New Orleans-style Iced Coffee

Spring is here! A glimpse of what summer has to offer peeks through the sleet, sun bursts and hail. Cherry blossoms litter the street with petal snow. Though these chaotic weather patterns are exciting, this is the time of year when my patience runs thin, I start longing for heat of the Deep South where I spent my formative years.

Part of this desire is a taste memory. I start craving the thick vanilla infused iced coffee with chicory that enticed me into leaving the house every morning in the 90° heat.

This New Orleans style iced coffee, as it is known, was served in most coffee shops down South over ice with milk and a hint of Melipone vanilla. Though I’ve found this style of coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco, I have yet to find it in Portland. So in my nostalgia, Marigold is attempting to recreate New Orleans style iced coffee in my new home Portland.

For the first round we used coffee without chicory.  We picked an Ethiopian Sidamo from the Shyoe co-op and an Indonesian coffee from Flores Bajawa Ngura. To make the coffee we used a Toddy brewer, using about half the coffee and water for a normal batch. After 12 hours we strained it.

As a side note: There is some debate about how the filtering effects the flavor of the coffee. The toddy makers use a matted cloth type filter but some people prefer to strain the coffee with a mesh screen. Check out this New York Times article for more info.

After straining the toddy we tasted them over ice. Then with milk and finally with a simple syrup/ White Pine vanilla mixture.

Alone the Sidimo consisted of berry notes, fermented tea, bergamot and malt. The Flores was more grounded with notes of bitter chocolate, thyme and toasted green tea.

With milk the Sidimo worked pretty well as the acidity was balanced leaving the florals and sweet malt flavors in the drink. The Flores subtle notes were dimmed with milk- I preferred it alone.

And finally the sugar and vanilla combination. I’ve had New Orleans style with and without sugar or vanilla. Blue Bottle does theirs with a little simple syrup so I thought I would try it out. I think I’m going to leave the sugar out next time because it covers the flavor profile of the coffee. The White Pine didn’t have the flavor of Melipone so I am going to wait for my bottle to come in from New Orleans and try again.

Next time we will add the roasted chicory and Melipone to our Cafe Femenino Chiapas toddy.