Thursday, August 11, 2011

Last one in makes the coffee

There is an unspoken rule in the kitchen, and that is, the last one in makes the coffee. If you're late that's the price you have to pay. You have to stand around waiting for the water to boil, trying to remember how each person likes their coffee, while the other women go about their tasks. In the grand scheme of things, this is not at all a harsh penalty for tardiness, but personally, I try to avoid it. Somehow, I always manage to get someone's coffee wrong- too weak, too strong, not enough milk, too much milk, etc. etc. I hate that.

Morning coffee usually happens about a half an hour to an hour after we've arrived. It's a nice little respite. By then on most days, huge pots of water have been put up to boil, one round of vegetables has been peeled and a tray or two of something has been counted out and is ready to go in the oven. Things haven't gotten chaotic yet. Occasionally, one of the women will bring in a baked good or some homemade jam and we'll have a snack with our coffee. Mostly though, it's just coffee and conversation.

The following recipe for cold-brew coffee is probably the best cold coffee you will ever have. I've been making it every week this summer and have not yet gotten tired of it. So, even if you don't drink coffee (crazy person) I urge you, make a batch of this. It will change your life. 

Cold Brew Coffee with Cinnamon and Cardamom 

Adapted from ErinH via Food52

Coffee Base:

2/3 cup coarsely ground coffee
3 cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a couple of cardamom pods, lightly crushed with the flat of a knife
2-3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, depending on how sweet you like your coffee

Combine all ingredients in a jar, or tupperware. Cover, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
Line a fine-mesh strainer with two layers of paper towels. Set over a large bowl and strain the coffee into the bowl. You should have about 2 cups of coffee base Pour coffee into a jar, or if you're me, an empty orange juice bottle, for more convenient storage.

To Serve:
Fill a glass 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with coffee. Add milk. Drink. To quote ErinH- die of happiness.


  1. I am actually not a coffee drinker (I know, I know) but my husband is, so I'm passing this recipe along to him. I might suggest he top it off with some cardamom whipped cream: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom.

  2. But how do you get up in the morning? I hope your husband enjoys the coffee. That whipped cream sounds spectacular.