The Chilled Bean

coffee 1The Chilled Bean

Remember those cold glasses of chocolate milk when you were a kid?  Let’s jump forward now, away from the fat and sugars and to a beverage that still harbors a bit of the chocolate milk nostalgia – iced coffee with fat free cream, a sprinkling of chocolate powder, maybe even a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Terrific iced coffee is not made by pouring hot coffee over a glass of ice cubes but rather by pouring already chilled coffee over ice and then savored or brought to creamy flavor with milk.

Here is an incredibly easy method to bring out the best that the beans have to offer while saving a great deal of money over the diluted drinks you will get at your favorite espresso stand.coffee 2

Select ½ pound of the best ground  beans you can; decaf or caffeinated, (grind doesn’t matter but coarser grinds are easier to strain).

Stir coffee into a bowl with 9 cups of room temperature water and cover with a towel, stirring once to submerse the grounds after an hour has passed.

Let stand unrefrigerated for 12 – 16 hours; no need to mix.

Strain through several layers of cheese cloth or a filter to remove all grounds.

Store in jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Pour over ice, dilute with water or milk and cream to taste and sweeten or not – a dash of powdered chocolate, a sprinkle of cinnamon – or maybe go for it and break out a can of whipped cream – for the kid in you.  Chilled coffee has an incredible aroma, taste and appearance and when the weather cools you can use the same brew to make a cappaccino.2014-09-23_1054

…and the grounds?

After the grounds have cooled sprinkle them around any acid loving plant like a fern or an azalea. They help improve the soil and have some minimal fertilizing effect. I pick up the free sacks of coffee grounds at Starbucks about once a week and dump them in my compost pile.  In the garden they make the whole area smell like coffee for several days.  Coffee grounds in the yard also keep ants away from the places you sprinkle them and gardens sprinkled with coffee discourage cats I’m told.

Photographs by Fred Swan 2016

Fred Swan

Fredrick Swan is an artist and an author whose career has encompassed years of working as a child and family counselor, an individual therapist and serving as a field instructor at a graduate school of social work. Aware that he is one of the few people on earth who has lived to explore the meaning of their own death in the context of their life, he is currently writing a blog to inspire others to reimagine their lives. His artwork has been shown in the Northwest for a number of years, has appeared in two seasons of a television series, a movie and is in collections of people living in the United States and Europe. Fredrick writes and paints beside a creek just outside the diverse river port city of Portland, Oregon. The father of four, his art work and blog can be found at www.fredrickswan.com. “Parentheses – A Memoir of My Life Before, During, and After My Death” is available on Amazon where you can read a preview of the book and its reviews.