Happy New Year everyone. Hoping everyone made it through the holidays with their sanity mostly intact.

Now you may be thinking, Steph, it’s cold outside, why on earth would I want to cold brew. Well, I’ll tell you why, because it’s easy and iced coffee is fantastic in any weather. Also, because sometimes in Puerto Peñasco the electricity goes out sporadically, and it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan for your morning cup of joe!

My first tip is to always have instant coffee on hand. You can buy it almost anywhere. I like Sam’s club brand, but if I run out, the OXXO on every corner has several brands. Instant coffee is also a savior when you’re traveling anywhere you might not have coffee readily available. I used this method when I went to Vegas last year, so I didn’t have to walk a mile to the casino coffee shops to get a coffee when I first woke up. Cold brew coffee: you can cold brew regular drip coffee in water overnight in a French Press, or actual cold brew devices sold specifically for this use, or in a sealed jar (but if using a jar, you have to strain it with a cheesecloth or something like that). The fastest, simplest way is just to take 1 TBSP of instant coffee and dissolve it in about ¼ cup of water for about 2-3 minutes. If you have a coffee whisker, it’s even faster. Once the coffee is dissolved, add about ½ cup more water, ice, and your favorite coffee creamer (add a little more water if it’s too strong). I like to use half and half or heavy cream (you can buy it at Super Ley or Ley Express). Sometimes I add flavored syrups if I’m feeling fancy. Or protein shakes if you want a protein boost. There are so many options. I will even use decaf coffee if I want another cup, but I’m already in caffeine overload. If you use powdered creamer, you will need to add the powder to the instant and dissolve it in hot water because powdered creamer isn’t especially dissolvable in room temp water. For traveling, like when in Vegas, I put the instant coffee in my stainless-steel coffee cup, added bottled water, swirled it, let it sit while I went to the ice machine, added the ice and then a few mini creamers, like mini-moos or the international delight minis. So easy, and so delicious.

I’ve found that you can virtually cold brew any hot drink like tea or coffee. I’m also a huge fan of Jamaica tea, but the boiling and the cooling and the straining, it’s just too much! Especially when every recipe online has a different boiling time, anywhere from 10 minutes to 35 minutes, steep it for 30 minutes to overnight. Some people say boiling it too long dilutes the beneficial properties. Finally, I thought to myself, maybe this can be cold brewed, and the internet proved me right! Cold brew Jamaica tea: I use 2 cups of Jamaica leaves per liter of water because I like it stronger, but you can also do 1 cup to 1 liter. I put the Jamaica flowers and water in a big pitcher and put it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, I strain it from the big pitcher into the smaller pitcher to get all the flowers out. If you want it the same day, make it in the morning and it will be ready by dinner. It’s supposed to cold brew for about 8 hours. You can sweeten this to taste. Most recipes call for sugar or agave or honey, that you add before steeping. I sweeten mine after steeping, per glass with stevia. You can also add cinnamon sticks, lime, ginger, etc. It seems Jamaica recipes are like sangria recipes, you can put in whatever fruit and spices or garnishes that you like.