Earlier this week, I stopped by the coffee shop that is 88 steps from the office (thanks, Fitbit!) and ordered “my usual.” My coffee guy immediately began preparing a cold brew coffee with a splash of unsweetened almond milk and a packet of Stevia.
I love that I have a coffee guy and a “usual” order. And that both things are a mere 88 steps from the office. Feels like I’m leading a charmed life these days. But now that the weather has turned cold those iced coffees aren’t nearly as refreshing as they were a couple of months ago. I was bemoaning this fact to CG (coffee guy – he might as well have a snappy nickname, right?) and he said I should just order a hot cold brew.
Oxymoron alert! Hot cold brew is like jumbo shrimp, deafening silence, and the Great Depression. It’s your least favorite typically odd open secret. It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay.
OK, it’s not that.
(Speaking of Alanis Morissette and “Ironic” – her 1995 hit song about irony that, ironically enough, contained nothing that was actually ironic aside from the title – I stumbled upon (and by that I mean, sought out) this great dissection of the lyrics. Check it out if you’re so inclined and in the mood for a chuckle).
“Is such a thing even possible?” I asked CG. “And if so, doesn’t it defeat the whole purpose?”
He explained that cold brewing coffee removes the bitterness and amps up the caffeine. By heating it, you’re simply getting a smoother, bitter-free cup of coffee with a jolt. I was skeptical, but CG has never steered me wrong before, so I bit. Ordered myself a cup, and what do you know? He was right. It was a damn fine cup of coffee that had all the benefits of cold brew minus the “cold” part. Considering it was 52 degrees and damp out, this was a good thing.
A little research into the matter indicates that heating up cold brew coffee is hardly a CG innovation. It’s apparently a “thing.” One Reddit thread in particular devotes a great deal of space to the merits of hot cold brew. Who knew?
I did learn that I am not a fan of almond milk in hot beverages. I like it just fine in cold cold brew coffee (this is getting confusing!) and when I’m eating cereal, but in hot coffee it’s just….blah. Tastes weird to me. I think I’ll stick to half and half there.
Saw this sign on my daily walk today.
You have been warned.