Iced Coffee Recipe: Cold Brew Is Even Easier Than You Thought

04/05/2013 09:02 am ET
Flickr: jerryluo0520

I made a declaration in my house this morning: "This is the last week for hot coffee, man. From here on out, it's all iced coffee." My husband raised an eyebrow in suspicion. The weather in New York may not be ready to cooperate, but iced coffee is getting made. I'm ready. In case you are too, let's talk about how much easier and low-maintenance iced coffee is than hot coffee (especially if you are the type who loves to drink iced coffee, but is for some reason afraid to make it yourself).

I'm not going to sugar-coat this: this is the last iced coffee recipe you will ever need. If you're thinking to yourself "who needs an iced coffee recipe?" -- congratulations, skip the rest of this article and go make yourself iced coffee. Everyone else, we're here for you!

There seems to be some mystery surrounding cold brewing iced coffee. I'll admit, before I realized how easy it was, I was totally apprehensive about doing it. It sounds like something coffee nerds have a secret formula for, that involves a vacuum and a temperature-controlled room. I can say, without reservation, that it is one of the easiest things I've ever done in my kitchen.

Here are things you do not need to worry about regarding iced coffee:

  1. Owning a coffee maker: Don't make iced coffee in a coffee maker.
  2. Chilling your hot coffee down fast enough: Like cooking anything, heat changes the chemistry of coffee, it brings out oils that can taste bitter. It also shrinks the grounds down, making it harder to filter, which can make your iced coffee feel a little gritty. Do not cook your iced coffee.
  3. Buying pre-made, concentrated iced coffee syrups: Guys, this is easy. Save your money and do it at home.

Here is what you need:

  • A French press (you can really use anything that will finely strain liquid, but a French press is easiest and does double-duty for hot coffee in the cooler months)
  • Whole coffee beans, the more recently roasted, the better
  • A coffee grinder
  • Water
  • Time

Here's what you do:

  1. Grind your coffee beans to a medium grind (you'll want to use a little less than double the amount of beans you'd use for hot coffee) and put them in your French press.
  2. Fill the press with water (we use filtered in our house because I like the way it tastes), and give everything a stir to incorporate. It doesn't matter whether this water is cold or room temperature, it just shouldn't be hot.
  3. Cover your French press with either foil or the top of the press (just don't plunge it yet), and leave it on the counter overnight.
  4. In the morning, plunge your press to strain your coffee.
  5. Pour over ice.
  6. Enjoy. Feel awesome. Sit in the sun.

The more you make it, the better you'll figure out exactly how much coffee you like to use. That's it! Go out into the world and cold brew!

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