Im-Pressed

First impressions are kind of a big deal.

It sets the tone for an entire relationship.

A bad first impression can leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Literally.

At least when you’re talking about food.

Here’s a list of foods that did not leave a good first impression:

Mushrooms

(I couldn’t even eat a slice of pizza if a ‘shroom was in a 12 inch radius of my slice)

Whole tomatoes

(Too mushy)

Papaya

(Slimy)

Maple Syrup

(Too thin)

Beer

(I spent about a year chasing it with soda)

Flax Seed

(Too “healthy” tasting)

Olive oil

(Too earthy)

I love trying new foods but I don’t always love them the first time I try them.

Sometimes I don’t even like them the second time.

Or the third.

Then there are things that are truly an acquired taste like beer and coffee.

I approach new foods the same way parents introduce food to their toddlers.

I try it at least seven times before I decide if I like it or not.

(You may even need to try a food several times over several months)

And you know what?

I almost always end up liking it.

Craving it even.

Coffee is the perfect example.

The first time I had coffee, I spit it right back out.

It was bitter. 

Well, a couple shots of flavored syrup and chemical creamers took care of that problem.

Couldn’t taste the coffee at all.

And I loved it.

I was abhorred by the fact that husband could pour himself a cup of piping hot black coffee and then just…..drink it.

No sugar.

No splenda.

No mocha caramel macchiato sundae flavored syrup.

Straight black coffee.

“How can you do that?”  I said.

His response?

I like the flavor of coffee.

I spent the next couple of days choking down black coffee before work.

By the third day, it happened.

I could actually taste the coffee.

I felt like I was reliving a Folger’s commercial.

When we stopped buying cheap ass Folger’s and drinking good quality, fresh ground beans, it was all over.

Coffee is now pretty much the reason I wake up in the morning.

But as much as a love coffee, it can sometimes still be bitter tasting and my stomach is not a huge fan of the acidity.

Then I learned about cold pressed coffee.

Cold pressed coffee is steeped in water overnight instead of brewing the grounds in scalding hot water. Cold pressing allows the flavor of the coffee to come through without any of the bitterness.

Since I don’t have a french press, the traditional mechanism for making cold pressed coffee, I prepare it right in my coffee carafe. The process is super simple and only takes a little advanced planning since you have to let it soak overnight or for at least eight hours.

Many recipes make a coffee “concentrate” and then add water to it before serving. I find that using the same amount of water and grounds as I would use when preparing brewed coffee is the perfect ratio for cold pressed coffee as well.

 If you add cinnamon and cocoa powder to the grounds, its like drinking a fancy coffee shop drink for a fraction of the price, and there’s no need for shots of flavored sugar “syrup” or creamers that don’t actually have cream as an ingredient.

The process might seem complicated, but I assure you it’s as easy as brewing a regular cup of coffee.

Unless you own a Kuerig.

It’s more complicated than a Kuerig.

But I save a bazillion dollars by not buying those damn K-cups.

COLD PRESSED COFFEE

8 cups of water

1 1/4 cup coffee grounds, or to taste

1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa*

Tidbit: Make sure the cocoa is dutch processed. I find regular cocoa powder to be too bitter in this mix.

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Grind the beans (if using whole) with the cinnamon.

Add the grounds and the cocoa to a carafe, pitcher, or large bowl.

Add the water.

Make sure all of the grounds are wet.

Allow to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Place mesh strainer over large pitcher.

Line strainer with papertowel or coffee filter and strain.

Lasts for weeks in the refrigerator!

This makes the perfect iced coffee.

Or hot cup of joe.

And even though cold pressed coffee is delicious on its own, sometimes I like to sweeten the deal.

Here are my favorite coffee additions:

Coconut Milk

The small amount of fat in coconut milk makes coffee extra creamy.

Almond Milk Blends

Almods, cashews, and hazelnuts all in one delicious blend.

Honey

Local honey is thought to help alleviate seasonal allergies.

Molasses

This is my sweetener of choice in the fall and winter months. It’s also a rich source of calcium, iron, and potassium.

And my all-time favorite:

Maple Syrup

Yes, the very food I disliked for being “too thin.”

A lifetime of processed food will do that to you.

It masks the flavor of real food.

Luckily, the more real food you eat, the more your body loves it.

And if you’re wondering what to do with the leftover grounds, add them to your garden.

My basil loves coffee almost as much as I do.

Keep calm and get your caffeine on!

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