How to: Cold brew coffee

iced coffee by CoffeeGeek @ flickr

iced coffee by CoffeeGeek @ flickr

I’m sitting here sipping on my very first cup of cold brewed coffee. I was originally exposed to this concept by my cohort Keesha awhile back on her blog. The idea is that brewing coffee without using heat extracts all the delicious flavors (and caffeine) but only about 10% of the acid and oils leaving you with smooth, tasty iced coffee that’s not harsh or bitter. Plus, this lets you make coffee with zero electricity- talk about green!

To top it all off, it’s arguably easier than traditional brewing.

How to cold brew iced coffee:

1. Add coffee grinds to a jar, glass pitcher or other container. I opted for my French press and it works great. Use about a 1:4 coffee to water ratio.

2. Add water, keeping the above ratio in mind.

3. Cover and let sit. I left mine overnight, but 12+ hours is recommended. Some say that 24 hours is even better. I’d probably agree, as mine could have stood to be a bit stronger for my tastes. I opted for a little plastic wrap on top of the press, rather than the metal plunger.

4. Press or strain. Using the French press made this process very simple and tidy, but if you are without you can use a food strainer to get the majority of the grounds, then re-strain with a coffee filter to get any finer silt out.

So what’s the verdict? I’m sold. One of the benefits of this method is that you can refrigerate in bulk and keep it on hand as needed- and your coffee wont go bitter like it would if you refrigerated a heat-brewed pot. I can bet there will be a pitcher of iced coffee in my fridge keeping me caffeinated through this long Arizona summer!

Cold brewing has some accessories, too. It seems like the general consensus is that the Toddy Cold Brewing system can’t be beat. This cold brewing pot does all the steeping and straining for you. It runs about $35 on Amazon.

Toddy T2N Cold Brew System

Toddy T2N Cold Brew System

I went purist for my first cup and had a splash of cream and a spoonful of sugar.  Any awesome drink recipes to share using cold brewed coffee?

  • Singlelife2wife

    That looks great! I usually just brew it and throw in Ice Cubes, but this is way more fancy! I may have to invest! Thanks for the post!

  • Kendall

    This is so cool! I never would have thought to even try cold brewing coffee. Thanks for sharing!


  • Jamie

    Wow! Looks so delicious. I must do this also. Thank you so much for these useful procedure. Now, I will be able to make one for myself. =)

  • Kim H

    Holy whoa. Made this and I can’t believe how awake I am. It doesn’t give an instant kick like hot brewed coffee does, but wow does it keep you awake forever.

    • Molly

      I know right?! I love the extra energy I get from it.

  • Jennifer Apple

    use maple syrup as sweetener, dissolves better than sugar and is yum!

  • Rebecca LeFevre

    Make Viatnamese Ice Coffee. Brew your coffee strong 1:2 ratio, add a can of sweetened
    Condensed milk after straining. Mix regular milk or soy milk 6 oz
    To 2 oz of coffee base. Yum!!