The Better the Water, the Better the Coffee

The better the water, the better the coffee. Makes sense right? I mean, nearly 99% of coffee is water. So why have I been using sub-par water to make my coffee all these years?

DC water is not the tastiest. I won’t drink it straight from the tap. Maybe I just got used to my local water system in Louisiana, or maybe my taste buds are super sensitive. Maybe it’s DC’s rough history with the water system… So like so many of you, when I drink a glass of water, I drink filtered water. However, for three of the almost four years I’ve been living in DC, I’ve been using the tap water when brewing my coffee.

That stopped when I attended my first coffee competition, the annual Aeropress Competition that took place last July. Competitors came in with their own water, some filtered in jugs, others particular water bottle brands. And only at this time did I realize I might want to stop using tap water for my coffee. I mean, there’s a reason not one of these coffee pros is using tap water. So that evening as I was programming my drip machine for the next morning, I decided to add filtered water as opposed to tap water. And did it make a difference…?

Absolutely!

I could immediately tell my coffee was cleaner and crisper. And honestly, now it takes longer for residue to build up on my drip machine. Now filtered water is all I use. It’s an added benefit that filtered water is better for your health as it is absent of some unwanted elements that could otherwise be making their way through your body. It can also contribute to nutrient absorption, weight loss, skin hydration, and detoxification.

After reading this, you might be thinking, “No shit, Sherlock,” and that is fine. But if you’re not doing so already, try making your morning coffee with filtered water and let us know if you can taste the difference.

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren

P.S.- Yes, there are cities out there with high quality tap water. Maybe you’re lucky to live in one of these places where filtered water isn’t necessary. If you do, please share with us your thoughts on using your local tap water to brew coffee.

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How to Make Cold Brew

It’s getting warmer and warmer outside, which means I am making my annual switch from hot to cold coffee. However, just a year ago I was brewing hot coffee, pouring it over ice, and calling it a day. The coffee I ended up taking to work was never as cold as I preferred, and it was always watered down. The solution? Cold brew.

So what is cold brew coffee? It’s really a concentrate. Coffee is brewed for 12-14 hours, resulting in a much stronger, less acidic taste. You can drink it straight (good luck with that), but it’s meant to be cut with water and/or milk. I personally prepare mine 60% cold brew, 20% water, 20% milk.

Making your own cold brew coffee at home might sound intimidating, but in reality it’s super easy. You can make it over the weekend and have it ready to go all week long!

I prefer East African beans for my cold brew (and honestly, for most of my coffees), but you can honestly use any kind of Arabica bean. This time around I used Rwandan. Additionally, I live by myself, so I always make small batches of the stuff. However, you can easily double or triple the recipe to meet your household needs.

Ingredients:

One cup/4 oz. of whole coffee beans

4 cups of water

Step one: Grind

Grind your beans on the coarsest setting on your grinder. If you have a spice grinder, grind in 1-second pulses. Your grounds should look almost like peppercorns rather than a fine powder (fine grounds are going to result in a sludge-y cold brew, and no one wants that).

Step 2: Combine coffee and water

Whether you’re using a mason jar or pitcher in which to make the cold brew, combine the grounds and water and stir thoroughly to ensure the grounds all are saturated.

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Step 3: Steep

The easiest thing to do is to let your concoction steep overnight. It should steep for about 12 hours, either on the counter or in the refrigerator (it really doesn’t matter).

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Surprise Step: Make coffee cubes

Brew a small pot of coffee and pour into an ice cube tray to freeze overnight. This will be an excellent addition to your coffee in the morning!

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Step 4: Strain

Okay, I don’t have a strainer or a flour cloth like a lot of recipes call for. I simply used my colander and a thin dish towel. Works just the same, I swear! I put these over a large bowl and pour my coffee through the colander (but you can also use a strainer and flour cloth if you’re more sophisticated than I am).

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Step 5: Enjoy!

Dilute your cold brew with as much water or milk as you wish and enjoy! Your cold brew can keep up to a week in the fridge.

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It’s that easy! And in my opinion takes less time than getting my drip machine ready every night of the week. The Washington Post recently penned an article on cold brew as well if you want to check out their recipes and take on the beverage. It’s an insightful read!

Let us know if you try out the recipe or if you have your own cold brew recipe you wish to share!

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren