Coffee: Iced Café au lait

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I adore coffee served in any form, but my favorite way to drink it is on ice. I prefer it chilled probably because Houston is cold drink-friendly almost year-round. Although, I have been one of those people caught sipping on an iced drink on the coldest days.

My sweetheart and I until recently, were living out of our suitcases. We were on the road for over a year traveling back and forth all over Louisiana and back. Every square inch of our car was packed with suitcases, pots, pans, bird-cage, and all.  I was limited to what I could bring along so I had to plan accordingly. One thing we always must have, is our iced coffee. Can I tell you something? I have a gold card status at Starbucks. Yep, that’s like racking up frequent flyer miles, but the currency here is caffeine. Practically all of the places we were traveling to were off the beaten path so there weren’t any coffee houses nearby much less a Starbucks. I had to get creative so I came up with a way to steer our homesickness away and get our iced-coffee fix without the need for special equipment. That was all possible with a little help from a mason jar. Let me tell you how to prepare a nice cup of iced café au lait.

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The first thing you need to do is prepare a strong cold coffee concentrate. To make this you will need some ground coffee (of your choice). I’m making an iced New Orleans style café au lait, so I will be using the French Market Coffee or Cafe Du Monde coffee. You will also need some cone coffee filters, a tablespoon, and a large 32 oz mason jar.

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Place three generous tablespoons of coffee grounds into each coffee filter or more if you’d like. Limit 4 spoonfuls per filter because if you put too much coffee grounds in a single filter, the grounds will slip out.

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Once you have three or four spoonfuls of coffee in a filter, begin folding the top corner and continue to make folds overlapping over the last. Repeat until you’ve created a sort of envelope.

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Prepare two or three coffee envelopes. Place them inside the jar and fill with clean filtered water to the top. Twist on the cap and let it sit in a cool place in your kitchen overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours. This will allow the coffee to brew without the use of heat. It makes a nice, smooth brew without bitterness.

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After that time has elapsed, it will look like this. Isn’t it a dark beauty? Pull out the coffee filters and discard. If any grounds slip into the liquid. Put a coffee filter over the mouth of another mason jar and pour the liquid through it to strain out the grounds. It’s no big deal. Put the coffee concentrate in the refrigerator to chill for later use or you may use it right away.

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Okay, now comes the fun part.

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Put some ice in a nice cup and pour some of that delicious coffee elixir…or concentrate.

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Then, add a splash of milk or cream. If you’d like to sweeten it, stir in some sugar, coffee sweetener, condensed milk, or simple syrup.

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Stir. Sip. Enjoy. Simple, right? Now go on and try this at home and let me know what you think, leave a comment, or like and share. Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

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