The summer season is marked in a special way here in New York. I’m not talking about blooming trees or free concerts in the park (although both of these things are pretty great). Summer in New York officially arrives when everyone starts drinking iced coffee.
It’s especially visible on my daily commute. For most of the year, sleepy subway riders nurse a blue paper cup (or, too infrequently, reusable thermos) of steaming coffee as they rumble towards work. Sometime around June, however, a switch occurs, and these same commuters begin toting plastic cups of milky iced coffee, gleaming with condensation.
Although I am not a habitual coffee drinker, I often find myself trotting over to a local cafe (and yes, also Starbucks) to get my summertime iced coffee fix. Well, in the name of conservation (of the earth and of my pocketbook), I decided to experiment with my own iced coffee recipes, to see if I could come up with a worthy substitute.
The recipe below is inspired by the coffee we drank on Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride. While setting up rest stops for the riders, someone would inevitably begin to brew Turkish coffee, camping-style, in a little metal pot called an ibrik, or cezve. It was sweet, spicy and deeply satisfying – a touch of sophistication in the middle of the desert.
Spiced Summertime Iced Coffee
You might be able to achieve results in a standard coffee maker or an Italian-style espresso pot (I haven’t tried), but a French Press works very well.
6-8 heaping tablespoons of strong coffee grounds (I use a decaf medium roast from Equal Exchange)
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Enough water to fill a large French Press
Boil water in a tea kettle. Meanwhile, stir together coffee grounds, sugar, cardamon and cinnamon in the bottom of a French Press. When the water boils, fill the French Press up to the top line. Let steep for 5-10 minutes. Slowly press the coffee down. Pour into a large glass jar or pitcher and let cool in your fridge. Serve over ice with milk or soymilk.