Sunday, March 25, 2012

Icy love

One of the changes I made when first starting the Engine 2 28-day challenge in January was to give up caffeine. This isn't required under the Engine 2 guidelines, but for me caffeine was really just a pseudonym for soda and sugary coffee drinks which aren't allowed because of the sugar and processing. My dentist and my doctors have for years suggested I give up soda because it's not good for your teeth and health. However, the sugary fizz and caffeine buzz was very addicting and I couldn't stick to letting it go until it was time to start the Engine 2 challenge. I knew I wouldn't survive the challenge if I was drinking caffeine. I went through caffeine withdrawals including headaches and low energy for three days. On the other side, I've got more steady energy, no late afternoon energy crashes and I'm drinking more water.

I'm not a saint though. I want some fun drinks and herbal teas or fruit-flavored waters don't always cut it. At first I started ordering caffeine free tea lattes with soymilk at coffee shops. My favorite was decaf earl gray with soy milk. However, it wasn't available at most coffee shops and I got tired of strange combinations like blueberry rooibos, so I took up decaf soy lattes. With summer approaching, I've been craving cold press coffee, but most coffee shops don't offer decaf. What to do? Make my own!

Friends have been telling me for years about this delicious and inexpensive New York Times' cold-brewed iced coffee recipe. This weekend, I finally got around to making it and it's good. The only steps that even slightly involve thinking are: 1) grind your coffee on the coarse setting (the recipe says medium coarse, but most in store grinders don't have that setting and the nice folks at Whole Foods Market told me they grind theirs with the nob all the way to the left (coarse).) and 2) use a mason jar to store the cold-brewed coffee so you can use the cover ring to hold the coffee filter in place when you're filtering out the grounds. I'm looking forward to experimenting with different decaf blends to find my favorite.


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