Now that I am a single cup convert for my hot coffee at home, I think about the issue of waste a lot. We’ve covered the issue here before. Still, this is a great article that I found in one of my local papers. It’s worth the read.
Single-cup brewing is the hottest and most lucrative sector of the coffee market nationwide, but it’s also producing massive amounts of trash.
In a previous blog I mentioned that I had gotten a tip that making ice cubes from brewed coffee will help chill your iced coffee and not water it down as the ice melts.
Since I bought my ice cube trays and started doing it this way, I’ve enjoyed very chilled iced coffee. I like drinks that are either piping hot or icy cold – tepid is not my thing.
However, I was recently discussing cold brewing with a colleague who has also just gotten into it. He loves the cold brew but had a different experience using the coffee ice cubes.
He told me that his dad bought him special trays called Fred & Friends Cool Beans Ice Cube Trays that were specifically made for making coffee cubes. My friend tried them out and admitted that he didn’t really like them.
Here’s an email from him.
I think there were two things:
1. It was a little messy to use, only made 8 ice cubes, and they were a little bit of a pain to get out. Plus, and this could have been the coffee I used or something else, but they were a little bit ‘tacky’ or ‘sticky’.
2. The ice cubes (or ice beans, I guess) were fairly large and it was difficult for me to get my straw down into the cup. The straw was blocked at the top and I really had to jam it in there. I used a double-walled Starbucks iced coffee cup with lid and built-in straw, so if you’re not using that, then it mitigates this problem.
I also think because my coffee is right out of the fridge and because I use the double-walled cup, I don’t have too big of an issue with melting ice. Thus, this item is attempting to solve a problem that I don’t really have.
I agree that maybe he was trying to solve and issue he didn’t really have. But for others, even based on the info he provided I don’t think I would use the Cool Beans trays. Only eight cubes is not much and if you have only two trays you’ll be making ice everyday (or at least I would be) just keep up with cold brew consumption. The trays are also pricey at $8 and $10 each.
Also, they don’t have a lid. That means the coffee ice could be either absorbing odors from the freezer or putting off their own smell. I recommend that the coffee ice cube trays have lids.
As for the drinking receptacle; I use the same cup for my hot and cold coffee – a Contigo 20oz. thermal, no spill cup. I don’t have the problems cited by my friend with straws (there isn’t one) and I can keep my cold brew icy cold for hours. Even after sipping on the cold brew all morning (with small refills, of course) the ice that I started the morning with has barely melted.
Just a reminder, here are the ice cube trays that I am using from Joie (about $5 each).
I would love to hear from you if you have another tip or a better solution.