Coffee + Cardamom Popsicles [and more important things]

I watched a TED talk a while ago from Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, called, "The Danger of a Single Story." If you haven't seen it yet, stop reading and watch it. It's way more thought-provoking than a blog post about popsicles.

OK, now that you've watched that...

In the first few minutes, Adichie comments about British and American stories she read as a child, remembering how the characters often talked about the weather - which was rarely a topic of conversation for her in Nigeria. I had to laugh (and cringe a bit) when I heard that because it is so true. It can sometimes be a verbal crutch; when we don't know what to say, we talk about the weather.

I have to admit, when I started writing this post, that's the only thing I could think to write about. I kept rereading what I wrote and wondering, "Who cares?".

There's nothing inherently wrong with writing about the weather, but let's just cut right to the chase. We all know it's hot out. We all know that popsicles are delicious. And we all know that popsicles made with coffee are even better. Go ahead and make these now, and enjoy them with friends while discussing something other than the the inspiring TED talk you just watched.

Coffee + Cardamom Popsicles
Yields about 12 (3 ounce) popsicles

1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups cold-brew coffee concentrate (see recipe below)
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom

Mix all ingredients together in a blender. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. If you don’t have popsicle molds, you can freeze the mixture in ice cube trays or small paper cups. When the mixture is slightly frozen, stick a plastic spoon or wooden popsicle stick in each compartment and continue to freeze.

Remove popsicles from their mold. I usually run a little hot water along the outside of the mold to make this easier. Serve and enjoy!

Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate

My favorite way to brew coffee concentrate is to use a Toddy Cold Brewer. However, if you don’t have a Toddy, here’s an alternative method that uses a French Press.

1 cup coarsely ground coffee (I love beans from FreshGround Roasting)
4 cups cold water

Add coffee to a French Press. Pour the cold water over the grounds, ensuring that all of the grounds get wet. Let the coffee steep overnight, or for 8-16 hours.

After coffee has steeped, use the plunger on the French Press to strain your coffee. Pour brewed coffee concentrate into a container that can be covered and stored in your refrigerator. Leftover concentrate can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.