It's official: I'm caffeinated again.
I'd quit drinking caffeine more than four years ago, back when we started the TTC thing that resulted in BJ. It wasn't too much of a hardship, at first, since I'd never been a hardcore coffee drinker and I'd cut out soda some time ago. Really it simply meant switching to decaf for my morning cup of tea (Earl Grey, Chai, or Boston's Mint Tea, with honey).
Because I was breastfeeding BJ, on general principle I continued to avoid caffeine after he was born. Given his poor sleep habits, the idea of a caffeinated baby was too horrific to contemplate. And since he weaned himself at 15 months because (as I discovered two weeks later) I was pregnant, I just kept up the caffeine ban and struggled through those groggy mornings and long afternoons.
Ye gods, it's weird to realize that I've either been pregnant, or breastfeeding, for more than three years now.
I guess between BB's all-night noshing and BJ's early waking, it was only a matter of time before I needed a morning jolt beyond a cold shower. I started by switching back to caffeinated Earl Grey, but that wasn't cutting it. I found myself longing for iced coffee around 2 pm most days, but no way was I going to pack up the kids and head to Starbucks.
Then, a few weeks ago, our newspaper ran a recipe for cold brewed coffee. I tried it on a whim, and now I'm totally hooked. I was skeptical about the food writer's claims about how much better it would taste. Mostly, I liked the idea of being able to set it up the night before and not wait for it to cool down before icing it.
But she was right. Cold brewed coffee is smoother and richer tasting. The recipe makes just enough for me to have a cup of iced coffee in the morning with enough left over for a smaller serving around lunchtime.
I add a teaspoon of sugar, mix with equal parts milk, and pour over ice. Yummmmm!
Cold Brewed Coffee
1/3 to 1/2 cup coffee (medium grind)
1 1/2 cups cold water
Stir together in a glass container with a lid (mason jar, small crock, etc.) Let sit 12 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, pour through a coffee filter. (I've discovered that the yogurt cheese inserts for my yogurt maker double as a perfectly sized insert for use with a filter over a tall glass. You can also just line a small strainer with a coffee filter.) Dilute to taste and serve over ice. (The recipe suggests equal parts water and coffee, but I like equal parts milk and coffee, with a splash of cold water to keep it from growing too much hair on my chest.)
The really funny thing? BB still isn't sleeping through the night, alas, but I swear that since I've started up my morning coffee she is sleeping for longer stretches. Sometimes a whole 4 hours!