How to Stay Caffeinated in a Snow Storm
Aaaggghh! All of the local weather forecasts are touting the latest Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, or Snowtorious B.I.G. and you’re just rolling your eyes. What’s the worst that’s gonna happen—school gets canceled, or you work from home, and everyone gets to have a fun, cozy snow day? Yup, it sure could go that way. It could also be a freak weather event that throws your local resources for a loop and all of a sudden you have no power in your house. That would be sucky enough to deal with on it own, but ooops! No power also means no coffee. Unless, of course, you planned ahead.
No one likes feeling paranoid, but just think of this as channelling your inner Boy Scout or doomsday prepper, in a fun way. Though coffee might seem like a rather minor thing when your pipes have frozen solid and all the lights are out, it’s a small bit of normalcy that can keep you from going off the rails until order is restored—or at least stave off that nasty caffeine headache so you’re not snapping at everyone in your path. And it’s easy to have some already made or ready to brew.
If you don’t mind the idea of day-old coffee, brew a pot or two and store it in the fridge or freezer. Should the power cut out, you’ll want to minimize the number of times you open the door in order to keep the contents cold for a while, but if you’re worried about the milk or cream spoiling, stock up shelf-stable milk or nut milk, or stash it in a lidded container outside in the tundra. Then, either embrace the unseasonable iced coffee, pre-charge a heated mug, or use some of your precious car battery to warm it up via a USB cable. We all have our priorities. You can also buy bottles, cans, and cartons of pre-made cold brew and dole them out as needed.
It’s also entirely possibly to cold brew coffee at home, but first, make sure you have some clean water on hand. This isn’t the water you filled your tub or sink with to flush the toilet or wash things. This is either bottled water you bought at the store, or water you cleverly thought to filter and squirrel away in used two-liter or handled jugs for such an occasion. And coffee fetishists, unless you have the wherewithal to hand-grind beans in this time of need, just consider this your dress-down day and go with coarse, pre-ground coffee.
If you have a French press on hand, pour half a pound of ground coffee into it and top with five cups of cold water. Cover it, place it somewhere cold, and press the plunger after eight hours. Dilute the brew with water and ice to your liking. If you don’t have a French press, stir the water and coffee grounds together, cover, chill, steep, and strain through cheesecloth or a strainer to remove any grounds. If the brew isn’t strong enough for you, feel free to add more coffee grounds or steep for longer.