More than loving coffee, I love really carefully crafted coffee. Artisan coffees have caught a bad rep over the years, in large part due to an unwieldy purveyor who has doused coffee in a slew of syrups and whipped cream and calling it gourmet. This is a bad rep that artisan coffee does not deserve. A well-crafted cup of coffee reflects the thirsty work of a farmer, a roaster, a buyer and a barista who all love to understand the complex nature of a simple bean. A good cup of coffee offers a sense of place, a story of cultivation and careful preparation and is a reliable friend on an early morning. Oh, I really love coffee.
It was at a Blue Bottle kiosk at the Ferry Building farmers market that I first tried a New Orleans iced coffee, and people, it was worth the absurdly long line I waited in. Cold brewed coffee with chicory, milk and simple syrup- safe to say it is a joie de vivre. I was already suspicious that the baristas at Blue Bottle were apron-clad undercover angels, and when I discovered a recipe card for the NOLA coffee on my way out the door, I my suspicions were confirmed. Prep some of the coffee concentrate and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days to really enjoy these last warm days.
New Orleans Iced Coffee adapted from Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
(we have had the worst time finding chicory in Boulder, so we have opted for the Cafe Du Monde coffee and chicory blend, and it has been a great runner runner up to the Blue Bottle version)
Prepare concentrate in a large enameled cast-iron stock pot with a lid.
Add a full can of Cafe Du Monde Coffee and Chicory to the stock pot. Cover coffee with 2.5 quarts of cold water. Stir, cover, and let steep at room temp for about 8-12 hours (overnight is perfect).
Strain the concentrate through a fine-mesh strainer. You can line a strainer with a large coffee filter or cheese cloth to catch as much sediment as possible. This will look like used motor oil and should yield about 4-5 cups. Mmmm motor oil.
To make the simple syrup, combine 3 oz. sugar with 2/3 cup of water over low heat, stirring until dissolved. Agave is a good substitute for simple syrup, just use to taste since it's a little sweeter than sugar.
To serve, pour 3 oz. of coffee concentrate into a tall pint glass. Stir in a splash of simple syrup and top with low-fat milk. Add in one or two ice cubes. Put Louis Armstrong on the turntable and spend your coffee break in the French Quarter.