Cold brew coffee...if you're not on the train yet, are you even really a coffee drinker? I remember my first experience with the sweet, sweet nectar. It was approximately 2008 when I was living in Davis, CA mostly racing my bike and enjoying the agricultural scene I was immersed in. The farmer's market in Davis is one of the highlights of the week each week, especially in the summer, given the abundance of local produce grown within a stone's throw of the town. When summer temps in California's Central Valley reach consistently into the triple digits, hot coffee is simply not an option. Wandering the farmer's market one afternoon I stopped by a local coffee roaster who poured me a sample of their cold brew coffee and my mind was officially blown at the bold and smooth flavor. Since then, I've been on board in a big way.
To borrow (and totally change) a line from Carl Sagan, "if you wish to make a cold brew coffee smoothie from scratch, you must first invent the universe...then brew some cold brew coffee." This is actually about as easy as can be. So how do you make cold brew coffee? You simply pour cold (or room temp) water over coffee grinds and let them sit for about 24 hours. Below is my "recipe" for cold brew coffee, which includes a sprig of mint. This is a trick I picked up somewhere along the way which imparts a subtle but great complimentary and rounding flavor to the beverage.
So why make a cold brew coffee smoothie, anyway? Well, for a number of reasons, really. This recipe is partly in response to the recent (yet seemingly waning) obsession with bulletproof coffee in some athletic circles. If you aren't familiar with bullet proof coffee, it's essentially blending butter into coffee (which was seemingly done as a marketing scheme and used as the launch pad for Bulletproof branded coffee items). For the coffee purist, blending butter into good coffee hurts the head. But don't get me wrong, blending butter into hot coffee tastes great, and certainly provides you with energy (fat is basically pure energy, after all).
But to be perfectly clear, although recent guidelines around cholesterol have changed, and the exact role within the body is not completely known, eating excessive amounts of cholesterol-rich foods is still probably not a great idea. The long term effects of dietary cholesterol are not completely understood, and adding a few hundred calories from fat to your coffee every day is probably not the best thing you can do. I'm just speculating here...but my gut (and belly fat) leads me to believe this is the case for most people and those are calories you can probably go without.
But, when you use a high quality protein source like Primo Smoothie, which contains a delightfully delicious blend of protein, real food and gluten free carbohydrates, healthy fats, plus a whole array of other micronutrients, you will be getting sustained energy plus the energy boost from the caffeine in the cold brew coffee. Day in and day out we think this is better than eating butter.
One clear benefit of using cold brew coffee in your smoothies over hot coffee is the fact that it's...um...cold. Brewing coffee and pouring it directly into a smoothie just doesn't work well. To make it cold you typically have to load it up with ice, which dilutes the coffee and makes it bland and weak...no fun for anyone. During the warm months I just keep a jug of cold brew coffee on hand so I can use it for smoothies or for my afternoon coffee in general. The rich, smooth, and bold taste of cold brew coffee was made to pair with Primo Smoothie protein mix...so give it a shot if you're looking for a bit more of an energy kick out of your breakfast protein smoothie or lunch / afternoon smoothie snack. This can also be a great pre-workout boost, or an afternoon pick me up to reduce grazing before dinner and keep your energy levels high and steady to finish your day strong.
Here's the recipe:
Cold Brew Coffee Protein Smoothie Recipe
For the cold brew coffee:
-Coarsely ground coffee grinds (similar to what you'd use for a French press) - use about 1 tablespoon to 6 oz water. I prefer a light roast for cold brew.
-Sprig of fresh mint (optional but recommended)
Combine all ingredients and let brew for about 24 hours. Remove mint sprig and toss. Strain cold brew coffee into another container using a sieve. If you want to get really fancy, you can run through a cheese cloth or coffee filter to remove all fine particles.
For the Cold Brew Coffee Smoothie
-8 oz cold brew coffee (or more to taste)
-4 oz vanilla almond milk (or any other preferred milk / milk beverage)
-1 ripe banana
-1 T almond butter
-2 scoops Primo Smoothie
Blend and enjoy!