Archive for Dranks!

Coffee on the Rocks

Sneeker and I rejuvenating at Bewley's in Dublin, a hot spot for the creative minds of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde.

I will always remember what my mom told me about coffee. She said and I quote, “Carol Marie Hegler Jr. (this is what she calls me when she means business), there are two things you need to know about coffee. One, it’s addictive, and two, it stains your teeth.” She thought these two arguments would dissuade me from my frequent coffee binges, but alas, I just chuckled and asked her, “Who is Carol Marie Hegler Sr., and why haven’t I met him?”

I like my coffee like I like my ninjas, strong and black! I’ve been drinking it black since I got back from studying abroad. Not that Australia turned me into the coffee-drinking machine that I am today, because quite frankly, they are way more into tea than coffee. However, I used to take the train into the town of Newcastle and spend many afternoons on Darby Street. It was like a little road in paradise with coffee shops as far as the eye could see.

Throughout college, I relied heavily on coffee to get me through hours of studying and not studying at the library. Then upon graduating, I did what every college graduate does. I worked in a coffee shop. I was surrounded by the very thing that I loved. Funnily enough, working in a coffee shop does not provide you with a lot of time to enjoy a cup of Joe for yourself, with all the serving on others you must do. Still, it was fun while it lasted, and I got to check it off my bucket list.

After the coffee shop, I decided I needed to take better care of myself and tried to cut back on my coffee/caffeine intake. To give you an idea of my addiction, during  its peak I could drink coffee before going to bed and fall right asleep. It had really lost its effect on me. I now only drink coffee in the mornings. Granted, I still down a whole travel mug most days, but I have successfully stopped all other caffeinated habits after that.

So, I drink it every morning, hot or cold, rain or shine, it’s always coffee time (that rhymed). While I usually indulge in piping hot coffee even on the most wretched of summer days, my friend Marisa, who has just recently embarked on the caffeinated glory of drinking coffee, told me she started making iced coffee. Now, there are some important details I should point out about making iced coffee. First, one should not just pour hot-brewed coffee over ice and call it iced coffee. I mean, you can, but you would most likely end up with lukewarm, coffee-flavored water. While you certainly can brew coffee for iced coffee, you must take into account that adding ice will dilute the coffee. Therefore, you should brew it extra strong. I, however, prefer the cold-brew method, which means no electric coffeemaker is necessary.

French press

Another thing to consider is the container in which you plan on using. I have an 8-cup (34-oz) French press, so the recipe is created around this little detail and the fact that I would be using one liter of water. However, you can easily do some quick math to figure out the proportion of coffee to water if you have a smaller French press. If you do not have one at all, you can easily use any container, but you do need some sort of straining method (i.e. coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth). Also, although I tend to drink my coffee black, I find that cold coffee needs a splash of milk, or Bailey’s if you prefer an adult beverage. Happy dranking!

SIDENOTE: Who has the best coffee? Hands down, Hawaii! If you are ever in Hawaii, you must buy Kona coffee by the bulk and bring it back. And no, the coffee you find in stores here that is labeled Kona is not as good as the real deal, straight from the big island itself. It’s rather pricey but totally worth it. Smooth and flavorful without a trace of bitterness, it is the best coffee ever. The synapses in my brain are lighting up at the mere mention of it. As far as what to purchase, I usually buy whole beans from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods because both offer good-quality, reasonably-priced beans in bulk. I’m not too keen on Starbucks “coffee coffee,” as in non-espresso drinks, but they do sell some good beans. My favorite only appears in stores on occasion and is called Guatemala Casi Cielo® Casi Cielo, which means “almost heaven” in Spanish, and that it is. If you are thinking there are no Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods around me, I’m not going to Hawaii any time soon and you just told me a Starbucks blend that may or may not even be available right now, there’s always Folgers. Hear me out. Folgers has created a new line of coffee labeled Gourmet Selections, and they have one called Morning Café that I’m particularly fond of. It’s a pleasantly flavored ground coffee for when I feel lazy and don’t want to spend time grinding beans.

This blog is brought to you by—caffeine headaches, pillow fights and Ryan Gosling’s abs in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

PHOTO: thepioneerwoman.com

Iced Coffee

1 liter cold water

1 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)

Milk (optional)

  1. In a 8-cup French press or large container with lid, stir together coffee and water. Let rest at room temperature overnight or 8 hours.
  2. If you have a French press, simply plunge. If not, strain through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, pour coffee. If desired, add milk.
  3. Store remainder tightly covered in the fridge for up to two weeks.
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