Strong and black

Hi.  I’m here today to talk about one of the biggest summertime scams in NYC: iced coffee.

I love iced coffee and I’ve been craving it every single day since the mercury started rising.  However, at nearly every establishment I’ve frequented to get my fix – from the big green monster to the random coffee cart – I’ve noticed something obnoxious.  For example:

Regular hot coffee: $1.75.  Iced coffee: $2.95.

Um?  Three bucks for an iced coffee?  I mean, it’s coffee and frozen water.  What the hell?

Today I decided I’d had enough.  Determined to start making this overpriced shit at home, I marched in to Porto Rico on Bleecker and bought supplies:

Coffee and I have a storied history.  I used to be a three-cuppa-day girl, but a couple of years ago I somewhat randomly decided to cut it out. (Actually, it was part of a ridiculous plan to “clean up” my diet in conjunction with a marathon taper.  In hopes that it would make me faster, I cut out coffee, booze and soda.  I only lasted three days on the no-booze wagon, but once I got used to not having coffee I didn’t really miss it!  And, oh, it totally didn’t make me faster.  At all.)

Anyway.  I love coffee but haven’t been drinking much of it the last couple of years.  Until this summer’s iced-java cravings, that is.  So I had to go out and procure coffee and a coffee-making device.

My first iced coffee experiment this afternoon was a bit sub-par.  The coffee was far too weak.  Tomorrow morning I’m gonna make a batch that’s extra extra strong.  (Thanks, Twitter peeps, for all of the suggestions!)

Hey – maybe if I perfect my technique, I can join the racket and sell them for three bucks each!  Because if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. 🙂

Today’s EAT: I came across this recipe for Chile-Rubbed Shrimp with Avocado Corn Cocktail on Epicurious last week and immediately put it on my to-try list.  Only problem was, it’s an appetizer.  How could I beef it up to make it a meal?

Duh.  Make it in to a big-ass salad.

This was such a fun BAS!  I made a chili-lime vinaigrette for the greens (just lime, garlic powder, chili powder, olive oil and a bit of honey).   Then I topped it with the salsa, then the shrimp (which were speecy spicy!) and some fried wontons.  Wrong realm of ethnic cuisines there, I know.  But I’ve gotta have a little crunch on my BAS and I had no tortilla chips on hand. 🙂

I will totally make this salad again.  The spiciness and bold flavors were amazing.  Thanks for the inspiration, Epicurious!

Today’s DRINK:  Wine in a box!  Er, a carton.

I’ve been seeing this Bandit wine around for while now.  It comes in various varieties.  I decided to give the Merlot a shot.  And it’s not bad!  While I wouldn’t break this out at a dinner party, it’s perfectly enjoyable, and the price point is great ($7 for a full liter, versus a normal 750mL bottle).

Today’s RUN: It poured all day today.  The rain was unrelenting.  It just came down.

Of course it did – seeing as I got my hair did today.

I was way overdue for a cut.  And the sad face is because I was about to go get drenched on my run, thus ruining the pretty blowout that Aviva at Avalon Spa (love her!) worked so hard on.

Oh well.  Sacrifices to be made!  I logged an easy 10 miles in the pouring, pouring rain.  Every inch of me was soaked when I walked in the door.  A little uncomfortable, but eons better than the stifling heat and humidity we’ve had lately!

Today’s QUESTION: Are you a coffee drinker? Any tips for a burgeoning DIY-barista?  I want to perfect my iced coffee!!

32 responses to “Strong and black

  1. Make ice cubes out of coffee and use those in your iced coffee! That way you don’t run into the dilution problem. I use the leftover coffee from one day and freeze it for the next!

  2. I share your iced coffee obsession. Its the only thing other then water that I currently drink. I have a keurig and they just came out with an iced coffee k-cup. Thats next on my list to try!

    ALSO….I still book stuff for Fekkai. So if you ever want free cut, color or blowouts let me know 🙂

  3. Atlas Cafe on 2nd Ave between 4th and 5th had iced coffee for a quarter more than regular, if you’re feeling lazy.

    I usually make cold brewed ice coffee, which takes a couple days in the fridge to make, but is so worth it!

  4. Amazing shrimp!

    I’m a coffee fanatic as well, and interestingly, had a lengthy stint as a barista at Starbucks during my college days. The key to iced coffee, which I think maybe you’ve figured out, is to brew it double the strength (or triple, if you like it extra strong) so it doesn’t get watered down. A strong tasting coffee like French or espresso roast, also helps. Dang. Now I want some iced coffee 🙂

  5. Hey! Newish reader/commenter here. Just gotta say, love your use of the term “speecy spicy.” My family uses it all the time. Made my day to read it here hah!

  6. That wine is awesome-I had the sangria version a coupla weeks ago at a picnic in the park. I agree that it’s not exactly “dinner-party friendly”, and it’s obviously not as good as fresh-made sangria, but for something to drink while laying out in central park…pretty damn good! 🙂

  7. If twist-off caps can make a comeback, who says boxed wine can’t?!

  8. Cute hair! The iced coffee price issue gets on my last nerve. I don’t get why it’s so much more expensive. I can understand if some of the fancy coffee places use some crazy process to make their iced coffee, but delis and shit just brew it, cool it down, and pour it on ice. Geez.

  9. In January, I too cut back on coffee. I was a three- or four-cup-a-day lady. Now I’m down to one, first thing in the morning, and usually no more. The two weeks of withdrawal were horrendous. I would come into work, put my head on my desk, and practically cry. I can’t imagine what quitting meth will feel like! Better get on that before the Mini!

  10. I drink homemade iced coffee in the summer! I just make a stronger-than-usual pot of coffee once a week and then stick it in the fridge. In the mornings I mix some of the coffee with milk and some agave nectar, add ice, and enjoy a delish iced coffee! If I’m feeling really adventurous I by some of the sugar-free flavored syrups to add to it too!

    Also, that shrimp salad looks delicious. I’m bookmarking this!

  11. iced coffee = life blood. i’ve thought about quitting, but…life is short and java is cheaper than most addictions.

    i usually make my coffee the night before (2x strong) and pop it in the fridge for the next day. it takes some advance planning, but it’s cheap!

  12. I bought a French Press last year and still haven’t used it. I’m so intimated about making my own coffee!!

  13. I agree! Iced Coffee is soooo overpriced. really annoys me.

    my main tip is to NOT use hot coffee. brew it the night before, put it in a cup in the fridge, add ice & enjoy in the morning.

    and make it a little stronger…but not much. in addition to cubes melting/diluting, you also lack the smell emanating from hot coffee to add flavor.


  14. @megan and @phil….yep, it sounds like making it the night before is gonna be the way to go. Thanks!

  15. Certified cappuccino addict. If it hurts my running, screw running!

    DIY all day long, baby. We have a $100 Krups and beat the crap out of it.

  16. greensandjeans

    I used to work at a coffee shop and we would use cold press for our iced coffee, which is super strong and extra delicious!

  17. have i mentioned i love your blog post titles?

    i recently tried quitting coffee, a half-assed attempt that really only lasted a day or two after i moved. let’s just say it didn’t work. it’s good to be back.

    aaand i just bought a french press, too! a miniature one, to be precise. it’s adorable. it takes a bit of tinkering to figure out the coffee:water ration, but you’ll get it in time.

  18. I bring my own iced coffee every day in the morning. I can’t stand to pay too much for something that’s so simple to make at home!

    I do it the lazy way. Brew a whole carafe from a drip coffee machine and then put the thing in the fridge and pour it into my travel mug each morning for the week. A French press is much more awesome, I hope it works out!

  19. Oh man, I’m on an iced coffee mission this summer too!! So Leah just introduced me to something called a “cold toddy” that one coffee shop chain here in MI serves…we don’t know why but it is INSANE. It tastes SO much better than regular iced coffee. So now my mission is to recreate something THAT good. I don’t know how I’m going to do it but damn, I want to!

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  22. That just sucks about the hair. I try to keep my hair dry for as long as I can after getting it done b/c once I wash it at home, it never looks the same.

    The iced coffee being more is a huge pet peeve of mine and I am still trying to wrap my mind around it. I am addicted to the coffee (we have a Starbucks in our bldg) at work so what I do is get a hot coffee in the morning then get a refill in the afternoon and let sit in the fridge overnight. I’m still trying to perfect the iced coffee at home but it always comes out too weak.

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