It is no secret the love I have for coffee - hot, cold, blended - I will take it anyway I can get it but my first true love was iced coffee, well, iced mochas to be exact but it wasn't til the end of college I actually started to enjoy hot coffee.
In my quest to not turn over entire paychecks to Starbucks I have tried multiple times and ways to make coffee at home but it never seemed to turn out the same. Or maybe the coffee was fine but I missed the "experience" of getting my coffee before work and sipping it at my desk throughout the morning.
Iced coffee is a tricky one. It didn't work to brew hot coffee and pour it over ice. All you got was lukewarm, watery coffee. Freezing coffee into ice cubes was an improvement, but still not the same. I even tried brewing a big batch of coffee and putting it in the fridge to cool but again, it just never tasted right.
A month ago I stumbled upon an article in The Food Network Magazine about how to cold brew iced coffee. They made it look so easy! I had remembered seeing an iced coffee recipe on the Pioneer Woman's website (found here) a few years ago but thought it looked complicated at the time but after seeing this new article I decided to give it a go again and see if I could finally replicate the art of iced coffee.
Serious Iced Coffee
1 cup medium-grind coffee (any kind will do)
1 1/2 cups room-temperature water
That's it!! How many cups you make it up to you. The first time I used 2 cups coffee to 3 cups water just to see if I liked the 1:1.5 ratio. The second time I did 5 cups coffee to 8 cups water (didn't really notice a difference with the extra 1/2 cup of water) but you can can play around with the different water to coffee ration to see what you like. I thought the 1:1.5 was a good starting point though.
Step 1: Measure out your water and coffee grounds.
Step 2: Find a container big enough to hold the coffee and water together (preferably one with a lid as it will be sitting out for 12+ hours). I used the glass container below the first time and actually just made it in the pitcher the second time. Both worked just fine although the pitcher was easier when it came time to separate the water from the grounds.
Step 3: Add your water.
Step 4: Mix it all up.
Step 5: Cover and let it sit for 12 - 24 hours (I waited 24 hours - wanted that coffee to be good and strong).
Step 6: Give it a good stir and then strain into the container you want to store it. To strain you will need to add either cheesecloth or a coffee filter to your strainer to catch the fine grounds.
Step 7: Use your spoon and apply pressure to the grounds to get every last drop of coffee out. Side note - it might drip for up to an hour depending on how large a batch you are using (my second batch took 25 minutes to strain).
Step 8: Admire the delicious smelling coffee concentrate you have just created and refrigerate.
Step 9: To enjoy, mix equal parts coffee concentrate with water or milk over ice and enjoy!
Verdict? AMAZING!! Finally, a coffee recipe that actually tastes better at home. The concentrate is strong so it definitely needs diluting. I personally made mine with one part coffee concentrate, one part 1% milk and a splash of heavy whipping cream (trust me on this) but you can mix it with anything you want! The article even gave a recipe for a coffee frappe which turned out pretty good too - 1 cup ice, 1/3 cup coffee concentrate, 1/3 cup milk and 1 tablespoon sugar (I added a little extra stevia too).
Since the concentrate is already made it is super quick to make in the morning too - no more waiting for the coffee to brew or to fusing with the espresso machine. It is almost too easy (easy refills!)
This cold brew stole my heart and my makes my wallet happy too!
Have you ever been successful at re-creating your favorite restaurant item?
I successfully recreated another one of my favorites, Jamba Juice's Pumpkin Smash Smoothie last year too!