This recipe is inspired by that one day when best friend and part-time-blog-consultant slash full-time-party-animal, Emily, and I sought out 4 cups of coffee in one day, one of which included Blue Bottle’s earth-shattering-and-clouds-parting NOLA Iced Coffee.
And I just couldn’t get it out of my head.
So of course endeavored to make it at home.So Blue Bottle’s New Orleans Iced Coffee is basically a riff off of the standard New Orleans coffee that one can access at pretty much any beignet shop in NOLA. Most classically is the coffee at Cafe du Monde, whose product has become fairly ubiquitous at stores around the country.
However, I didn’t really want to purchase coffee with chicory already mixed in. I was interested in enhancing my normal coffee (I rotate varieties, but I’m currently obsessing over Dark Horse’s Brazil blend). So what’s a girl to do?
My solution was to make a simple syrup (see Wednesday’s post about how to make chicory simple syrup) so I could feel like a true barista and so I could also have some chicory syrup for the inevitable day when I attempt to incorporate chicory into something totally unexpected. Just to be clear, I made plain cold-brewed coffee (no chicory included) in a French press, which is probably one of the easiest things and most delicious things you can do for yourself. It’s a process that involves simply dumping some coffee grounds in the pitcher, filling it up with water, and pressing down with the strainer about half-way before refrigerating for at least 8 hours.
The next day when I was ready to drink my cold brew, I added a few tablespoons of chicory syrup, a little water to dilute the coffee, and a little half and half. (You could substitute the water + half and half for milk, but I’d advise against using 100% half and half as I found this way too rich).
When making cold brew, it’s pretty critical to dilute your concentrate or else you’ll end up with palpitations, nausea, and feeling strangely shaky all day long. (I may or may not be speaking from real life experience…)My recipe turned out absolutely delicious, but just slightly sweeter than the classic Blue Bottle beverage.
But not quite as sweet as Vietnamese Iced Coffee, which in case you were unfamiliar, is another classic drink using coffee and chicory, but one which uses condensed milk as the sweetener instead of sugar or simple syrup.(Side note- Dave and I are self-proclaimed coffee connoisseurs and try to find local “third wave” coffee shops anytime we are visiting a new destination. The little cortado cup featured in these photos is from an amazing little coffee shop called Crema in Nashville and I would highly recommend it if you ever happen to be visiting or passing through).
New Orleans Iced Coffee
_For the Cold Brew Concentrate_
- ¾ cup coffee grounds
- 4 cups water
- 1 french press mine holds 4 cups
_For the New Orleans Iced Coffee_
- ½ cup cold brew concentrate
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons chicory simple syrup feel free to add more or less to taste
- ¼ cup half and half may substitute with milk
To make the Cold Brew Concentrate
- In a french press combine the coffee grounds and 4 cups cool water.
- Plunge up and down a few times to agitate the grounds, and then leave plunger in middle or highest position to steep.
- Refrigerate and let steep for 8-12 hours.
- Plunge grounds to bottom of french press before use.
- (Note- this is a very caffeinated and should be diluted before use. I recommend a ratio of 1:1 to dilute with water, milk, or a combination).
To make NOLA Iced Coffee
- Fill a tall glass with ice.
- Pour ½ cup of cold brew coffee concentrate over the ice.
- Add water and chicory syrup and mix gently.
- Pour half and half over the top of the coffee.
- Stir before serving immediately.