know…) But when a couple of friends bought a local coffee shop, The Blue Moon, the romance was rekindled. I started out cautiously, drinking sugary sweet lattes reminiscent of my childhood coffee experience. (Snicker’s Bar Latte, anyone?) The Blue Moon Cafe became a regular stop on my way home from the Y.
Quite a few years after this, Starbucks came to Neenah. My coffee habit became an obsession. I would find any excuse possible to pick up a coffee treat. My drink of choice became skinny vanilla lattes; hot in the winter, iced in the summer. And when red cup season arrived? Hello Skinny Peppermint Mochas!
A few years ago I became vegan, so I traded the “skinny” for soy. And I traded Starbucks for Aspen Coffee and Tea, a locally owned coffee shop. They introduced me to the best Bhakti Chai Lattes EVER. They even managed to convert my husband over to “adult” hot beverages. Thank goodness…I was getting worried that I would spend my golden years drinking alone!
Most of the time, however, I make my own coffee and tea at home. Going out for coffee and tea can get quite expensive. Plus, I am kind of a control freak when it comes to knowing what I am actually eating or drinking. I really like to recognize my ingredients. And I like using natural sweeteners. Good thing I have become capable of whipping up some treats at home.
Now that summer has arrived, it’s time to bring out my homemade iced coffee adapted from Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows. They take a little preparation, but are super easy to make (providing you have the right “tools”) and unbelievably yummy. Tomorrow at this time, you could be enjoying your own iced coffee!
4 cups water
1 cup freshly ground coffee
Place grounds in quart size jar. Add water. Stir. Place in refrigerator overnight. Strain through a nut milk bag to remove the grounds.
Walah! Coffee concentrate! (The concentrate can also be used to make ice cubes.)
Next…I make some nut milk!
1 c. raw almonds (soaked in water overnight and then drain and rinse)
4 c. water
1 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
Place almonds and water in a high speed blender. Blend until you can’t see any pieces of almonds. Strain using a nut milk bag. Pour into a bowl, using a nut milk bag to strain out the almond pulp. Rinse out the blender. After squeezing out all the liquid from the nut milk bag, pour the milk back into the blender. Add dates, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Blend again until well blended. Strain one more time.
Then, fill a glass with ice cubes, or “coffee” cubes. Add your coffee concentrate (about 1/2 full) and then fill to the top with almond milk! Taste. If you’d like it a little sweeter, feel free to add a sweetener of your choice. Personally, I drizzle a little maple syrup or agave in.