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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Anything worth saying once...

...certainly bears repeating! 

Over the past couple of years I have written more than a few posts that dealt directly or indirectly with the oily black elixir of life; coffee.

Now that we are in the heart of the summer's hottest weeks (except for those of you who are bundled up in your winter clothes throughout the Southern Hemisphere, of course), I thought I'd once again share one of my favorite summertime tips that Zahava and I received a few years ago:

On a hot summer day, Zahava and I were passing through New Paltz, NY when we decided to pop into a promising little coffee shop for a couple of iced coffees. Now, iced coffee, as many of you know, is wonderfully refreshing… but it has the one fatal flaw of becoming increasingly diluted as the ice melts. Except, that is, for some reason the iced coffees from this little coffee shop held their own… maybe even got better… as we sat in the August heat, sipping our drinks! How was this possible?!

The secret turned out to be the most obvious thing in the world (isn’t that usually the way?). Instead of pouring the end of each pot of coffee down the drain before starting a new one, the baristas poured these precious remnants into ice trays and froze them for use with Iced Coffee!

Voila! Iced coffee made with frozen coffee cubes!!! Genius!!!

Anyway, I thought this tip was worth sharing again since we are well into iced coffee season.

Feel free to share any of your own 'beat the heat' (or coffee) tips...

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Posted by David Bogner on July 13, 2005 | Permalink

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Actually, THAT is the one tip I had, I don't much care for the taste of coffee (mazagan though is a rather tasty thing!). Doesn't work so well w coke though. FYI.

Posted by: Lioness | Jul 13, 2005 1:58:24 PM

I love your coffee posts! I thought *I* was a coffee fanatic, but nooo...I have now met someone who surpasses me. And, I've even learned how a French Press works in the process. Awesome.

((raising my steaming mug o' French Roast in your honor))

Posted by: Lisa | Jul 13, 2005 2:31:55 PM

Oh, this makes me sigh... Five years ago, chronic stomach pain sent me to the doctor who diagnosed a "pre-ulcerous condition" (translation: mind your Ps and Qs, woman, or you'll have the real thing in short order). Some dietary experimentation proved that, while there are a few other things that aggravate it a bit, caffeine is the biggie.

I haven't had a "real" coffee in five years.

*sigh*

However, I do like the flavour of coffee, not just its kick, so decaf is a reasonable substitute, and here in cautious Canada, you can get brewed decaf everywhere. Still, your coffee posts do make me wistful.

Posted by: Mary | Jul 13, 2005 2:40:30 PM

When cooling coffee for iced coffee place it in a bowl or glass and then surround the container with ice. It cools the coffee w/o diluting the flavor.

If one takes his or her ice coffee with milk, try ice cream instead.

I'm going to go brew up a glass now. ;)

Posted by: Marjorie | Jul 13, 2005 2:53:58 PM

One teaspoon Folgers instant coffee crystals. Two or three (or whatever) teaspoons sugar. Dilute in as much water from the instant-steaming-hot fawcet as will disolve the whole thing (about 1/4 cup.) Pour over a tall glass with ice cubes. Fill with cold water. Put 4 or 5 ice cubes down one's shorts. Refreshing! Total preparation time: about 90 seconds.

(Get abused by people who actually care about coffee.)

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 13, 2005 4:37:39 PM

Mary: I can't imagine with modern antacids that you can't have the occassional cup of coffee.

Oh, you're in Canada. Never mind.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 13, 2005 4:39:53 PM

Great idea...I will have to try it, as we are being blasted here on the east coast. My vacation was in gorgeous southern California and I was not too pleased about returning home!

Posted by: Essie | Jul 13, 2005 4:40:39 PM

My mother is from Switzerland, and I recall traveling there with her a few times when I was in my teens. It was summer and the sidewalk cafes were brisk with business. It was in one of these cafes that I tried "ice kaffee" (pronounced ice cafe -- imagine an accute accent on the e) for the first time...and loved it!

Since then, I always say, "ice cafe" (imagine accent on e); nobody knows what I'm talking about!

To make your drink just a touch tastier, David, add some Bailey's Irish Cream-type liqueur to it.

L'chaim! Here's to liquid caffeine on the rocks!

Posted by: Pearl | Jul 13, 2005 4:44:37 PM

I used to be a coffee fanatic. For years I averaged around 20 cups a day, no exaggeration. I love the taste and it just was so enjoyable.

Eventually it caught up with me and the body rebelled so now I limit myself. I don't even drink it every day anymore, but I do still love it.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 13, 2005 5:17:28 PM

Ah, so Dr. Bean uses Folgers Crystals.
I dunno, I thought I had a problem with his politics, but this is just too much to bear.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Jul 13, 2005 6:24:28 PM

Ahh, iced coffee.

Myself, I'll brew an extra-strong pot, then take whatever I don't drink hot to chill in the fridge. Once it's nice and cold, I'll sweeten it up (I use Splenda, but any sweetener of choice will do) and throw in some half-and-half. I generally don't bother with ice cubes...but using frozen coffee cubes is a brilliant suggestion.

There's an old restaurant in Boston (Belford's) that uses their surplus coffee to make Coffee Jell-O. Now, that's a wee bit perverse...but it will open your eyes after a big meal!

Posted by: Elisson | Jul 13, 2005 7:17:42 PM

I always know when it's officially summer, because that's when I switch to all ice coffee, all the time. My tip: make the coffee early and let it cool. Or, if you're a heathen like me, just melt the instant coffee with hot water and add cold water to fill. (Please, don't ban me from your comments section! The aliens make me drink instant, I swear!)

Posted by: AmyS | Jul 13, 2005 8:52:43 PM

Next thing you'll be telling me I should use Coke ice cubes for my coke drink. Personally there is not problem with the ice melting since coffee always has water. Just make sure you don't dilute it too much of course. If you really want to beat the heat you can always consider buying one of these.

Posted by: Jewish Blogmiester | Jul 13, 2005 8:54:31 PM

Jordan: That's right. I proudly stand for small government and instant coffee! I hope we can learn to love each other before we tear our country apart. ;~)

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 13, 2005 10:08:35 PM

My office is 22 degrees C all summer long, colder in the lower level where I sit. I wear my wool shawl and drink steaming hot coffee.

What is this "iced coffee" of which you speak? :->

(PS to Mary: is it the caffeine or the acidity of the coffee that your doctor banned? I would have thought the acidity.

Five.years.without.coffee? THUD!)

Posted by: jennifer | Jul 13, 2005 11:23:46 PM

wow, i feel so left out because i dont like coffee. its times like these (and during fasts when id eat/drink anything) that i wish i did.

Posted by: Tonny | Jul 14, 2005 12:47:17 AM

I had an iced coffee today in a cafe called "Ha-ikar Cafe." the puns are about coffee being the essense (ikar?) and it being a farmer's (aekar) coffee shop. In Afula. The ice lasted until the kibbutz - 2 short hours later via #6 and some Negev driving. But, as you said, diluted by the end of the road.

it's probably the reason I'm still up at this hour, too.

Posted by: timna | Jul 14, 2005 1:29:58 AM

This one's for Dr. Bean. (To be read picturing saucy grin on my face.) Actually, smartie-pants, I have not one, but two I use: one prescription, the other an over the counter at (as per my doctor's instructions) three times the "recommended dosage". They are not sufficient: they reduce the sensation from painful to merely uncomfortable, but don't take it away entirely. You have something more potent down there? Oh. Or maybe it's because we have way stronger coffee up here??? (And now visualize me sticking out my tongue.)

Jennifer: my doctor didn't ban coffee. The correlation between ingestion and pain was too obvious for me to ignore/deny. It's not the acidity, (good thought, though!) because I can handle lemonade, dill pickles, hot peppers and the like without difficulty. And I have tried from time to time, just to see if it's still a problem. It is. Sigh.

Posted by: Mary | Jul 14, 2005 2:25:35 AM

Mary: OK, I slap myself across the face on your behalf! :)

Anyone who calls me "smarty-pants" has got to be OK.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jul 14, 2005 2:49:22 AM

:-)

Posted by: Mary | Jul 14, 2005 4:46:42 AM

Ahhh the best iced coffee in the world is the cold-pressed kind. You haven't lived (if you are a coffee drinker) until you've had it made that way. There are two advantages to it. First, cold-pressing takes all the bitterness and oil out and heightens the flavour (tends to be stronger but less bitter). Second, because it is made with cold water (has to sit for 12 hours) and chilled in the fridge, when you add in a bit of ice to make it even freezier the ice dilutes it to the perfect degree of tastiness. Because it is so strong, you can also add hot water to it and have a really smooooooth cup of hot coffee. I've been pining for this coffee since last summer (I broke my carafe in the last move) and now that you've reminded me of the delights of iced-coffee I just put in an order for a new one.

Posted by: Yael | Jul 14, 2005 5:47:33 AM

Do you remember the name of the coffeehouse in New Paltz? That's my old stomping ground... lived there from around 1976 through early 1990 except for a year off... could it be the Gay 90s or whatever that restaurant is called now? It's almost (but not quite) to the bridge over the Wallkill River...

Haven't been there since 1995, though...

As far as tips: I like to fill a gallon sized ice cream tub with a 1-1/2 quarts of juice (orange, pineapple, berry, whatever you favor) and 1 can of condensed milk & freeze..then chip at it for snacks..the kids love it... also you could fill an ice cube tray with the same, but this is easier with 4 kids in the house! :)

Posted by: Jessica | Jul 14, 2005 7:06:07 AM

Lioness... What is this mazagan of which you speak? I googled it but most of the results were about the place in Portugal by the same name.

Lisa... We who have achieved the higher levels of cafeinnation prefer to think of ourselves as 'aficionados', not fanatics. :-) Glad to hear you can now make a civilized pot of coffee.

Mary... I am sooo sorry. I honestly don't know what I'd do if my doctor told me I couldn't have coffee anymore. I'm sure grief counseling would be among the first things I'd try.

Marjorie... I like your ideas, but that involves soiling more vessels than I like to wash (yes, I'm the primary dishwasher in the house). Alas, the ice cream sounds wonderful... but Dr. Atkins wouldn't approve.

Doctor Bean... It's a good thing you're charming because that sort of blasphemy is tempting my instincts to censor. :-)

Essie... I lived in San Diego for several years and the wonderful weather is the main thing I remember. Let me know how the coffee cubes work out for you.

Pearl... a few times a year I make large batches of home made Kahlua (it is child's play to make and costs a fraction of the real stuff). I imagine that if I mixed in some fresh cream with the Kahlua and added the resulting mixture to the iced coffee (kafee) I'd probably get a similar result. I'll have to try that. Thanks!

Jack... 20 cups a DAY! Did you have a urinal under your desk or something???

Jordan... I have to smile when I 'hear' you and Doctor Bean sniping at one another (even in a good-natured way). I smile because I know in my heart that you two would love each other... if only you could agree that politics (and now coffee) were forbidden topics. :-)

Elisson... I too am a Splenda user. We have friends and family mule in the giant boxes of the stuff whenever they visit. There is an Israeli version now called 'Sucra Diet', but it is still quite expensive. My only problem with Splenda is that it doesn't seem to translate well to large quantity recipes. We have a hand-crank ice cream maker here at home but when I've tried to make a batch substituting splenda for sugar the taste and consistency both suffer. Unfortunately, heavy cream is too expensive to do too much experimenting .

AmyS... Don't worry, you have to do far more than drink instant to get banned here (score at present after almost 2 years: 1 person banned! Not bad, I thank). Oh, and we do put the coffee in a pitcher in the fridge to cool... but the coffee cubes makes it that much colder. Brrrr!!

Jewish Blogmiester... Sure coffee has water, but the proportions are what you want to protect. Melting ice dilutes the drink... melting coffee cubes just make it stronger. Do you see where my priorities are? :-) As to the personal climate controller that you linked... I like the idea, but it looks just one rectal probe short of giving people the impression I've been kidnapped (and returned) by aliens!

Jennifer... Do you own shares in the Israel Electric Company? What is this 'Air Conditioning' of which you speak? :-)

Tonny... Just as with bourbon, beer and full-time female companionship... coffee is often a taste one develops later in life. :-)

Timna... I've tried not to indulge too late in the day. A couple of weeks ago I made the mistake of having a HUGE iced coffee near the end of Shabbat and found myself surfing baseball scores at 3:00 AM (yes jack, I know the Angels still have a better record than the Red Sox). Needless to say I was not at my most productive (or charming) the next day at work.

Yael... I don't know if I have the patience to wait that long for my coffee... but it sounds intriguing. I guess I'll have to check it out. Thanks.

Jessica... My dad used to teach English at SUNY New Paltz, so I know the area pretty well. Before we moved to Israel we would occasionally take the kids up there to see the Huguenot houses and other sites. I don't know the name of the coffee shop, but it was further up Main Street (on the opposite side of the street from the old library). It wasn't a restaurant.... just a littel hole in the wall coffee shop. By the way, my parents are still mourning the passing of Chez Joey's. They insist that there has never been a better pizza made in the world.

Posted by: David | Jul 14, 2005 9:28:12 AM

Genius indeed - so simple and yet, who'd have thought?

Mary, there is a Japanese drink called mugi-cha; it is just roasted barley and makes quite a nice iced coffee substitute, since it goes without the caffeine. Its taste is a bit weaker than coffee, but if you have it with maybe a mocca syrup instead of sugar and milk&cream, it's not bad and refreshing. I actually have it with vanilla syrup and milkmaid sweetened condensed milk.

Eiskaffee is wonderful. It comes with a ball of vanilla ice and whipped cream...and sometimes syrup sprinkles on top.

Posted by: mlle a. | Jul 14, 2005 1:38:55 PM

You couldn't find be bcs I forgot an R, it's MazagRan, sorry. Sometimes made w alcohol but not here, this is the recipe:

Tall glass
Cup of coffee
Add 1 desert spoon of lemon juice and 2 soup spoon of sugar.
Mix and add lemon juice, water and ice ad lib

Have never done it myself but it needs to be definitely sugary (like a Mojito or a Caipirinha) and is rather fresh. Even i like it despite the coffee in it. When I was wroking in the Dolphin Reef I also got addicted to their ice coffee, which was coffee w ice cream (or whipped cream, mabye?) and absolutely fresh and delicious.

*sigh*


Posted by: Lioness | Jul 14, 2005 2:55:43 PM

"Have never done it myself" - see the Portie struggling to get out? MADE it myself.

Posted by: Lioness | Jul 14, 2005 2:56:15 PM

mademoiselle a. ... "coffee w ice cream (or whipped cream, mabye?) and absolutely fresh and delicious" Did I mention I was watching my weight? :-)

Lioness... Ah, that explains it (I'm usually pretty good at tracking down answers on my own). sounds refreshing - although I can't picture how lemon juice and coffee will taste together. I guess I'll have to add that to my list of things to try. And don't worry about the Porto influence on your English. I would give anything to be able to communicate as fluently in Hebrew as you do in English!

Posted by: David | Jul 14, 2005 3:08:57 PM

"mademoiselle a. ... "coffee w ice cream (or whipped cream, mabye?) and absolutely fresh and delicious" Did I mention I was watching my weight? :-)"

No, I was the one with ice cream AND whipped cream AND syrup sprinkles. You're watching your weight??? I thought that was your post count button! Damn...damn....

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jul 14, 2005 8:49:39 PM

mlle. a. ... That is my MID-count button. Thus the term 'current'. I am trying to get down to 185 or 190 but I seem to be sort of stuck. :-) But go ahead... you enjoy that ice cream!

Posted by: David | Jul 14, 2005 8:56:39 PM

Splenda does not work well in frozen confections because it does not add the bulk that sugar does. Commercial brands add a thickner to compensate.

Posted by: marjorie | Jul 15, 2005 12:36:14 AM

Passing of Chez Joey's??? Say it isn't true.... :( THey did make wonderful pizza... though there were a couple of pizza places near where I lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that were also delicious with the cheese stretching a mile or more...

I was working toward an English minor (when I decided I just wanted to get through and graduate), but I don't remember the last name of all the professors I took. I did take creative writing with Greenfield and also took American and English Literature, but do not remember the names of the professors... it is possible that your dad was my English lit prof, or maybe my Freshman English prof... too many years ago! :)

Cheers, Jessica

Posted by: Jessica | Jul 16, 2005 12:16:59 AM

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