Beverage, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Summer


I actually don't buy fancy drinks often but I love them. We spend a large part of our income on food and it seems like one place I can tighten things up. However, in a "treat yo'self" moment, I recently picked up the new one from Trader Joes and after spending nearly $5 on this tiny beverage, I had high expectations that were not met. Hugh makes us cold brew in the warm months so I'm putting him on explaining some of that to you. Tools, beans and such. He made the coffee, I made the coconut creamer from The First Mess and now I can make a special iced coffee on my own terms. The creamer is easy, it just requires a blender and a few staple ingredients. It does get a little firm in the fridge so I leave out before I need to use it or let it sit in a warm water bath to become a little more liquid. In the dairy free creamers you get at the store, there are a handful of funky ingredients that keep them a liquid and emulsify into your coffee, hot or cold. This creamer has more of a homemade texture to it and I like it that way. Makes me want to keep this as a fridge staple. We have two other coffee posts, Chemex and a video with the French press (in our old apartment! nostalgia!) if you fancy. 

In other summery news, I wrote a salmon taco recipe for Food52 and that avocado sauce has been a fridge staple. On eggs, veggie bowls, tacos, thinned to salad dressing, everything. Take a peek if you need a dinner idea!

Makes about 6 cups

There are all sorts of variations for this process, but we use a Toddy T2N Cold Brew System. It's simple, relatively inexpensive, and easy to use. The following brew method is adapted from their instructions, and makes about 6 cups of cold brew coffee concentrate.

12 ounces fresh roasted coffee - ground slightly finer than you would for drip. I grind at setting 10 (of 40) on a Baratza Virtuoso, for reference.
7 cups cold, filtered water

Makes about 14 ounces

Creamer adapted from The First Mess

4 pitted dates
1 14-0z. can full fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. sunflower oil (or other neutral oil that is a liquid at room temperature)


Fill - First, insert the stopper into the outside bottom of the brewing container; then, dampen the filter and insert it into the inside bottom of the brewing container. 

Next, add 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Toddy brewing container and 6 ounces of ground coffee. Slowly pour 3 more cups of water over the grounds, in a circular motion. Then, add the remaining 6 ounces of ground coffee. Finally, wait 5 minutes and slowly add the last 3 cups of water. DO NOT STIR (stirring the bed of grounds can result in a clogged filter). 

Lightly press down on the topmost grounds with the back of a spoon to ensure all grounds get wet. 

Cover - lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the grounds with as few air bubbles as reasonably possible. The idea here is to minimize the amount of oxygen interacting with the steeping slurry. 

Brew - Steep your coffee grounds at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours to create a smooth, rich flavor. 

Filter - Remove the plastic wrap and the stopper and let your coffee concentrate flow into the glass decanter - stays fresh for 1-2 weeks in your refrigerator.

Serve - Into a glass full of ice, we went with a ratio of 2 parts coffee (which is a concentrate) to 1 part water to 1 part creamer. Not super sweet or decadent, so you can adjust that based on your own mood. 


If your dates are soft, move forward with the recipe. If they are a little dry or tough, soak them in boiling water to soften then drain completely. 

In a high powered blender, run the dates, coconut milk, vanilla and oil until you have a smooth, thick liquid with minimal chunks of dates. Strain the creamer with a fine mesh strainer. 

Into a glass full of ice, we went with a ratio of 2 parts coffee (which is a concentrate) to 1 part water to 1 part creamer. Not super sweet or decadent, so you can adjust that based on your own mood. 

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