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Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee

Cold-brewed iced coffee retains more nuanced flavor than coffee brewed hot and allowed to cool. Make the coffee a day before serving so it can brew for at least 12 hours. For the best flavor, use freshly ground coffee. Dark-roasted beans, such as French or Viennese roast, will produce a full-bodied flavor, while medium-roasted beans, such as breakfast or American roast, will yield a less intense flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground coffee
  • 4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (save pods for garnish)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Ice cubes for serving

Directions:

In a pitcher, stir the ground coffee into 4 cups water. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to overnight.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the vanilla beans, milk and sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer and immediately remove from the heat. Let steep for about 20 minutes.

Select 4 tumblers. Strain the coffee through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Strain again through a coffee filter into a large, clean pitcher. Fill the glasses with ice cubes. Pour the coffee into the glasses, filling them to within 1 inch of the rim. Top each glass with 1/4 cup of the vanilla-flavored milk.

Garnish each drink with a vanilla bean pod and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).