Recipes Cooking Tips

Coffee Shop Quality Joe at Home

Coffee—whether it powers your mornings, gets you through the mid-afternoon slump, or is your evening time pick-me-up, a good cup of joe can go a long way. The next time you find yourself needing a boost of energy, don’t wait in line at the coffee shop, make your own exceptional brew at home.

During the dog days of summer, try out this easy, 10-hour cold brew with mint simple syrup that’ll serve as a refreshing energizer when record-breaking heat is knocking on the door. And on the crisp, cool mornings of fall and winter, warm-up with a perfectly frothy cinnamon latte that is big on flavor and all-around cozy. Which will you try first?

10-hour Cold Brew with Mint Simple Syrup

  • 2 large jars or bottles (able to hold 5-6 cups)
  • Coffee filter
  • Rubber band
  • Fine strainer
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee, medium or light roast*
  • Mint simple syrup (recipe to follow)

coffee beverages-3In the large jar or bottle, combine the ground coffee with 4 cups water. Using a spoon or chopstick, mix the grounds to ensure they all get coated with water. Cover the jar with a coffee filter and wrap with a rubber band to secure, then store in a cool, dry area for 10 to 12 hours. Once the mixture has set for preferred time, pour the cold brew concentrate through a fine strainer into a second jar or bottle to filter out the grounds. Depending on your preference, strain the cold brew a second time using a coffee filter to catch any sediment found at the bottom of the jar. When serving, use a 1:4 ratio of coffee to water, or add more coffee concentrate for a stronger flavor. Add one tablespoon mint simple syrup to cold brew and garnish with mint sprig. Cold brew concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

* Grind the coffee to a coarse texture, resembling thick kosher salt. The key is to open up the beans to bring out the acidic, fruit-like notes and floral aroma while ensuring that the grounds are large enough to be retained in a strainer. The more coarse the grind is, the easier it will be to strain.

Mint Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 - 2 small sprigs of mint

In a saucepan, add the granulated sugar and water and cook on medium to low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, turn the heat to low, add the mint springs and muddle using a wooden spoon, allowing them to steam for a few minutes. Once the simple syrup begins to turn a light green color, strain the mixture into a jar and refrigerator up to two weeks.

Cinnamon Latte

  • Moka pot
  • Milk frother wand
  • 2-3 tablespoons of finely ground coffee (20-22 grams), dark roast*
  • Water
  • 1 cup whole milk or half & half
  • Cinnamon, to taste

coffee beverages-1Fill the bottom half of the moka pot with water until it reaches the fill line, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely ground coffee to the filter basket and shake to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Attach the top portion of the moka pot and place over medium-high heat. Let the espresso rise and pour out through the upper chamber. If the water explodes upward, turn down the heat, and if the water burbles lethargically, turn up the heat. Once the moka pot begins to hiss, remove from heat. While the espresso brews, warm the milk or half and half in the microwave for 10 seconds. Using a milk frother wand or whisk, whisk the milk for 1 to 2 minutes or until it becomes foamy. In a coffee mug, pour 1 part espresso to 3 parts milk and top with cinnamon to taste.

*A dark roast yields the best cup of espresso, as its notes of cherry and chocolate and rich aromas pair nicely with the creamy texture of the milk.