• Ron Snell

Cold Hard Grounds

For some yet to be discerned reason our daughter recently asked me how we make our coffee. She likes coffee and knows that I know nothing about it; hence the uncertain motivation. Still, since she asked, here is my response: I think we should start a coffee shoppe.


Name: Cold Hard Grounds Tagline: Coffee that tastes like you. Like it. (I've been experimenting with the punctuation in the tagline. Not sure I have it right yet. Thoughts?)

Buy a 100% polyester Under Armour Tank top. Wear it three years while sweating, cutting trees, swimming in the ocean, and drying off the dogs. Let it sit in a room with a whiff of mildew for another year.

Buy a large, tall glass jar with a lid and a spigot, gallon size. Think of a mason jar on steroids. Get a tape measure and read the diameter of the hopefully large opening at the top.

Go to the beach and look for round, flatish rocks that will fit through the opening. Resist the urge to get rocks that are too big in the deceptive belief that your tape measure is lying and surely these rocks will fit. They won't. Neither rocks nor glass have any give to them.

If your rocks are laced with mercury or residual oil spill or raw sewage from the nearest river, they should have some redeeming quality like beautiful color, or cool texture, or a cat's face barely discernable in the pattern. You might want to boil them before you use them.

When the tank top has been properly seasoned, dig out an old sewing machine with a high tolerance for operators who don't know what they are doing. Also get a pair of scissors that will cut eventually if you persist. Or a sharp machete.

Make a "sock" that more or less fits into the jar top to bottom and almost as big around. This is all rather approximate. If your sewing machine gathers it all up here and there into a tight bunch because you might not have the tension correctly adjusted, call it a "pleated sock."

Now that you have your materials, put the rock in the sock and write a Dr. Seuss book about it. "The Rock in the Sock." (I'm not going to explain the need for the rock. Just try it without it and you'll understand.) Lower the sock with the rock into the jar and put in your preferred amount of coffee. Ours is about a cup and a half. "About" because sometimes Tammy measures it.

Add water. Before it gets all the way full, use a whisk to make sure the grounds are well stirred into the water. Otherwise they float like a little island of fire ants desperate to not get their feet wet.

Let sit in the fridge for 18 hours. Or 12 hours. Or 24 hours. You know Tammy--she totally understands the implications of the space/time continuum. If nothing else, just leave it there until you need it or you see a new life form in it.

Then simply lift the sock out of the jar, put the jar back in the fridge, and use until almost empty. Almost because some of the mercury and oil spill and raw sewage will undoubtedly have leached out of the rock into the coffee and left a sludgy mess at the very bottom. Kidding!!! Everyone says cold brewed coffee is less acidy. I just like that I can mix it 50/50 with chocolate milk and a bit of vanilla in the mornings for a cold cuppa mocha.

Now go and buy another tank top and start seasoning it. Socks only last so long when we sew them.

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@2018 by Ron Snell.