To be honest, I have been drinking coffee since I was in middle school. My grandma owned a coffee shop, and sometimes after school I would help her close for the day. My parents actually owned the coffee roaster, and roasted the beans my grandma served in our house.

Since then, I find myself looking for smaller, family-owned shops instead of the popular chains. But I will admit that sometimes the convenience of Starbucks and Dunkin can’t be beat.

In the last year I attended two business-related conferences located in the Greater Chicagoland Area and the East Coast. Both were centered around coffee. I even worked on some marketing and promotions for a small shop in the beautiful country of Nicaragua.

The real game changer was last summer. A friend of ours let Andrew and I in on a little trick: Easy cold brew from home…with a french press!

We use a twenty-ounce french press. Here’s what ya do:

  • Grind about 2 ounces (50 grams) of coffee and pour it into the base
  • Use cold or room temperature water and fill the carafe until there’s about three fingers between the liquid and the brim
  • Place the lid on and leave it in the fridge overnight (let steep for 8-12 hours)
  • Press the coffee in the morning when you want drink it

I am the strong coffee type, so I usually drink my cold brew (or any coffee) black. The occasional latte happens, but I prefer the flavor of the coffee over an added, sweet flavor. If I do feel like adding a little flavor, I use my parents homemade creamer recipe they’ve been using for years (I’m not sure where they got it):

  • In a large bowl, mix 1.5 cups of half-and-half with a 14 ounce can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Stir, then add a tablespoon of vanilla extract…or to taste
  • For storage, pour the leftover creamer into an old (clean) milk jug or half-and-half bottle, and store it in the fridge

If I drink the cold brew at home, I put it in a regular mug. But it travels well, and tastes even better with an ice cube or two! My personal favorite brand we make is Door County Coffee. If you’re looking for flavored blends, I would recommend Cinnamon Hazelnut, Highlander Grog, or Frosted Cinnamon Buns! What’s your favorite brand or type of coffee?

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