Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

Update 4/2014: Be sure to check out my new, improved cold-brewed iced coffee tutorial with step-by-step instructions and lessons learned since first posting about cold-brewed iced coffee.  

I started making my iced coffee this way a couple of years ago, thanks to this New York Times recipe that convinced me to do so. You add coffee grounds to cold water and let it sit at room temperature for several hours. Then you strain it through a coffee filter, and the result is a deep, rich, dark, and caffeine-packed glass of iced coffee. It’s a concentrate, so you’ll want to dilute it with water unless you’re in need of a serious buzz. And trust me – this stuff can pack a serious wallop.

I use a ratio of about 2/3 of the concentrate to 1/3 water, stir in a spoonful of sugar and some half-and-half, and finally I plop in some coffee ice cubes. Then I smile because life just got a little sweeter.

And a lot more energized.

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee
Recipe Type: Beverage
Author: Kare
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 12 hours
Total time: 12 hours 5 mins
Serves: 8 servings
Add your favorite ground coffee beans to cold water, let it sit, strain and then enjoy several glasses of deep, rich, dark, and caffeine-packed iced coffee. It’s easy and way cheaper than your Starbucks habit. Not that I know anything about Starbucks addiction. Ahem.
  • 1 cup fresh-ground coffee beans (a robust bean and a medium grind works best)
  • 4 cups water
  • Ice or coffee ice cubes
  • Sugar or brown sugar (optional)
  • Milk or half-and-half (optional)
  1. Add the coffee grounds and the water to a large jar or pitcher. Stir. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or up to 12 hours.
  2. Strain through a coffee filter or a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. I use a funnel and coffee filter and strain the coffee right into the glass bottle I store it in.
  3. To serve, mix one part coffee mixture (it’s quite concentrated) with one part water in a tall glass, leaving room for ice. Stir in sugar and milk/half-and-half if desired, to taste. Add ice or coffee ice cubes. Serve.
  4. Cold-brewed iced coffee concentrate keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Adapted from the New York Times


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Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.