Every day the wonderful happens…

and I'm here to blog about it.

The One Where I Fail at Iced Coffee September 15, 2011

Filed under: mommy brain — Elizabeth @ 4:43 PM

So it’s no secret that I’ve been a bit addicted to iced coffee this summer.  Every time I make a gallon, I think it will be the last gallon I make because I know I’m going to want to switch back to hot coffee in the cooler weather.  Apparently I am in denial that fall doesn’t come to Alabama until late October, and I have to keep making the iced coffee.

So here’s a quick breakdown of how I have been making the coffee.  I get a large container and put in a gallon of filtered water and 8 oz of ground coffee.  Stir and cover.  Let sit for 8 hours.  Strain the sludge through cheesecloth, and put the finished project in the fridge for use when making iced coffee.

Every time I make it, it comes out a little bit differently.  First of all, I can’t find coffee in 8 oz. increments or even 16 oz. increments.  It seems to come in 11.5-12 oz bags now.  And since I don’t have a weight watchers scale or a baby scale or even one of those scales that drug dealers use, I’m kind of guesstimating about how much coffee to use.  So sometimes it comes out stronger or weaker.

(Sidenote:  yesterday a google search told me that 8 oz was the equivalent of 2 2/3 cups of ground coffee.  So there you go.)

Also because I’m a total cheapskate, I don’t always use the same kind of coffee.  Coffee is expensive and somehow I feel really guilty to use that much at once.  So I’ve used Maxwell House, Seattle’s Best (which was too bitter), and Dunkin Donuts (which was of course the best).

Anywhooooo, yesterday morning I finished up the last of my iced coffee.  And I went to Costco and got to invest in the crazy huge bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee.  I also bought 2 containers of half and half, so I was fired up for another batch of iced coffee.

Unfortunately, right after I picked up the boys from school, I realized that I didn’t have cheesecloth.  I don’t know about you, but I believe it is the worst kind of torture to take your kids on an errand when you just need to run in and grab one thing.  The buckling and unbuckling.  The holding hands in the parking lot.  Hoisting them into the cart shaped like a rocket ship that is so cumbersome, it keeps my chiropractor in business.  Or even worse, allowing them to “walk” through the store, which involves chasing, shrieking, and touching everything they can reach.  It’s a necessary evil when you need a ton of groceries……..but just one thing?  Mama don’t play that.

So I thought, you know, I’ll just put the coffee through a regular coffee filter.  No problem.

Side note:  I could have had my husband pick up some cheesecloth on the way home.  But there is some kind of phenomenon that occurs any time my husband goes to the store.  The bill inflates by about 3-4 times what it would have been if I went.  It perplexes me to no end.  It’s possible that it could have something to do with fancy beer and the 10 pound bag of sweet tarts that he picked up “for us to share”.

So anyway, the coffee has to sit for 8 hours, which put me needing to strain it at around 10 PM–not my finest hour.  At about 9:30, I decided to get started.  I was extra scientific and clothespinned a coffee filter to the top of the pitcher that I was going to keep the coffee in.  Then I used a measuring cup to pour the sludgy mixture into the filter.  After about 2 minutes, the liquid was barely dripping through.  Great.  I was tired and I had just eaten an entire bag of microwave popcorn and I was also feeling a little ill.  (Just so you know, I always eat popcorn until I get ill, but usually I just go to bed so I don’t have to feel it.)

So I got a great idea.  I would rig up another filtering station.  See below.

The rectangular container is the stuff that needed to be filtered. The filtering stations are clearly marked by the clothespins. The clutter speaks for itself.

After taking this picture I realized the irony of the unused coffee maker in the background, so I decided to turn it into filtering station #3.

So now we had 3 filtering stations and the coffee was just sitting stagnantly in there.  Being the dorks that we are, Jason and I were just standing there discussing theories and hypotheses of why it may be happening.

Shockingly, the hypothesis that staring at it would help was never proven.

Finally, finally after over an hour of staring, straining, and shaking the container to coax the liquid through, we were almost done.  And then, when I was un-clothespinning the filter from the pitcher, I messed up and spilled some of the sludge into the half full pitcher of coffee.  It could have been because it was about an hour past my bedtime.  Either that or the popcorn sweats that were taking over my body.  We decided we had to re-filter that entire pitcher.  Seriously.

this just about sums up my sentiments

Let me just take a second to say that my husband does not drink iced coffee.  Yet he stood there with me the entire time.  And never once called me a doofus.  So yeah, totally loving him right now.

So we filtered the rest and I think I must have blocked it out or gone into some sort of a fugue state so as not to remember it.  We finally finished around 11:15 and it’s a good thing we re-filtered because this is what was at the bottom.

how's that for appetizing?

I woke up this morning and my hands still smelled so strongly of coffee that I was slightly nauseated.  But I pushed through it, because I’m brave like that, and thankfully I only suffered negligible amounts of flashbacks and PTSD.

Needless to say, when I ran to the store for fruit today, I picked up 2 packs of cheesecloth, although it is unclear if I will be able to undertake this mission again until I receive some sort of counseling or deprogramming.

But I’m brave (and prone to fits of sleepiness), so I will try to power through.

(this was my 700th post!  And I used it to prove that there is nothing that is too idiotic or inane for me to blog about!  yay me!)


13 Responses to “The One Where I Fail at Iced Coffee”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    okay – that was almost as funny as WW!! Golly. Love the pictures. You took them because…you are a blogger!!

    But the unanswered question is – how did it taste?!

  2. Kimberly Says:

    Oh my gosh! The things we will do for a caffeine fix, eh? Hee hee.

  3. Min Says:

    Oh my!! One word for you: TODDY. It’s a cold brew coffee system. Got mine for Mother’s Day 2010 and haven’t dripped a pot of coffee since. Used cold, it’s excellent and consistent iced coffee. Microwaved and it’s great as a hot cup of coffee. (It makes concentrate that you mix 1/3 c toddy with 1 c water.) $30- will change your life. 🙂

  4. Christy Says:

    Yay for 700 posts and YAY for caffeine craziness!!! 🙂 To make iced coffee I usually make an extra strong pot of coffee and then put it in the fridge. Yours probably tastes better but the pictures you took made me decide to continue to use that method. 😉 Hope you enjoyed your iced coffee!!

  5. deb jacobs Says:

    so how did the coffee turn out with the coffee filter? i love that picture of jason, it’s classic=)

  6. Jaime Scott Says:

    that is too funny! I love the pictures of all your little filtering stations! haha! what a mess! and jason is awesome for staying up with you too! 🙂

  7. Melissa Says:

    Too funny! Especially because I’ve had similar experiences in my iced coffee making this summer. 🙂 And, I, too, always think it probably will be my last one, but I’ve yet to like hot coffee since chemo started (except for that hot salted caramel mocha from Starbucks I had this morning!). I’ve currently got a full gallon of iced coffee in the fridge ready for the weekend and next week. 🙂 It’s my 9:00 a.m. treat every day.

  8. Jenny Says:

    that picture of Jason looks so much like Isaac (it took me three tries to spell that right 🙂 and what a great guy to stay up with you, wow.

    Can I just tell you how impressed I am that you know where to buy cheesecloth and where to find it in the store, is it just me who wouldn’t have a clue where to look…


  9. Lori Says:

    First, I’m impressed with the 700. As for the rest of the post, not one time did I think you were a doofus. Mainly, I was just hoping it worked the second time b/c I was worried that you weren’t going to get the 8 hours in before morning!

  10. Aunt JoAnn Says:

    I think you got iced coffe mixed up with sun tea, your mothers favorite. Iced coffe is made by brewing a pot of coffee in your coffee maker and then adding ice cubes, and milk if you use milk. Very simple, very delicious. Try it!

  11. This is absolutely hysterical! I am the same as you with still drinking the iced coffee right now. I cannot get enough of that delicious nectar! How sweet of your hubbie to stay up with you and help you finish.

  12. christine Says:

    Oh man… this would have reduced me to near tears. All that liquid gold almost going to waste!!!

    The images of you two are hysterical! Love it.

    Now, don’t kill me… but, you can also use doubled up paper towels to strain through. It does absorb a little of the coffee (obviously) but it’s a super quick process still…

  13. I LOVED this post, because you were basically describing my iced coffee making exploits this summer. I tried using coffee filters (I set up this bag filtering station), and initially the coffee went through quickly, and then it just stopped. UGH! And it’s been 10 p.m. at night, so Andy is helping me out and we both can’t believe we’re spending out Saturday nights making iced coffee the slowest way possible when we just want to be in bed. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one 🙂

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