Throughout the spring and summer months, should you ever visit my home, cold brew is always available. As soon as we have experienced a few consecutive days of warmer temperatures, I get started on letting the grinds of my favorite strong coffee* steep in cold water. Cold brew lasts for weeks, but I’m often back to making a new batch before it could even come close to going bad.
*Cafe Bustelo. This was, of course, before all the coffee adventures. I’m currently on the lookout for a bold local flavor to win me over.
In the beginning, I used a typical beverage container for storing my cold brew. You know the kind; every family has one somewhere in their home. Usually they are used to hold iced tea or some other beverage made from a powder concentrate. However, after a year or so of lugging our four quart version of this out anytime we wanted cold brew*, we switched over to a plastic beverage dispenser with a spigot so we could fill our glasses right in the fridge.
*Which, I’m sure you’ve guessed, is quite often.
Though the spigot made life easier for dispensing cold brew, it also made life a little difficult in the fridge. We quickly realized the container needed to be towards the front, otherwise the lightest bump against the spigot would cause cold brew to pour out. In spite of this, the mess was never so horrible that we needed to part ways with this beverage dispenser.
Though the temperatures in New Jersey this past week and a half have been ridiculous for May*, it was only a short time ago that we were enjoying 80 degree days. I was certain the summer weather was upon us and that the chilly temperatures of late winter were long gone. After a few hot mornings of drinking hot coffee, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it up much longer.
*I am currently sitting at my desk wearing a winter sweater with my heat turned on.
Hot coffee is for winter. Cold coffee is for summer. At least, this is my rule.*
*Hubby’s rule is cold coffee is for all year; while my sister-in-law’s rule is hot coffee is for all year. She will literally sit by the pool on a 90 degree day with a hot coffee in hand.
I made the first four quarts of cold brew for 2016 and thought nothing of our finicky spigot, in fact I completely forgot it was an issue. One day last week, Hubby mentioned that I needed to keep an eye on where the dispenser was in the fridge and that it needed to stay up front.
You know how sometimes you put a thought to the back of your mind and end up not thinking about it until an awful, terrible, horrible thing happens and there is nothing you can do to fix it?
Yeah, that’s exactly what I did.
While making dinner with Jonathan this week, I told him to go in the fridge to get the asparagus. Upon his first, “Uh, Gaga, where is it?” I should have known that this was a task requiring my intervention. I knew exactly where the asparagus was hiding. It was in a container directly behind the cold brew.
“Look behind the coffee,” I said as I continued working at the stove.
‘Jon’s got this,’ I thought. Still, I had this teeny tiny feeling that I should check on the cold brew. I knew, without a doubt, that Jon had moved the cold brew container in order to reach the asparagus. Yet I was confident that, despite Jon’s lack of knowledge on the spigot situation, everything would be fine.
It wasn’t until Lance came home and we were getting ready to eat dinner that he opened the fridge door to see the cold brew container which had been at least 75% full in the morning, almost completely empty.
Here’s why I love this man. A discovery of this sort would cause me to rip my hair out, curse every last drop of cold brew on this earth, and then beg and plead for the refrigerator gods to swoop down and make the mess disappear. Instead, he simply noted that the cold brew was all over our refrigerator.
“The container must have gotten pushed to the back,” was his ever so calm observation.
‘Is it bad?” I asked as I opened the fridge to grab hot sauce for dinner only to find the label of my hot sauce wrinkled with wet coffee spots. As my eyes circled the fridge, I found coffee soaked egg cartons, a pool of coffee on the top and bottom shelves, and brown splatters all over our condiments and dressings on the door.
In an attempt to lighten the mood as we were in the midst of soaking and ringing out towels of cold brew, I said the overused words that many blurt out when faced with a situation of this nature.
“Just think, we’re going to tell this story and laugh about it someday.”
To which Hubby fired in my direction a glare loaded with a thousand fire daggers, give or take a few, and said, “I am never telling anyone this story.”
The statement was so definite, so assured, so bold that I said nothing.
But in my mind…I laughed.
Let me stress, I laughed only in my mind. Within myself, the reality of the situation was still currently teetering between angry hurricane and mumbling lunatic.
Still somehow a wit surfaced that caused me to shake my head and think, again I stress THINK, “Oh dear, sweet, sweet husband. You may not tell this story, but I am already drafting the blog post in my mind.”
I know now that three or more quarts of cold brew will drip down from the top of the fridge down into the crisper. That it will get into every possible crack and crevice. It will spill into areas you didn’t even know existed within your fridge. And the only positive that will remain after an hour of emptying the fridge, throwing away damaged items, and washing and drying everything out, is the bold, sweet, smell of coffee.