Thursday, June 7, 2012

Easy Iced Coffee at Home

So, I've been a bit busy lately -- I haven't disappeared, I've just been preoccupied with a couple things: first, a top secret project that I'll share with you later on Friday (woot!) and second, I've been too busy sucking down homemade iced coffees to type. Priorities, y'all.

Have you ever tried making iced coffee? If you're anything like me the experience left something to be desired. I likes what I likes, but unfortunately I needed to reign in my beverage budget so I started researching to figure out where I was going wrong (seriously, it sounds so simple: iced. coffee. how was I going so wrong?). 
I stumbled upon a little technique called cold brewing and as I read more about it I learned that the process creates a really smooth, less acidic cup of coffee -- and there are products that will do it for you but you can also easily make it without any special equipment.
So now you too can be sucking iced coffee down in the comfort of your own home like it's going out of style!

To make the coffee concentrate, buy some strong ground coffee. It's best if it's coarse ground as it'll be easier to strain out later, but anything will do. I bought fairly inexpensive coffee and it turned out fabulously. Use 2 oz. of ground coffee for every 1 quart of water. Bonus points if you have an ugly stained coffee pitcher.

No shame here. Ugly pitcher owners unite!

After the coffee and water are mixed, give the sludge a quick stir and let it sit out on your counter overnight. Give it plenty of time to work its magic.

Side note, I love the word sludge. It's so fitting for this mixture.

The next morning it's time to strain. If you're fancier (or more organized) than I am and have (or can find) cheesecloth, line a mesh strainer with it and separate the coffee from the used grounds. But as you can see, a paper towel will also work in a pinch!

Stick the coffee concentrate in a pitcher and refrigerate it -- this concentrate will last for several weeks, ready at a moment's notice to come to your iced coffee rescue. Once it's cool pull it out and let's get to work! 

I'm going to share the way I make iced coffee with the understanding that I don't care for overly sweet things and I was looking for a way to keep the caloric damage to a minimum while still making it creamy and delicious. Feel free to make your iced coffee as naughty and sweet as you desire.

First, fill a cup with ice:

Fill it about 2/3 full with coffee concentrate:

Add about 1 tablespoon flavored creamer or syrup - I used sugar-free hazelnut creamer and it was pretty awesome. Just sayin'.

Finish by filling the remaining space in your cup with milk or half and half (even the fat free kind) - I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk because that's what I drink and it's super delicious and as a bonus it has less calories than regular cow's milk. Score.

Sooo good. Tastes just like I bought it at a coffee shop, but I didn't. Mwahaha. And my version has about 40 calories.

Has anyone else noticed that straws make the drink go down approximately 170 times faster? It's okay, make yourself another one. 

You know you want to!


  1. Not an iced coffee drinker but this looks delicious

  2. YUMMY!! I love iced coffee, but can't stand paying the exorbitant prices for something that should be relatively cheap. I'm gonna have to try this. Thanks for doing the experimenting for me and thanks for sharing!!

  3. Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely be making this!

  4. You could probably use a coffee filter in place of the cheesecloth too.

    1. ...and we have a genius amongst us. Look at you, Jeri. I can't believe I didn't think of that :)

  5. YOu need to look into a Toddy Cold Brew System.. it does the same thing you did but just easier. I have been using it for years. I also make my iced coffee just like your but use sugar free french vanilla :)

  6. This looks amazing and easy! Much better than my watered down hot coffee on ice :) (I also got here via YHL and am glad I did!)


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