How to Make Fizzy Coffee or Tea in Your SodaStream
Okay, you know you've been wondering about making carbonated coffee or tea in your SodaStream; however, you might not also know that carbonating anything but water will invalidate your warranty, and has the possibility of making an enormous mess in your kitchen. However, there is a safe and easy way to make carbonated coffee or tea with your SodaStream, without violating the manufacturer's instructions, and all it takes is one inexpensive extra piece of equipment and one extra step to make your dream of fizzy espresso or chai come true without endangering your warranty, your device, or the cleanliness of your kitchen! And let me tell you, there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than fizzy iced tea. It's really that good!
What's the Secret?
We take our cue from Italian sodas: add the flavorings after carbonating the water. But nobody wants to end up with weak coffee or tea, so the trick is to make a super-concentrated version of your desired beverage. And that is easily enough done with one very inexpensive (although time-consuming) extra step: you need to cold-brew your coffee or tea.
Cold-brewing is very easy and makes incredibly concentrated coffee or tea. In addition, if you have problems with coffee being too bitter or too acidic, cold-brewing will solve most of your problems. You don't need special equipment, because you probably already have everything you need at home already in your kitchen.
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You really don't need a system to cold-brew coffee or tea, but if you feel more comfortable with one, I've used the Ronco system shown here for six years, and it hasn't let me down yet. I liked it so much I bought one for my parents, and they use it too.
How to Cold-Brew Coffee or Tea
Cold-brewing is a very simple process. All you will need is some kind of glass container, some kind of filter, water, and coffee or tea. You merely take twice as much coffee or tea as you would normally use, add the amount of water you would normally use, put this in your container, and let it sit at least overnight. You can either leave it unrefrigerated or put it into the refrigerator; if you put it in the refrigerator you will eliminate the step of chilling it later.
The longer you leave this to brew, the stronger it will be, but after too long, coffee and tea will both start to taste bitter or sour. I recommend leaving it overnight at first, and then checking by taking a small sample with a straw every eight hours. (Put the straw in the drink, hold your finger over the end, put the straw over a glass, and then release your finger from the end to let the drink pour into the glass, then sample. That way, you'll avoid getting bacteria from your mouth in the drink.) When you get to a concentration you like, you'll know how long to brew your coffee or tea the next time.
When you have gotten your coffee or tea to the right concentration, pour off the liquid through some kind of filter into another container (preferably also glass). You can use a coffee filter, cheesecloth, a clean kitchen towel reserved for this purpose, or any kind of strainer you have in your kitchen (I have a superfine-mesh strainer that works just fine). If you're really concerned about a stray coffee grind or tea leaf, repeat the process until the liquid is absolutely clear.
Once you have your concentrate, simply pour carbonated water in a glass, and add your coffee or tea concentrate to taste. I must say that I live in a hot climate, and fizzy iced tea is perfectly lovely!
This little stovetop espresso maker (it's actually called a "moka") will make very strong coffee that is not bitter. It's perfect for using with carbonated water from the SodaStream and makes wonderful coffee in any case. Don't do anything but rinse it out, and use filtered water.
One More Method
When I lived in Italy, we used to be served coffee in cups that were just slightly larger than a thimble, and I always wondered how they got their coffee so strong--it poured like syrup and that tiny cup of coffee would keep me going all day. The secret is a vacuum pot that you use on the stove, and it makes coffee so strong that it will (fill in whatever your family said about strong coffee here—my grandfather said it would put hair on my chest).
Now for the Fun Part!
Now you have your brewed coffee or tea, which will be like a syrupy concentrate. Charge up a bottle of water with your SodaStream, and pour the carbonated water into a glass bottle with a secure stopper, then add your coffee or tea to the strength you desire. When you're ready to drink it, if desired, sweeten your beverage, or add cream or milk, or both, and you have the perfect icy-cold fizzy coffee or tea for those hot summer days! Your SodaStream will remain under warranty, and you'll have the drink you want!
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