Keeping cool in style

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We don’t use central a/c in our home. Let me repeat that as you gasp at our 40th 100F degree in a row. We don’t use central a/c in our home. There are a variety of reasons for this but it really changes how we interact with the outside world and our environment.

In working out how to keep cool during the day we take frequent quick showers just to rinse off. We wear very little clothing around the house and it’s not uncommon for me to wear what I jokingly refer to as my bikram panties around the house. In the middle of the day we do very little, usually read or watch programs we enjoy. Any real work is usually done after the sun goes down or possibly very early in the morning.

I enjoy drinking coffee and tea and love these warm beverages in winter. When summer comes around I can’t bear drinking more hot beverages except occasionally tea. I find the warming qualities of hot tea make me sweat and therefore cool off rapidly. When I’m not in the mood for hot drinks I reach for the cold stuff.

This leads me to cold brewed coffee and tea. Yum!

On a hot day there’s nothing quite as wonderful as a glass of cold brewed green tea over ice. The green tea is full of antioxidants and is extremely healthy as a beverage. The caffeine content is negligible and I find green tea makes me mentally alert without being speedy like coffee. I don’t sweeten mine but you can use a simple syrup to sweeten it gently. Cold beverages don’t allow sugar to dissolve very easily so I make them for these beverages. For cold brewed coffee I make a simple syrup out of turbinado sugar.

Cold brewed coffee recipe:

1 gallon of water
3/4 to 1 lb. freshly ground coffee beans on medium grind (you can use plain ground coffee if you choose)

Steep in a large bowl overnight. Anywhere from 12-16 hours. Strain through a fine mesh and store the cold brew in the fridge for up to a week. Different recipes change the amount of coffee, this makes a strong enough brew for myself without being amped. Experiment with the steeping and amount of grounds you use. Keep in mind that you’re serving it over ice which will water it down some and adding some sugar or creamer is a choice if you care to. It’s wonderful on a cold day.

You don’t need high quality beans for cold brewed coffee, this extraction method means you extract less of the overall bean and particularly the oils that make high end coffee from a french press or espresso so yummy. Cold brewed coffee is very smooth and clean while being particular nutty in flavor.

12-13 tea bags of green tea
1 gallon of water

Steep overnight in the fridge. 8 hours will do the trick. Remove the teabags and store in the fridge for up to a week.

You can make this with any tea you like. Try an oolong or something more flavorful. I like green and white teas for their flavor and health properties but make what appeals to you.

Simple Syrup recipe:
1 part turbinado sugar
1 part water

Add your sugar to the container then pour nearly boiling water over it. I use a glass jar or bottle. Stir till dissolved and refridgerate. Will keep for around 2 weeks.

You can make this with any kind of sugar you like but I prefer using a slightly less refined sugar like turbinado but again use what you like.

I hope these simple recipes help you deal with our summer heat. Keep cool out there.

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