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Take some stale day old cold coffee from a pot and poured over ice. Voilà! You have made ice coffee.
Admit it, you’ve done it. This is the ABSOLUTELY worst way to make brewed iced coffee. Fortunately we have four solutions for you that are way better.
If you enjoy brewed iced coffee you’re not alone. I started to become a convert which is why I researched and wrote this article.
According to the National Coffee Association, the percentage of Americans who drink iced coffee beverages increased from 20 percent in 2003 to 29 percent in 2004. Following the popularity of cappuccinos and mocha lattes, consumers are discovering that coffee is just as tasty – and even more refreshing – when served cold.
Cold brewed coffee can be a little smoother than regular ground coffee. What will happen is that the cold water will extract the coffee flavors but will not extract the bitter compounds and the fatty oils that are present in the beans.
Coffee made using this method was originally called iced coffee. This method was invented in 1962 by a chemical engineer, Todd Simpson, and his company is still around today (It’s called Toddy Products).
Just as with hot coffee, you can experiment with different beans and roasts. Here is a great way to try different coffees:
Iced coffee can be as easy to prepare as iced tea. If you’re not a purist and you enjoy a little variety, there are tons of options open to you limited only by your imagination.
A variety of options, such as flavoring syrups, cold milk, chocolate and spices, allow you to create personalized coffee concoctions that are just as delicious as those served in your favorite cafe.
General Cold Brewed Coffee Tips:
Before we discuss the four general methods of cold brewed ice coffee, I thought it would be a good idea to provide some general trip tips about the brewing process in general.
- Use filtered water. using high quality water is a fundamental to good coffee brewing. For personal drinking I use distilled water, but for coffee making use filtered water. Coffee needs “live” water to properly bring out the flavors.
- Chill and steep coffee for at least 12 hours. don’t cheat the clock at this step hot water causes the chemical reactions to brew to occur quickly. In a cold environment the stain same chemical reactions will occur but much more slowly they need the time.
- Use coarse ground coffee. Coarse ground coffee will make it much easier to strain when the brewing process is over. It’ll also prevent sediment and sludge from getting into the iced coffee.
- Many use a French press. using a French press will ensure you get the most labor from your coffee. Also, with one push of the plunger your coffee is filtered and ready to be enjoyed.
Method #1 For Fast Cold Brewed Iced Coffee | Coffee On The Go
This method is primarily for individual or small serving sizes. If you’re on the go and are looking for some fast cold brewed coffee this will work for you. Although not a true cold brewing method, this method has the advantage of speedy preparation.
The trick to this method is to brew double strength hot coffee, rapidly chill it without diluting it and adding ice.
To make double strength coffee, simply increase the amount of coffee you would normally use for your cup by 100%. So, if you use four scoops of coffee for half a pot you would now use eight scoops for half a pot and so on.
Another way to accomplish the same goal is to use the same amount of coffee but cut the amount of water you would use in a half. This seems a little backward to me, but it would still work and preserve the idea of double strength coffee.
Now that you have your extra strong coffee you can add ice cubes to it too rapidly cool it. As the ice melts, your coffee will be diluted from double strength down to normal strength. You will now have an enjoyable ice brewed coffee at proper strength you can fix up to your liking.
This method allows you to overcome the problem of having watery coffee by simply pouring left over coffee over ice. That coffee is normal strength and will be diluted down to dishwater. Yuck!
Method #2 For Cold Brewed Coffee | True Cold Brew Immersion & Infusion
This method of preparing cold brewed iced coffee requires a little bit of preparation ahead of time. That’s the bad news. The good news is you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to pull off some great ice coffee.
Basically, you’re going to add cold water to coffee grounds and let and refrigerate until it is ready.
There is some distinct advantages to cold brewing coffee using this method:
- First off, it is super simple to do.
- You can make small batches, or scale it up and make large batches, it’s up to you.
- Once you get your own personal formula down, you can consistently replicated over and over.
- There is no unpredictability.
Although there is a lot of hoopla about cold brewed coffee having less acid the normal hot brew this is not necessarily true. But, in fact, in this case it is true. The fact that it is steeped slowly at low temperatures produces a low acidity coffee that still has a smooth mellow flavor.
Let’s get right to it.
Here is a recipe for cold brewed ice coffee. This may be a little concentrated. You can play around with adding more a wise coffee or water to get the flavors exactly to your preference. The flavor of the coffee can also be “diluted” by how much cream or milk you might add.
Recipe for Cold Brewed Coffee 9 Immersion & Infusion Method).
- 1 measuring cup (8 0z) of COARSE ground coffee
- 1 quart (4 cups) COLD water
- Mix coffee and water together.
- Chill in refrigerator for at LEAST 12 hours.
- Strain out grounds.
Easy Peasy right?
Method #3 Cold Brewed Coffee (Slow Ice Drip Method)
The slow ice drip method for creating cold brewed ice coffee is a bit more difficult than the two previously mentioned. It requires some investment in equipment and time. It is also a bit more difficult to “get it right”.Yama Glass 6-8 Cup Cold Drip Maker Curved Brown Wood Frame
Some upscale coffee shops may have a display of the large ice drip coffee set up. There is equipment you can purchase for home use that is not quite as elaborate but utilizes the same basic principles.
All that being said why do people do it? The answer is simple it produces an exquisite cup of cold brew. This method is perfect for somebody who is a bit of a coffee connoisseur and has moved into the ice coffee realm.
Slight adjustments to the technique in terms of time, beans, and methodology can create very subtle differences. If you are great experimenter and are looking to really explore the world of coffee via cold brew ice coffee this may be worth exploring.
There really is not a standardized recipe that can be utilized for all I strip makers. Unlike a French press, or the immersion method which uses fairly consistent ratios. Each ice drip system is different.
A basic guideline would be a water to coffee L ratio of 10 to 1. The drip rate should be one drip every 1.5 seconds. The steep time can be from 6 to 12 hours.
We suggest you follow the manufacturer’s suggestions as a baseline method and then experiment from there.
Grey Cold Bruer Slow Drip Cold Brew G2Recipe:For Bruer Slow Drip Cold Brew G2 Shown on the left
- Coffee: 50 grams
- Grind: Medium-Coarse
- Water: 550 grams
- Water-to-Coffee ratio: 11:1
- Drip rate: 1 drip per second
- Steep time: 10 hours
Method #4 For Cold Brewed Iced Coffee (Japanese Iced Coffee)
This method of brewing iced coffee is extremely similar to the first method presented. The principles are the same. The differences are and methodology and precision. This method allows greater control over the finished coffee.
The primary principle that is the same is that you will be hot brewing double strength coffee. We will be using a pour over coffee maker. These are simple: filters and filter holders that allow you to pour the hot water directly on the coffee and it do drips through into a container. The most common examples are Melita or Chemex.
Check out this video to see cold brew coffee made with a Chemex
- 16 ounces water
- 8 ounces ice
- 30 grams coffee (about1.8/ounce of water)
- Place the ice in the bottom container.
- Place the coffee in the filter and filter holder.
- Fix the filter holder containing the coffee to your container and pour the hot water into the coffee allowing it to drip through onto the ice.
- Just about all of the ice will dissolve.
- Store in refrigerator.
Starbucks Style Iced Coffee Recipe:
- 2 shots (3 oz.) espresso
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 Tbls. pectin
- OR 1 tsp. pectin + 1 tsp. arrowroot
- 1. Stir sugar into espresso.
- Cool mixture.
- Stir milk and pectin into espresso mixture until pectin is dissolved.
- Fill a glass with ice and either serve mixture over ice,
- or pour glass contents into blender and blend for 30-45 seconds. Enjoy!
We hope you enjoyed our little journey into the realm of cold brewed coffee. There is an obvious similarity to regular brewed coffee. You can make it is simple or as complicated as you like. The refinements in nuances that are available in regular brewed coffee transfer right into the world of cold brewed coffee.
Whichever method you choose to use to brew your ice coffee is entirely up to you. It is your choice whether to go down, dirty, quick and easy or to go for more time-consuming elegant and subtle process. Whichever way you roll we hope we have provided you with enough choices so that you can pick one that is just perfect for you.