Coffee has been something of a necessity for me for many many years now. It’s truly a miracle that I manage to get anything done without it. I tried to go completely decaf during pregnancy, and in all fairness I made it to about 3 pm. Admittedly, that was actually “scraping through to 3 pm wondering why I’ve been completely useless all day” making it. So not really… However, despite my absolute requirement for coffee, I couldn’t stomach iced coffee at all until a couple of years ago when I discovered a far too unhealthy caramel, chocolate and cream laden concoction at a local cafe. Since then, I have discovered the wonder of all manner of frappucinos and cold brews. I will say that I need extra flavor in my cold coffee, especially if it comes with ice cubes. However strong the coffee is, you lose so much flavor by having it cold. So, I was far too excited when I found out about the coconut cold brew at starbucks. Toasted coconut syrup and coconut milk in a cold brew? Yes please!
I don’t often go out for coffee these days. It’s typically only after my Saturday morning yoga class. A couple of weeks ago I left class all excited about my coconut cold brew, and was even feeling nice enough to pick one up for my husband too. I got them home along with a couple of breakfast sandwiches, and was so excited to dive in. It was unbelievable… But sadly, not in a good way. It tasted of absolutely nothing. No coconut flavor. No coffee flavor. Just watery, but still headache-inducing, brown stuff. Total waste of money.
However, the excitement of what that coffee could (and should) have been, wouldn’t go away. So, I decided to have a go at making it myself. Since it’s a cold brew, it does take time. But it’s totally worth it. And an extra tip – instead of putting ice cubes into your coffee, freeze undrunk coffee in ice cube trays and put those in your coffee instead. That way, you won’t water it down, and the flavor will stay nice and strong.
I like to make the coffee the night before. Use your regular amount of coffee, put it in a french press with water and put it in the fridge overnight until you’re ready to drink it. Next comes the syrup. Dissolve half a cup of sugar in half a cup of water over a low heat. At the same time, toast half a cup of unsweetened coconut until golden. Add the coconut and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract or essence (if using) to the syrup, remove from the heat and leave for 3-4 hours to infuse the syrup with the coconut flavor. Strain and reserve the coconut.
Normally we have coconut milk in the pantry, but I guess I used it all when I was cooking, so I decided to make toasted coconut milk! Rinse the coconut to remove any remaining syrup (otherwise your coconut milk will be very sweet) and add to a blender with 1 cup water. Blend until smooth and strain to remove the coconut pulp, squeezing to make sure you get all of the milk out. And you’re ready to go!
I don’t sweeten my hot coffee (with the exception of my December peppermint mocha obsession), but I find I need around 3 teaspoons of syrup in a large cold brew to get the flavor, and this syrup is no exception. Next I plan to try out some other flavors of syrup, so I’ll post the recipes when I have them figured out. Enjoy!
DIY Coconut Cold Brew Coffee
For the coffee:
- French press
For the syrup:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract or essence (optional)
For the coconut milk:
- Toasted coconut (from syrup)
- 1 cup water
To make the coffee: Put your usual amount of coffee in the french press and fill with water. Leave to brew in the fridge overnight.
To make the syrup:
- Dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat
- At the same time, toast the coconut in a pan until golden brown
- Add the coconut and extract (if using) to the syrup
- Remove from the heat and leave for 3-4 hours to infuse the flavor
- Strain, reserving the coconut
To make the coconut milk:
- Rinse the reserved coconut to remove remaining syrup
- Add to a blender with the water and blend until smooth
- Strain to remove the pulp. Store in the fridge.