My friend Claire, smart cookie and longtime devotee of iced coffee, recently alerted me to a revelatory article in the New York Times extolling the virtues of cold-brewed iced coffee. Iced coffee is astoundingly simple to make at home—all you need is coffee, water, a mason jar, and some sort of filter. (Claire initially used a Graham Kerr signature yogurt strainer she found in her cupboard; we've progressed to cold brewing in our French presses, which is simpler.) Just before bed, I've been grinding up beans, stirring them with water, and letting the mixture sit on the counter overnight. When I wake up, I pour it over ice (the Times article suggests diluting the coffee with equal part water, but I cannot support this) and sit by the window with my feet on the sill. It's a beautiful way to start a hot summer morning.
I've been involved in a committed, long-term relationship with one coffee, a single-origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe that I buy from Victrola Coffee Roasters (the new location at 310 E Pike St, 624-1725, is a lovely, light-filled, less crowded change of pace from the original one up on 15th Ave), for about two years now. I'm no coffee connoisseur, but I've gotten to know the almost lemony scent and bright floral taste of it intimately. I was startled, after cold brewing it, to discover a sweet, chocolatey taste I had never detected before. Summer is a great time to be surprised by love.