Coffee is my life. So many people say this, but it's genuinely something I couldn't live without. If not because of my (quite probable) addiction to the stuff, then because it's such an important part of the social aspect in my family that I'd constantly feel like I'm watching a party from the outside in if I had to boycott it.!Every day, my eyes are sealed shut until iced coffee enters the system, every afternoon, my family sits in the garden with our little cups of Greek coffee.
I was born in Greece, and moved to England when I was 8, to grow up with my mum and grand parents who are from Cyprus. In Greece and Cyprus, coffee is only ever good. They consider instant coffee brands the devil: "you shouldn't be consuming the coffee in its entirety, you should soak all the goodness out of the beans and leave the rest in the bottom of your cup", my godfather always used to say when I'd go home to Greece and he'd catch me with a quick coffee in the morning. There's nothing quick about coffees in Thessaloníki, Greece. The coffee shop baristas enjoy the process, behind the tills are canisters of beans of different roasts and origins, for you to choose for your morning brew. French press, Greek coffee (traditional, on the hob) or of course, the pioneering fredo espresso/fredo cappuccino/frappe. It's a whole experience that is now thankfully here too. England had never truly embraced cold coffee (because I am not counting frappucinos and iced lattes) until the cold brew took over. And of course, as of last month, large coffee chains have launched the fredo. Cold brew is the one for me, but I've always made it at home with beans. I've always shopped around for different bean subscriptions but Forest Blend by Perky Blenders has kept me well and truly settled for life. I've never tasted a blend better suited for cold brew coffee. In fact, I've never tasted a blend that suits every freakin' way of drinking coffee. I've recently set up a cake baking business in Birmingham, and if I don't use chocolate coated Perky Blender beans for my coffee cupcake garnish, i always use the forest blend in a cafetière for the sponge mix. Customers love the extra little mile going into their bespoke orders.
Since the weather's steadily pleasant now, I make sure to keep a huge decanter full of cold brew in my fridge, and the acidity means it'll keep for a week if not longer.
Grind enough beans for around four or five people, at around French press coarseness. Fill your bottle (I use a two litre glass bottle) with the coffee and cold water, and give it a little shake. Leave it in the fridge for 18-24 hours, if you can. I'm not sure if this is even the right thing to do, but I always revisit it and give it a little shake. Then after 24 hours, use Muslin or a few kitchen towels in a sieve, and drain the coffee into a large enough container. Repeat this process three or four times and decant the coffee back into your bottle. Serve with ice, and enjoy!