The Elixir of Life

We’re not coffee drinkers around here. It’s just not worth the effort to get up in the morning and start a pot of coffee that we won’t have time to drink until we’re in the car and it spills down the front of my shirt. It doesn’t mean that Paul or I either one don’t like coffee.

I grew up with hot coffee making the house smell good every morning. My parents have one of the most cheesy romantic morning rituals in the entire world. My mom is not a morning person. Ever. Except on vacations, but that doesn’t count. Anyway, my dad works in construction, and even on weekends, his alarm goes off at 4:00am. He gets up and has some alone time, and then he starts the coffee. Around 5:30, he fixes a cup just the way my mom likes it – that perfect balance of cream and coffee that makes her happy. Then he takes that cup back to their bedroom and wakes her up. He does that every day.

Maybe that’s part of the reason that I don’t make coffee myself. It would almost seem like intruding on their ritual.

But we still need caffeine in the mornings. Starting the day with an ice cold Coke can work. It might seem odd with eggs, but the bubbles make it work. There are better, more satisfying solutions, though. And cheaper solutions that don’t have us eating high fructose corn syrup.

We cold brewed a pound of coffee. It’s really simple. We coarsely ground the beans, put them in a stock pot, and covered them with a half gallon of cold water. (Use six pints of water for a stronger brew.) We put the lid on, and then we went to bed. In the morning, voila! Coffee! Well, it’s not really coffee until you put it through a very very fine mesh strainer or a relatively fine one lined with cheesecloth. One you’ve gotten all the solids out, you have iced coffee with no bitterness at all.

But what do you do with it? A glass with milk and ice is good, but a glass with sweetened condensed milk is awesome. One can gives you 4 16-ounce glasses of coffee goodness.

And suddenly morning is not so bad.

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One thought on “The Elixir of Life

  • November 28, 2010 at 10:10 am

    What a great blog! My “Southern Mother” from New Orleans makes the cold brewed coffee and has for probably 50 years!

    We so enjoyed our time with you. I look forward to following your blog…and have a little bit of Angela and Paul to get me by!


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