This isn’t my first post about iced coffee, but this topic is so important to my summer sanity that I thought it deserved a second look. If you haven’t tried making your own cold brewed iced coffee because you don’t have a french press coffee maker, give this method a go. It doesn’t take any fancy equipment, it makes a whole week’s worth of coffee (if you drink one cup per day), and it is way cheaper than buying it from a shop everyday.
How to make perfect cold-brewed iced coffee:
1. Gather your supplies
You will need 1 large container to decant your coffee into. I purchased mine at my local grocery store. You can buy one just like it from Target.com or Amazon. You also need 2 large binder clips, 4 cone-shaped coffee filters, 2 clean quart-size glass jars with lids (they don’t have to be canning jars, if you can find one 1/2 gallon jar that would be even better), 1 1/3 cups of your favorite ground coffee, 6 cups cold water, a spoon, milk/half & half/cream and/or sugar (optional).
2. Mix together the coffee grounds and water in the glass jars
Put 2/3 cup ground coffee in each jar. Add 3 cups cold water to each jar and stir to combine. (If you were lucky enough to find a 1/2 gallon jar just put all 1 1/3 cups ground coffee and 6 cups cold water in the single jar.) Cover with the lids and set aside at room temperature for 6-12 hours.
Here’s a tip: If you don’t want to have to measure the water every time, make a mark on your jars with a permanent marker to indicate how much water you need to fill it with.
3. Put 2 coffee filters in the top of your large container
You need 2 filters (one inside each other) for extra strength.
4. Fold the filters over the edge of the container and attach with the binder clips
5. Open 1 jar and use a spoon to scoop out any coffee that is floating on top
This helps make the next step less messy. If you don’t scoop out the floating clump of coffee grounds it has a tendency to make the coffee splash all over the place when you pour it into the filter (believe me, I speak from experience).
6. Pour the coffee into the filter and let it drain into the large container
Only pour enough to fit in the filter–it will probably take multiple pours to get all the coffee through the filter. Don’t worry about getting the coffee grounds at the bottom of the jar into the filter, just pour as much liquid as possible.
7. Clean up & repeat with the second jar
Scoop out the grounds into the trash (or compost bin if you have one) and wash your jar & lid to use again. Carefully remove the binder clips (don’t let the filter fall in) and toss the filter into the trash/compost bin. Repeat steps 3-6 with the second jar of coffee. (If you are using one 1/2 gallon jar swap out the filters halfway through the decanting process.)
Note: You might be wondering why I have you swap out the filters halfway through your batch of coffee. At first I tried using just one filter for the whole process and it ripped and dumped all the grounds back into the coffee and I had to start all over again. Same thing happened when I used 2 filters doubled up for the whole batch and only 1 filter for half a batch. Learn from my mistakes–if you don’t want a mess use 2 filters per half batch.
8. Add your milk/half & half/cream and/or sugar (optional), put the lid on & refrigerate for up to 10 days
This part is really up to you. Add as much dairy product and/or sugar as you like. I personally like a mixture of mostly milk with a bit of half & half for creaminess. I use flavored coffee grounds which adds enough sweetness for me, so I leave the sugar out.
The picture above show how much black coffee you get from this recipe. When I add all the milk and half & half that I like, the container is almost full.
To serve: Fill your glass with as much ice as you like. Pour your prepared coffee over the ice and enjoy!