Have to Try: Home Brewed Iced Coffee

I know many of you can't imagine starting your day without a hot cup of coffee.  I get it, but I'm not one of those people.  I'm not a morning person, by any means, but I've just never lived with a coffee maker and developed the habit.  That is not to be interpreted as I am not a coffee drinker.  I just don't have the means for it at home. So I usually get it from a shop or at work.  Plus, now that I have a toddler to chase around in the mornings while trying to get us out of the house, having a hot drink on hand is not ideal.


But I do love iced coffee.  I usually prefer a cold drink by the time I can actually sit and have a drink (after the toddler-wrangling), and it's a bit easier to transport in a spill-proof container.  I have learned the steps to properly home-brew my own cold coffee, and is the easiest thing ever.  I shake my head at myself for ever forking over the $4 per beverage to Starbucks. You don't need any fancy equipment, just a pitcher and strainer/filter.

The Thing To Know: Iced coffee is not simply hot brewed coffee over ice. I mean, you can do that, but its not the method to get the best tasting result.  Hot-brewing raises the acidity level which brings out the highs and lows of the flavor, but doesn't translate over well once cooled and diluted with ice.  Cold-brewing has a lower acid level, so you have a smoother-tasting coffee.

This takes a few minutes to prepare, but needs to steep for half a day.  But you can make a batch on the weekend that will make enough to get you through the week, because it will keep.

What you need:

  • A pitcher
  • a spare container, bowl or pitcher
  • A coffee filter & fine mesh strainer
  • 4 1/2 oz coarsely ground coffee
  • 3 1/2 cup cold water
  • Extras: milk/creamer, sweetener, ice

What to do:

  1. Place the coffee grounds in pitcher, add the water, stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap and let steep at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to one day.
  2. Line the fine-mesh strainer with the coffee filter and fit it over the spare bowl/pitcher.  In batches, slowly pour the coffee into the filter until all of the liquid has passed through the strainer.  Discard the grounds & filter.
  3. If your coffee is now in a bowl, transfer back into the original pitcher AFTER you wash it clean.  If you used a spare pitcher, you can leave it there.  Cover pitcher and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.

How to Serve:

  • The coffee you have made is very concentrated.  For each cup of iced coffee, dilute the concentrate with milk or water to your liking, and doctor as you like.
  • Pour over ice.
  • To get a coffee shop take on it, sweeten with simple syrup (recipe here.)
  • Enjoy!