Enjoy your summer cups of iced coffee in the comfort of your own home using this easy cold brew method, and save money during each sip!I can't even count how many cups of iced coffee Ben and I have drank this summer. We've been brewing our own cold brew coffee for a few years now, but the recipe I shared with you back then needs a bit updating. After going through a few different summers of enjoying our favorite beverage, I now have the process perfected right down to the little pitcher we store it in. (I found it at HomeGoods.)
Why cold-brew coffee? I can give you a few reasons:
- It's less acidic than brewing hot.
- Smoother taste.
- Ready to go when you want it, no waiting for a hot brew.
- Less expensive than buying at a coffee shop. We calculated that our homemade iced coffee costs just $.75 for the Grande size at Starbucks!
- No fancy equipment needed.
- Easy, no fuss.
You will want to pick the right type of beans for your cold brew. Go for a bright, Latin American roast with hints of cocoa and nuts. Buy WHOLE beans and freshly grind them. After testing a few, our favorite is the Pike Place Roast from Starbucks.
We do not have a large coffee grinder, and it would be a pain to do it myself in our small one, so I buy the beans from our local Starbucks store and ask them to grind the beans for me. They will do this for you for free. Any coffee shop should. Tell them you want a coarse grind for a French press and they'll know what to do!
The method is simple. Once you have your coarsely ground beans, place them in a large pitcher or container and pour in the room temperature water. Gently stir with a WOODEN spoon (NOT metal)!
Cover and let it brew at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. I just place mine on my countertop and let it sit overnight.
When ready, strain it through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, paper towel, or a filter. (I recommend the cheesecloth or paper towel the most. You will need to change out the paper towel, though, during the pours). The coffee filter method pictured above takes FOR-ev-AH! Drip...drip....drip. 😉
That's it, people! You now have your cold brew coffee concentrate! Fill your cup with ice, pour in the concentrate half full, then fill the rest with water or milk! You'll have to experiment to figure out the ratio of coffee to water/milk that you like. My favorite is something like ½ concentrate, ¼ water, ¼ milk...then I add sweetener to taste.
Speaking of sweetener, soon I'll share a recipe for liquid sugar you can add to your iced coffee so you're not dealing with the gritty texture of sugar!
Cold Brew Iced Coffee
- 8 ounces (half of a 1 lb. bag) coarsely ground coffee beans (We prefer Pike Place Medium Roast from Starbucks)
- 6 cups filtered water , at room temperature
- 1 gallon container or pitcher
- Wooden spoon
- Fine mesh strainer
- Cheesecloth or paper towels
- Large bowl
- Place coffee beans in at least a 1 gallon sized container or pitcher. Slowly pour the 6 cups of water into the container, over the beans. Gently stir with a wooden spoon, just to saturate all beans. Cover tightly and let set at room temperature for at least 12 hours and no more than 24 hours.
- Line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth or a paper towel. Set over a large bowl. Slowly pour some of the coffee through the strainer and allow to drip through. Change out the paper towel as needed. Continue to pour the liquid through until only beans and just a little liquid is left in the pitcher/container. (Stop before the bottom beans start dropping into the strainer.)
- Store in a covered pitcher or carafe in the fridge. To use: Mix desire amount of coffee concentrate with desired amount of water or milk. Sweeten to taste with choice of sweetener. I mix about ½ cup of coffee with ¼ cup water and ¼ cup milk, then sweeten to taste.
Make within 1 week of grinding coffee for best flavor.
Let coffee shop grind the beans for you, for free!