Wednesday, September 11, 2013
However! As of last week I am officially gainfully unemployed, and while being laid off is no happy experience, to be sure, the various silver linings have included more time with my kids, greater involvement in their school day and extracurriculars, a re-examination of my professional trajectory, and---hooray!---a few extra moments each day to devote to celebrating some of Trader Joe's more fabulous offerings here on this blog.
So then, without further ado, let's turn our attention to TJ's Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, which I am pleased to report I have so far resisted chugging straight from the bottle, although believe me when I tell you I am tempted EVERY SINGLE MORNING to do so.
This stuff appeared at the Santa Monica Trader Joe's, near my former employer, for the first time this summer, and it has been nothing short of a revelation. I had long daydreamed about making my own iced coffee at home but never quite knew how to go about concocting my own coffee concentrate (and was, apparently, far too lazy to Google it). I remember my Grandma George always kept a jar of homemade coffee concentrate in her fridge, in a repurposed glass jar, but unfortunately I never thought to ask her how she made it, and it's too late now.
Anyway, when I found this over by the bean grinder at the Santa Monica TJ's, I couldn't believe my good luck and didn't hesitate one nanosecond to grab a bottle---even though, by TJ's standards, it's a little pricey at about seven bucks per bottle for only 12 servings.
But oh, my: worth the indulgence! True to the marketing claims on the label, this "cold-brew"
For iced coffee, you simply follow the directions to combine one part concentrate with two parts milk, add some ice, and there you have it. I suppose you could stir in some flavored or simple syrup were you so inclined, but I found the coffee itself so smooth and delicious it needed no sweetening whatsoever.
Finding ourselves now far more tightly food-budgeted, we can't afford to make Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate a permanent part of our grocery repertoire, but we're picking one up once a month or so and polishing off each bottle in just over a week each time.
My question to you, like-minded TJ's fan, is what are some more-creative ways this product could be used in cooking? I'm wondering about adding a splash or two to homemade brownie batter, or using it in a mole sauce or some kind of steak glaze. Yes? No?