Welcome to another coffee chat! My coffee chat series is where I discuss coffee and talk about the things on my mind. Today I’m teaching you how to make cold brew at home and I also want to discuss perfectionism among content creators. So what is cold brew?
Cold brew is coffee that is prepared with cold water and it brews overnight. The official definition is, “a chilled coffee that is made from grounds that have been steeped in room temperature or cold water for several hours”. I am not a coffee expert. But I do prefer cold brew to iced coffee. However, I’m not some fanatic that insists on only drinking cold brew. There is a small difference, but I would never get heated about it. According to my brief research, cold brew has a more full-bodied flavor and enhances the chocolate notes in coffee. Iced coffee has notes of caramel and is well-balanced. You can make both iced coffee and cold brew at home. For iced coffee, you would just brew coffee normally and refrigerate and serve over ice. Pretty simple! Cold brew requires more patience.
Why make cold brew coffee at home? Well, most things are better in the comfort of your home. Pouring a cup of coffee while in your pajamas is much more enjoyable than waiting in line at a busy cafe. Also, most coffee shops charge extra for cold brew. I’m not sure why because it is affordable to make. I have loved coffee since my teenage years. For Christmas, I received a French Press. It brings me so much joy! It has forced me to become more intentional with my coffee as opposed to just throwing some grounds into a coffee maker every time I need an energy boost. Another amazing part of having a French Press is the ability to make cold brew easily at home.
How do you make cold brew coffee? I am only familiar with making cold brew in a French Press. Click here for instructions on how to do it without a French Press. The process isn’t too different from brewing traditional coffee. You start by adding coarsely ground coffee into the bottom of your French Press. I would suggest between 5-8 tbsp. If you like very dark coffee, go for closer to 8 tbsp. Then, you pour cold water over the coffee grounds instead of hot water. The French Press is placed in the refrigerator for 24 hours and is “pressed” before serving. When it’s ready, I pour it over ice and add a splash of soy milk. You can flavor it however you want!
If you have a French Press, then I am sure you have heard that you can only use coarsely ground coffee. There is some truth to that. In my opinion, you don’t need to buy a coffee grinder (unless you want to). I’ve noticed that some brands of coffee grounds are naturally more coarse. In my experience, Eight O’Clock Ground Coffee works well. I haven’t had trouble with any store bought ground coffee, except Gevalia. I actually like the taste of this brand, but it’s more finely ground so there is some residue left over when pressed. I typically buy a breakfast blend or a type of medium roast. I don’t think there is a right or wrong brand or type. I recommend using what you prefer, but just be sure it works well with your French Press.
Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew coffee in a French Press. A simple do-it-yourself coffee recipe!
- 5-8 tbsp of coarsely ground coffee (depends on how strong you want the coffee).
- 4 cups filtered water.
- Optional add-ins: maple syrup, soy milk, etc.
Scoop coffee grounds into the bottom of your French Press.
Fill the French Press with cold water.
Refrigerate for 24 hours, with the lid on.
Remove from the fridge. Press down until you cannot press anymore.
Pour cold brew over ice and add sweetener and cream if desired.
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I hope you like this! It is surprisingly simple. Now onto my “chat”. I would say that most of my adult life I have been a perfectionist. I don’t consider this to be an inherently bad personality trait. However, it can be crippling when your side gig involves social media and content creation. I’m not the type of person that posts excessively because I want to post when I am proud of my work. Sometimes when I am in a creative rut though, nothing seems worthy. It keeps me from connecting with this blog audience. A few days ago, I didn’t want to post a picture on Instagram because there was a reflection in a spoon. I thought to myself, “are you kidding me?”. I was peeved because of a reflection on a reflective surface. It’s not ideal to have tons of reflection in a photo, but after asking other people it was apparent no one else even noticed. I get extremely insecure about my photography. Part of it stems from the fact that I am in between amateur status and photographer status. I am not formally trained in photography, yet I have taught myself more than the standard hobby photographer. Another aspect is the number of other talented content creators. The internet has made food photography trendy and that has brought to the forefront the many painfully talented photographers. I celebrate their work. But in the back of my mind, I am constantly thinking about how I am not that good. I could get a million compliments on something and still not believe that it is worthy of being viewed. I have come a long way. When I started my blog, everyone was taking pictures with their phone and that’s what I did.
Some of my perfectionist tendencies are truly useful. It gives me a kick in the butt when I need to accomplish daily tasks. When it comes to photography, my perfectionism leads me to study new techniques. It also has me cruelly judging my work and takes away the fun of content creation. The only thing that gives me some comfort is the idea that no one starts out amazing. I am always learning and food photography is a journey (a long and treacherous journey). Okay, I think my venting is over! Thank you for reading. Tell me how you like your coffee in the comments.
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