Make Cold Brew Coffee Easily with a French Press

I love coffee. This is...not shocking news, I know. I love the taste. I love the smell. I love the ritual. I love how it makes me feel so loved when Shawn gets up early to brew me a cup. 

As we roll into summer, I start to crave cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is not the same thing as iced coffee. Iced coffee is coffee that's been brewed regularly (with heat) and then cooled down. Cold brew coffee doesn't introduce heat to the equation at all. Cold brew is less acidic, and tastes almost sweet. It's smoother than iced coffee. And it's ridiculously easy to make, especially with a French Press.

I blogged about my love for cold brew years ago but I've since simplified the process.

I use the Bodum Brazil 8-cup French Press. I put 1/2 cup coarsely ground coffee in the bottom, top it with cold water, give it a quick stir, pop the lid on (without depressing the plunger) and let it sit on the counter (at room temperature!) for approximately 12 hours. Then plunge and pour your delicious cold brew into a vessel that can be covered to store in the fridge (I put mine in a 1L mason jar).

To serve, pour cold brew over ice and top with milk. You'll have to play around to find your perfect ratio but I find 1:1:1 is a great place to start. Add sweetener or a splash of cream if you're feeling fancy. Enjoy! Preferably while sitting on the patio in a sunbeam. 

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I Saw The Sign

I've been struggling with my anxiety more than usual lately. Everything feels heightened, like I'm constantly ready for the zombie apocalypse. My fight-or-flight switch is stuck in the on position.

So I decided I should give up coffee (ha! sob). I'm not sleeping well. My heart is constantly racing. Caffeine seemed like the obvious choice to eliminate.

Yesterday was my first day without coffee. I lasted until 10am and then I found myself steering, completely against my will, into the Starbucks drive through. I beat myself up the entire time. There was a long line of cars and the entire time I sat there, I berated myself. What if the long line was a sign? What if the universe was trying to tell me that caffeine is not my friend, and I do need to drop my coffee habit?

I pulled up the window feeling defeated. I reached out the window, rain pouring down on me, and tried to hand the barista my card.

"Our system just went down," she told me with a smile. "This one's on us!"

MESSAGE RECEIVED LOUD AND CLEAR, UNIVERSE.

It was like the heavens parted and the sun shone down on me for that brief, happy moment. The universe doesn't want me to give up coffee. Coffee doesn't ask stupid questions. Coffee understands.

Boost Your Day with #BulletproofCoffee

I enjoy coffee. Understatement of the year, ladies and gents. Coffee is the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes at night when the anxiety trolls are running rampant in my brain and I can’t fall asleep, I soothe myself by thinking about the coffee I’m going to enjoy the next morning. I walk myself through the ritual of measuring the grounds, prepping the pot, frothing the milk, and it calms me down enough to drift off into dreamland. Coffee is my bff.

Being a bit of a coffee connoisseur, of course I had heard about Bulletproof Coffee, but I thought it was just coffee with butter in it for gym rats and people who earnestly refer to their diet as being “caveman.” Why mess with a good thing? My coffee was not broken so why should I fix it?

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Not only was I borderline snarky, I was completely wrong. Bulletproof Coffee is not some weird nutritional fad. It’s a healthy lifestyle choice that’s backed by science. Coffee science (the best kind).

Bulletproof Coffee is so much more than just coffee with butter in it. Bulletproof Coffee is:

 Upgraded Coffee

Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee Beans are meticulously grown at high altitude on single estates in Guatemala, hand-harvested, carefully processed, handled and roasted to maintain maximum integrity and flavour. The final roast must meet stringent quality and purity standards. Cheaper coffee varieties use poorer quality beans which often have a higher percentage of damaged (as in moldy) beans.

Grass-fed, Unsalted Butter or Ghee

Here’s where your coffee gets that creamy quality that keeps you full and satisfied. Butter has the benefits of healthy milk fat without the denatured casein proteins found in cream. It’s a healthy fat that provides sustained energy levels instead of peaks and valleys.

Grass-fed butter is higher than grain-fed butter in omega-3 fatty acids, CLA, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin E, and antioxidants.

If you can’t find grass-fed butter, grass-fed ghee is a great substitute (and it’s shelf stable).

Brain Octane Oil

Buckle up, kids, we’re about to get science-y. Brain Octane Oil provides a rapid energy boost with no crash. It’s a purified form of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil distilled from 100% pure coconut oil. As soon as it’s consumed, it’s rapidly absorbed and provides instant energy to the brain without breaking down glucose from sugars or carbohydrates. It takes just three steps to convert Brain Octane to cellular fuel for your body and brain whereas it takes sugar 25 steps.

Which is all very interesting but what I wanted to know was does it taste good?

Yes, Bulletproof Coffee tastes good. Does it taste like a double mocha extra whip choco-extravaganza? No. But that’s not a bad thing. The butter gives the coffee a lovely, creamy quality and after using my immersion blender for maximum mixing power, I ended up with a cup of coffee that was nice and frothy and almost latte-like. The Brain Octane is completely taste-free. And the Upgraded Coffee tastes like coffee. Delicious, life-affirming coffee. Pro tip: add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your grounds before brewing for a hint of flavour (no need for flavoured creamers that are full of sugar and regret).

More important than the taste is how Bulletproof Coffee makes me feel. Mornings are a bit of a struggle in our house. Juggling Grady’s new school routine and an infant is not very much fun. I spend my mornings trying to get a good breakfast into Grady, finding lost library books, changing diapers, and sprinting up the street to kindergarten drop-off with an angry baby strapped to my chest. By the time I make it home, I’ve been awake for roughly three hours and I’m surviving on caffeine and whatever scraps I’ve managed to scavenge from Grady’s plate. It’s a caffeine high followed by the lowest low and it’s exhausting. I’ve noticed that my caffeine buzz is less of a rollercoaster after drinking Bulletproof Coffee instead of my usual hazelnut latte(s). I still feel energized and more awake; I just don’t have the soul-crushing caffeine crash. It’s more of a steady burn that carries me through my hectic morning and into the afternoon. The healthy fats fill me up and I’m not tempted to inhale the discarded crust from Grady’s toast or a sneaky granola bar when I’m packing his lunch.

Drinking Bulletproof Coffee feels like a choice I’m making to support a healthier lifestyle, like taking a multivitamin or exercising. It’s not a quick fix or an empty promise; it’s something that I’m doing for me because it makes me feel better. And because, you know, coffee

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This post is sponsored by 3 Chicken Consulting on behalf of Bulletproof Coffee. The opinions are my own. My opinions are not expert opinions. I don’t have a secret medical degree I’ve never mentioned. Before you undertake any dietary change, you should consult your doctor and make a plan that works for your body.

Coffee Rage

It rained yesterday. Like, really rained. The sky opened and giant, cold raindrops poured down. It was not pleasant out is what I'm saying.

I was meeting a group of people at someone's house and my route takes me by a Starbucks drive-through so I stopped for drinks. Four drinks to be exact. Which doesn't feel like an unreasonable number of drinks to order at a drive-through window. I would never pull up and order, say, twenty drinks but four is totally within reason. I could have had four coffee-drinking adults in my car (I didn't. It was just me and Pops. But still. I could have.)

So! I pull up to the Starbucks. It's neither the morning nor lunchtime rush. There were a few cars in front of me but the location wasn't overly busy. It was a standard weekday morning. I ordered my drinks at the talky-box and pulled forward to the window to collect my drinks.

And there I waited.

I waited for five minutes. Maybe ten. I recognized the window guy as someone who's been there for a while and knows his stuff but his demeanor and that of the woman making the drinks made me think that he was training her. So whatever. I have to wait a few extra minutes for my drinks. I'm still in my nice, dry car. Poppy is still asleep in the backseat instead of protesting being moved from her car seat to stroller. I'm about to enjoy some delicious caffeine. All is good.

And then all of a sudden there's an aggressively highlighted blonde woman shouting in my car window about how she doesn't have time to wait fifteen minutes for coffee.  

Totally flustered, I managed to squeak out, "this is Starbucks!" while my brain caught up. (I say the dumbest stuff when I'm caught off-guard. Like seriously dumb.) She turned to scream at the Starbucks employees while I looked around and assessed the situation. The driver's side door of the car behind me stood open and no one was inside. The screamer had obviously been waiting behind me, raging, and finally could not take it anymore. She exited her vehicle, in a rainstorm, to yell at me and the people earning just above minimum wage to make her over-priced coffee.

Now, I don't know her life. Maybe she was having a terrible day. Maybe she was on her way to the hospital to visit a sick loved one. Maybe she just found out her partner is cheating on her. Maybe she just got fired. I don't know. And I kind of don't care. I don't care how bad your day (or your life) is. This is a society. There are rules. One of the rules is that you don't get to yell at people for not making your coffee fast enough. 

Finishing up her rant at the Starbucks employees with a hearty, "get to it!" she turned to me and hissed, "I don't have time for this." I'm sorry, you don't have time for what? You don't have time to drive your (nice) Mercedes to a place where you don't even have to get out of your car, someone brings the coffee right to you, and all you have to do is give them a bit of cash and, I don't know, not be a complete asshole? Gotcha.

To sum it all up: some people are terrible. Let's do better.