Metarie Avenue Iced Coffee

During the American Civil War, Coffee was a scarcity. So the inventive folk in Nah'Leans cut it with roast Chicory to keep the same flavor and lower the cost.

This wasn't a new idea, the French have been serving Coffee and Chicory (actually the root from a Curly Endive - a lettuce found at high end markets) since the 17th century. As you well know, Louisiana is more French than English, so they copied the idea. After the war, they kept tradition, and still serve it this way.

Coffee and Chicory is a little tricky to brew.  Cold Brew, French Press or Drip are the best methods.  If served warm, it only has peak flavor for about 20 minutes, then the mellowness of the chicory can give way to a bitterness (like a woman, scorned.)  Brewed Cold, it tends to dance around the bitterness and develop a choclately smooth, smokey - but not bitter taste.

So that's the history of the iced coffee that greeted me when I ordered it at a little dive on Metarie Ave. in New Orleans.  The shop is long since gone, but the recipe (which they freely divulged) lives on.
Instructions: You'll need a 2 quart pitcher and a 1 quart sealable container (for the finished coffee concentrate)  You'll also need a portable coffee filter.  One of those that you can put a #4 paper filter in and just do a pour over.

Empty half the freshly opened can of coffee into the 2 quart pitcher.  Add the filtered water. When you only have two ingredients in this step - make sure they are both fresh.  Place in fridge overnight.  About 8-10 hours.  In the morning, strain the coffee through the filter and put it in the final container.  You probably need to filter it into a measuring cup or other container first.  I like to put it in an amber glass bottle - because it looks awesome. Snap on the top and you are ready to go.

Mix up anytime by adding 1 part coffee to 1 part milk (or soy, goat, almond, rice, flax, acorn, almond or mother's milk...) Sweeten to taste. Simple syrup is best because dissolving regular sugar in cold coffee is next to impossible.  Everything you need to make it is linked below.

Item Amount
Cold Brew:
Cafe du Monde Coffee and Chicory 1/3 can 
Water 1½ quarts
Iced Coffee:
Cold Brew Coffee 1 part
Milk 1 part
Simple Syrup to taste

Tips: If you can't find Cafe Du Monde, try Community Coffee and Chicory.  Not quite the same, but it will do in a pinch.

Low-Fat Options: Maybe use skim milk?

Things you may need: