There comes a time during summer when even the most devotee hot coffee drinker has to switch over to the cold brew, my time came around two weeks ago...
It doesn't come easily, usually I go through about three phases:
1) Denial. This step is a very frustrating (and sweaty) process.
2) Experimental phase. I start to try some iced coffee, maybe order a glass here and there.
3) Acceptance. I have come to the sad realization that my beloved fall/winter is over and even the most air conditioned facility cannot save me, thus coming face-to-face with my icy cold fate.
I am not going to lie, it took me years to even try iced coffee, not sure what it was, I just always associate coffee with a warm, comforting beverage and the ones I have tried were lacking in the flavor department. Over the years I have learned to make cold brew exceptionally delicious, here are some things you need to consider: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use filtered water, prepare some coffee ice cubes (that way your drink won't become watered down before you finish it), and this should go without saying but start with high quality beans - I usually pick mine up from Coffee Icon.
Now enters the flavoring. Making your own natural coffee syrups is so easy and tastes SO much better without the harsh taste of artificial sweeteners. You might remember my Vanilla bean lattes that I made a while back, that was actually my first time ever making my own syrup and I ended up using it for so many different things other than coffee so this time around I decided to expand my flavors and reduced the amount to 1/3 and 1/2 so you wouldn't have an excessive amount of syrup laying around AND this produces a slightly thicker and more concentrated flavor as opposed to equal parts water and sugar.
The directions for all the syrups are the same, Combine the sugar, water, and flavoring in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a jar. With some flavors (like the lavender) you might need to strain the mix through a fine mesh strainer so keep that in mind.