Veteran Peaceful Dumplings know that my love for coffee runs deep. Although coffee does offer health benefits, I’m well aware that the healthiest of diets exclude coffee. Over the years, I’ve taken breaks from my daily cup o’ jo and have experimented with ways to make the healthiest cup of coffee possible. (So far, I’ve settled on freshly ground organic beans, half of which are Swiss water processed decaf. Add to that a splash of unsweetened coconut milk, and I’m good to go!)
Still, I’m always looking for ways to optimize my brew. Fortunately, caffeine itself isn’t too high on my concerns since I drink one cup of half-caf a day. Coffee’s acidity, however, can bother me. When I say acidity, I don’t mean acidic flavor, which some roasts can have. Rather, I mean the acidity in coffee that’s not so kind to a sensitive stomach.
Enter cold brew coffee. This new and trendy way of brewing coffee promises to reduce coffee acidity by roughly 67%. (It also has a rich, smooth taste!) Although research on the health difference of cold brew vs. hot (regular) brew coffee is young, dietitian-nutritionist Gina Keatley explains that the cold brew coffee is likely better for your stomach and your teeth while hot brew coffee may contain more antioxidants. (Fortunately, if you’re eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet, you’re probably rockin’ in the antioxidant department.)
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in filtered, room temperature water for 12-24 hours. The resulting liquid is a coffee concentrate that you ultimately drain into a carafe and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. This coffee concentrate is very versatile, but most cold brew coffee recipes begin with the same ratio of coffee concentrate to other liquids (water or milk): 1 part coffee concentrate to 3 parts other liquid.
Toddy Cafe makes a fairly affordable cold brew coffee maker if you’re interested in giving it a try!
This cold brew iced café au lait recipe makes the perfect warm summer morning drink.
Vegan Cold Brew Iced Café au Lait
- 1/4 cup cold brew coffee concentrate
- 1/4 cup cold, filtered water
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice (I used a coconut-almond blend)
- 4 drops liquid stevia (optional)
- optional dash of cinnamon
- small handful coffee ice cubes*
1. Combine liquids, stevia, and cinnamon. Stir well. Pour over ice. Sip and be perky.
*If you don’t have coffee ice cubes on hand, regular ice will do, but it may water down your coffee as it melts. To make coffee ice cubes, combine one part cold brew coffee concentrate with three parts filtered water. Pour into ice cube tray and freeze for a few hours. Trust me–this will really take your iced coffee game to the next level!
More delicious drinks: Comforting Vegan No-Coffee Latte
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell