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Quote About Dandelions

"You fight dandelions all weekend, and late Monday afternoon there they are, pert as all get out, in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be, thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity."

-- Hal Borland

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Great Coffee Experiment

I decided to experiment. The goal of this experiment was to 

1) Try my hand at making homemade coffee creamer
2) Attempt to find out if cold-brewed coffee works for iced coffee

I started with the coffee creamer.

Following the recipe found on Mrs Happy Homemaker, I mixed one 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk with 1 and 3/4 cups whole milk:

Then I added 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, mixed it up again, and then poured it into an old (cleaned!) coffee creamer container.

That was clearly a lot of work (and *so* expensive at $3.66 for the whole bottle), so I took a break and went to get a sno cone at the only place one should get sno cones: Jerry's Sno Cones!

Then I went back home and got to work on my cold-brewed coffee.

I used my favorite roast from my favorite (and local!) coffee company, J. Brooks Coffee.
And yes, I have to mark my bag so people don't steal it. It's that good.

I followed a ratio of 50:50 grounds to water.

Mixed it together.

It looked kinda' gross at this point, so I covered it and went to bed.

In the morning, for a breakfast of Super Coffee Drinkers: Caffeinated Avengers Assemble!
(I know. That's a lame joke. It was early and I thought it was funny.)

Take a gander at those grounds now - they're almost pretty!

Now pour those grounds into a french press, I had to use a spatula to get them all in. I would have preferred to do the entire experiment in the french press, but I'm not the only one who uses it. Sigh.

Press the grounds down and then pour the coffee into a glass with ice.

And, behold, Iced Coffee!

But wait, where's the creamer?! Gotta have it, y'all.

Now stir it up and lookee-there! Woo-hoo!

But does it survive the taste test?

Well......yeah. Yeah it does!

Here's what I learned about what I did right, and what I did wrong. (I've gleaned all of my coffee terminology and knowledge from the super cool guys at J. Brooks Coffee. You should check 'em out!)

1) I learned that the roast level and the grind I chose was too light and too fine for cold-brewed (though not necessarily iced coffee.) I chose a medium roast and I should have chosen a dark, I got a fine ground and I should have gotten a course. The reason behind that is that as the coffee beans are roasted darker, the sugars in them caramelize, producing a better flavor for cold-brewed coffee. The finer ground leaves more surface area for flavor to be pulled from which results in a stronger coffee than I might have wanted. (The medium roast is fine if you're brewing hot coffee with which to chill and then make iced coffee, however.)

2) I let the coffee steep waaaay to long. It was recommended to me that, due to the finer grind, I should probably only let it steep for 10 hours, 12 at the most. Well, I might possibly have stayed up super duper late and therefore slept in really late and my coffee, poor thing, might have steeped for 15 hours. Oops. This produced a super strong, and very bitter coffee. But "behind" the bitterness was an absolutely incredible flavor that I, obviously, really enjoyed. So next time I will be steeping the coffee for the recommended time to see if that alleviates the bitterness. If not, I'll try a different roast. 

3) The coffee creamer was so totally awesome! I'm so glad I tried it. Especially because I can make it any flavor I want and it's cheap! And I know exactly what I'm putting in my body. So cool.

So all in all, The Great Coffee Experiment was a success and I will be repeating it often. Huzzah!


  1. Awesome experiment! And I've never thought of making my own coffee creamer, I'll have to try that out now :D

    1. Thanks, Hannah! It was fun. Let me know if you try other flavors besides vanilla for the creamer - the recipe I linked to has 20 different flavor ideas.