I enjoy a coffee on my ride to the gym in the morning before my first client. Last week we ran out of coffee grounds at the house, so I decided to visit the local Starbucks on my commute to the gym. Much to my disappointment, the store was open for business as advertised at 5:00am, but they were not able to make coffee. The main brewer had failed and they were waiting on a technician to come and address the machine. I did not express my disappointment to the staff and I wished them luck in their imminent hectic morning as I scurried out the door. However, for a split second I entertained the idea of asking why they did not have a backup system in place for “emergencies” like this one. I quickly realized that I was being an enormous baby.
Talk about first world problems! I was going to have to “survive” without the java and I was pissed! That morning got me thinking about my relationship with coffee over the years and reminded me why I still think the at home method is the best way for me!
As soon as I was old enough to get my license, I started working after school and full summers for my uncle who owned a couple of canteen Trucks. I kept the job all the way through college, working as many hours as I could to create some income for myself while getting my education. I would like to think that all of the early mornings on the route primed me for the five and six am clients and groups I have trained over the years.
The trucks were all equipped with large double urns that could hold gallons of fresh coffee. Some people on the route even referred to the truck as the“coffee truck.” As a young man, I was not a coffee drinker and thus, never prioritized making the coffee and ensuring that there was always plenty of extra bags handy during the food prep stage of the morning. I was more concerned with making sure that the hot foods were fully prepared, the drinks lined up, the truck gassed, etc. There were many mornings that I had forgotten to brew the coffee as I pulled up to the first stop of the day, where busy construction workers and executives alike lined up for their fix. Most people only had a few minutes to take their break and get their items off the truck. The last think they wanted to see was lanky sixteen-year-old Sean showing up with a bone-dry coffee urn. I remember thinking to myself, “What is the big deal? Have a cup of tea instead! I”ll brew some for when I come back at lunch.”
My attitude towards coffee certainly changed about ten years ago when I became a consumer. I enjoy a cup of coffee daily and find that the best coffee I drink tends to come out of my own kitchen. I prefer to drink it “black” and tend to avoid sweeteners and additives. That said, there are times that I enjoy flavoring my hot coffee with coconut oil and even some grass-fed butter. The main reasons I make my coffee at home are:
TIME - No timed wasted looking for parking, waiting in line, and waiting for the order.
MONEY - Have you seen some of prices these coffeehouses are getting for their artisanfancy-schmancy coffee??
AGGRAVATION - No store mishaps or absent minded teenagers messing up your morning.
I was never a big “iced coffee” drinker until a few years ago, but I love the flavor, strength and taste of some of the more recent “cold brews” that have arrived on the scene. I usually to try to simplify things in the kitchen, and my coffee is no different, especially first thing in the morning. I like to make a big batch of iced coffee to run out the door during the summer and this is what I typically use:
1.) Bottle of Grady’s Cold Brew Concentrate: Grady’s is a concentrate brewed with chicory that comes in a 32oz bottle and yields 8 cups of coffee. Chicory is a European flower that was ground and originally roasted as a bitter coffee substitute. Inspired by the French practice, people in New Orleans started adding the flower to their coffee blends. (Now most of the coffee in that area has a high chicory content.)
2.) Carton of Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk
3.) Tap Water
4.) Coffee Filled Ice Cube Tray
To make the coffee:
Take a thermos or, better yet, a YETI Tumbler, and drop in four coffee ice cubes (take your leftover hot brewed coffee from the pot or French press and pour over an extra tray to freeze for your next batch of coffee)
Add 8 ounces of Grady’s Concentrate (enough for a 16oz of coffee) to the thermos
Add 4 ounces of tap water
Add 4 ounces of Chocolate Almond Milk
Stir vigorously, add a straw, and enjoy!
If you use a YETI, you will have 16 ounces of liquid with four deliciously flavored ice cubes that will keep the coffee flavorful and cold, without watering it down like a traditional cube. You can use more or less water/milk, but I like the strength that this ratio to 8oz concentrate provides. You can also use more or less concentrate, depending on your taste.
For a great cold brewed coffee that you can make at home for half the price, try this iced coffee recipe and let me know what you think!