Four Homemade Coffee Syrups and My Favorite Cold Brew.

Humor me while I talk about sugar and water please.

Late last night I was all prepared to tell you about chicken today. It was the plan. But then I was all… it’s Monday. Coffee Monday. Who cares how simple? We must discuss.

These syrups. We gotta talk about them.

I made homemade vanilla bean syrup. Traditional and easily loved by me. Cinnamon brown sugar syrup – because earlier this winter I was losing my mind over the dunkin donut’s flavor. Homemade almond syrup, because anything amaretto flavored makes me nutty. Pun intended. And my real – but shocking – favorite: fresh blackberry syrup. GAH. I love it so much.

I don’t care much for raspberry flavored things, but the idea of blackberry? I was all over that. It is SO good. And you can obviously use these syrups for other things, I mean this is embarrassing because they are literally just flavored simple syrups.

But, like, why haven’t I been doing this for a year?

Ever since making this fresh mint syrup for iced coffee, I’ve been read-my-lips-OBSESSED with making homemade coffee syrups. And even though I lost my taste for coffee a few weeks after sharing it, I was still so in love with the whole coffee experience that I wanted to KEEP drinking it. Kind of like how I forced myself to drink it in the first place.

The problem was that I’d go get some and no matter how small the size was, I’d only take a few sips and have to be done. Just couldn’t do it. I did go a few weeks completely without a drop of coffee, but then the taste came back to me and I’ve thoroughly been enjoying it – iced only.

Sometimes I’ll still head out and get coffee – though I’ve never been able to finish one, so it’s much better if I just make it at home. And EASIER! And cheaper. Says my raging basic Starbucks addiction.

Back in April I also shared a cold brew concentrate method with that but over the months have been loving this one below so much more. It’s kind of a major pain to grind the beans but I tell you: the flavor is so much better. I’ve done regular and decaf beans. I’ve experimented over and over with using filtered versus unfiltered water and surprisingly prefer the filtered. I didn’t think it would make a difference, but it does. TOTALLY. Is it less acidic? Are my taste buds just in overdrive? Either way, I’m finding it WORTH IT.

Big deal for this person.

Also, I find it easiest to just use a bowl or a pitcher. I have a Toddy, but it’s rather obtrusive and, well, the real issue is that my husband LOATHES coffee and the scent so much that if it’s in his view or if he gets one whiff, he throws a major tantrum. I think that’s weird because even though I’ve spent most of my life hating coffee, the scent always brought me back to my childhood and gives me warm and cozy nostalgic feelings.

My not-so-secret love for the blackberry syrup comes partially from the color. It kind of tints your coffee (if you’re using cream) to a purpleish-fuschia color and I think it’s gorgeous.

Leave it to me to like a drink for the color. I mean, it tastes great too but just look. It’s PINK. Or red. Whatever.

So I’m just in love with this idea of homemade syrups and multiple syrups, and having them on hand so you can have little coffee parties with pals. The syrup mixes into iced coffee beautifully – but after a while some will settle on the bottom just as it would with iced coffee you order out. My simple solution is adorable mixers. It works in hot coffee perfectly and I can’t get enough. And it can work in other things too – like even making some almond hot chocolate and all that jazz. But let’s not talk about that in summer.

Now please go make this for a million friends. (invite me.)


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Four Homemade Coffee Syrups and My Favorite Cold Brew

Yield: serves 2 to 4, depending on your caffeine addiction

Total Time: overnight for coffee, a few minutes for the syrups

Ingredients:

my favorite coldbrew coffee
1 cup whole coffee beans
5 cups filtered water (this made a HUGE difference in how I liked iced coffee at home!)
regular ice or coffee ice cubes

vanilla bean syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

blackberry syrup
2 cups fresh blackberries
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar

cinnamon brown sugar syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup water

almond syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Directions:

my favorite coldbrew coffee
First things first: coarsely grind the coffee beans! Yeah, this is annoying. For a year I'd try to make coldbrew coffee with already ground beans, and grinding them definitely is better. I used my grinder thing for my vitamix. Just make sure they are COARSELY ground, this way you won't have granules floating in your drink (which is one of the worse things ever in life, in my opinion). Once the beans a freshly ground, add them to a large bowl or pitcher/container/jar. Add the water and stir to mix. Let this mixture sit overnight in the fridge. I have heard both ways: at room temperature and overnight. I prefer it from the fridge. (Also as a note, sometimes I made this in my french press too. I just don't have a huge one.)

The next morning, strain the coffee through a few layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. It's key to reduce the granules. Now you have your coffee! Fill a glass with ice, add your desired amount of coffee and cream/milk - then go to town with the syrups. Note: the syrups should be stored in a sealed container in the fridge. They should last a week or two!

vanilla bean syrup
Combine the sugar, water, scraped vanilla beans, whole bean and extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a jar. I usually don't remove the vanilla pod and just leave it in for flavor. You can remove it if you wish!

blackberry syrup
Add the blackberries to a blender with the water. Puree until completely smooth and blended, then strain over a fine mesh sieve into a bowl - so all you have is blackberry juice. Combine the juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a jar. This syrup can get extra sweet due to the flavor of your berries, so feel free to play along with water and sugar ratios.

cinnamon brown sugar syrup
Combine the sugar, cinnamon and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a jar.

almond syrup
Combine the sugar, water and extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a jar.

Okay. I’m done being boring with coffee now. Swear.