My mother told me recently that my grandmother’s favorite time of day, without a doubt, was early morning. It wasn’t necessarily the waking up, but the quiet. She’d tiptoe around the house in her slip with rollers in her hair, sipping all the while at her fresh cup of coffee in a Tim Horton’s mug. And once you, too, had managed to pull yourself, groggy-eyed, out of bed, she’d be energized and happy to see you. I remember this.
Apparently I am one in a family full of caffeine-addicted introverts, because that is my morning ritual, too (sub a giant bun on top of my head for rollers, and oversized boxers for the slip…don’t judge me). Except I am a food dork, so I do food dork things to make my morning coffee that much more delightful. Like that time I turned it into sangria. Do not fear, for I am not downing alcohol as I start my day! This iced coffee is just sangria-style, loaded with fresh fruit and extra ice. Here is what you do:
Brew a double strength batch of coffee, meaning the normal amount of coffee grounds, but with half the hot water. After the coffee has brewed, combine it (while still hot) with the same amount of ice as hot water you used. You will keep this coffee-ice mixture refrigerated in a pitcher, and add chopped fruit to it (i.e., raspberries, mango, strawberries, cherries, or anything that might complement the flavors in the specific beans you’re using already). The mixture needs to marinate in the fridge for about 3-4 hours (or overnight) before the fruit has infused the coffee. Serve over ice.
Here are some tips to help you make it best:
1) Use a high-quality, medium roast coffee (not dark, and I wouldn’t do a light roast here either, because it can be tangy) for the iced coffee.
2) Make sure that the coffee has nuances of citrus, berry, or fruit. I know, I know. I’m sounding pretentious, but trust me—a coffee that specifically says it has something like chocolate notes just isn’t going to go well iced, because it would be better hot and melty. Remember, you’re using fruit here, so why not choose something that specifically has those flavors present naturally? You want to bring that stuff out! Ask your friendly neighborhood barista what coffee they think might be best iced/paired with fruit!
3) This goes without saying, but still: get your coffee ground specifically for the method you use to brew it. It makes such a difference.
4) Here is a pro-tip and a half: coffee loses some of its gorgeous flavor one week after it has been ground. Make sure it’s ground fresh!
5) Water quality is important. For best results, use purified or filtered water (though I know water can be awesome in certain places, the fact that the stuff from my tap leaves rust marks on the sink is reason enough for me to stress this! Blegh!).
I hope you enjoy this one…iced coffee sangria alone coerced me out of bed much earlier than normal, simply because I couldn’t wait!