I’ve been sick and home from work the last week and all weekend with a sinus cold, which I get every year right about this time. I had been planning on posting my iced coffee recipe last week and was excited to have more time to work on it since I was home, but when I’m sick with a sore throat type sickness, coffee is one of the last things that I want. And when something doesn’t sound good to drink or eat it’s not a lot of fun to write about it. But at the same time I’ve been a little torn because it’s been in the mid-80’s all week which is the perfect time to make a nice sweet iced coffee. So I held off on writing this blog until the idea of iced coffee didn’t seem so painful for my throat.
I love iced coffee but I used to always make it the way that seemed to make the most sense, which is brewing a pot of coffee and sticking it into the fridge to cool down. Making it that way never seemed to taste right though, and that’s because there’s a much better way to do it! Cold Brew Coffee is definitely the best way – or at least the best tasting way to get that nice iced coffee like you would at a coffee shop.
All you need to make this happen is course ground coffee that you love, water, a large bowl, mesh strainer and cheesecloth. What we’re going to make is a coffee concentrate so you’re going to use equal amounts of water and coffee and let it “brew” for at least 8-12 hours.
Stir the grounds into the water and then cover for 8-12 hours. It works better if you can make the coffee grounds course, because it’s easier to strain out of the liquid. If the grounds are too fine it will be difficult to strain them out and you’ll end up with a pile of ground coffee at the bottom and it’ll make the coffee bitter.
After 8-12 hours lay some cheesecloth over the mesh strainer and put that over a large bowl or pitcher. I usually strain the liquid twice just to make sure there aren’t any grounds left and use a new piece of cheesecloth each time.
There’s going to be a lot of grounds on the bottom of the bowl and you don’t need to sift those, just dump them out.
And you end up with this glorious coffee concentrate – just shy of 2 quarts. Now you can drink it right away, but I usually like to let it cool down in the fridge first.
I like to keep the coffee concentrate as is in a sealed container, but you could also pour it into a very large container and fill it with water to dilute it. I just don’t have that large of a container or space so leaving it as a concentrate makes more sense to me.
When you’re ready to drink it, put ice in a glass and pour in a small amount of the coffee concentrate and then fill it most of the way with cold water. If you’re adding in flavor and/or cream make sure to leave room for that as well. This is sort of the part where you have to experiment a little. If you like your coffee stronger then use more concentrate and less water, and vis versa if you like it weaker.
And then add in your cream and flavorings! If I was to go to Starbucks I would get an iced coffee with classic syrup, vanilla syrup and cream. So I am replicating that at home with a simple syrup, vanilla syrup and half and half.
Simple syrup is just equal parts water and sugar that’s been simmered until the sugar is dissolved and then cooled. Put this into a container and into the fridge to use as needed.
I used between 1-2 pumps (1 pump = 2 teaspoons) of each syrup and then topped it off with half and half.
It’s delicious and tastes just like a coffee from a coffee shop! It’s perfect for a hot afternoon pick me up and I love that it’s so easy to make without having to spend the money at a coffee shop.
P.S. I don’t think I mentioned this earlier BUT make sure you use a GOOD brand of coffee. This isn’t the time to use coffee from a can, no offense to anyone who does, but splurge a little on some good coffee. You’ll be so happy that you did!
- 10 cups water
- 10 ounces course ground Coffee
- Flavored syrup
- Simple syrup
- Half n Half
- Stir the course ground coffee into the water and let brew for 8-12 hours.
- Cover a mesh strainer with cheesecloth and put that over a large bowl or pitcher. Pour the coffee liquid through the strainer to strain out the grounds
- Put coffee concentrate into a sealed container and cool in the fridge before using.
- Pour about half a cup of the concentrate into a large glass filled with ice and then add in 1 to 1-1/2 cups of cold water then top off with syrup and cream if you want.
- special equipment : mesh strainer and cheesecloth