I thought about starting this post by telling you how much you’d save in a summer by making your own iced coffee. It works out to roughly $150 if you assume you purchase three iced coffees per week over a twelve week summer. And then I’d go on to tell you how easy it is to make cold press coffee and enjoy the best iced coffee ever at home, but it didn’t feel right. It felt rushed, and coffee shouldn’t be rushed or stressful, or tarnished with calculations and figures. It should just be really, really delicious, even if it’s really really hot outside.
A few years ago, I rolled my eyes at iced coffee. I thought it was literally old, cold coffee, or a diluted regular hot coffee over ice. It just didn’t seem appealing until in my mandatory continuing education reading to maintain official coffee snob club membership, I read about cold press coffee. And then I tried it. And now I’m hooked! You see, I was making iced coffee all wrong!
If you want to be technical about it, the best iced coffee is actually made by pouring cold pressed coffee concentrate over ice. You could buy coffee concentrate at the store, but then you don’t get to enjoy your favorite local roast, and where’s the fun in that? So I teach you, and after today you’ll know how to make your own cold press coffee like a pro! Look at you, all barista-like and awesome.
Cold press coffee is also GENIUS if you are looking to reduce your sugar intake because the long steeping time actually helps reduce the bitterness brought out from the beans via traditional brewing methods. The flavor is really fabulous, and has just the right strength to be satisfying, even with the addition of ice or milk/cream.
Are you ready?
First, start with your favorite whole bean coffee. Fresh ground coffee is really important here to get the best flavor, so I highly highly recommend it. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to purchasing ground coffee again. We received this Cuisinart coffee grinder as a wedding present 9 years ago, and it’s great! We use it every weekend for our morning French press coffee. Speaking of, you’ll also need a French press. We have two, a larger one that we use when we have company or make coffee for the two of us, and a smaller one I use when it’s just me. I couldn’t find a link to the one we have now, but we used to have this Bodum press.
We also have a smaller one, and we recently acquired two of these nifty travel French presses. The travel presses are actually one of my favorite things for busy mornings when we want weekday French press. They keep my coffee hot for hours, and it doesn’t get bitter. They’d probably work for cold press too, but you couldn’t add ice, which is part of the appeal for me. And honestly, this is kind of a long process, so I would recommend making this in the biggest French press you own and storing the extra. It keeps up to 5 days in the fridge, although we thought the flavor changed a bit by day 4.
Grind out the proper amount of coffee for your coffee maker, about 1 tablespoon/7 grams per 4 ounces. The desired consistency is like really grainy sand, or coarse sugar. It takes us about 5 1-second pulses on our coffee grinder. Then, place your freshly ground coffee in your coffee maker and top with cool, filtered water. Stir briefly, then place the lid on your coffee maker with the plunger in the “up” position, and wait.
After the brewing time has passed, press the plunger down to filter the grounds from the water, pour out your desired amount of coffee, add milk, sugar, or cream if desired, and enjoy! Keep in mind that this is concentrated, so you won’t need as much coffee as a standard cup to get a nice strong flavor. If you’re a fan of the blended coffee drinks, you can use this concentrate in those as well.
See how easy that was?
- Whole bean coffee beans
- Cool, filtered water
- Coffee grinder
- French press
- Measure out 1 tbsp (7 g) coffee per 4 ounces of capacity in your French press.
- Grind the beans to a very coarse sand consistency, about 5 pulses on your grinder.
- Place the beans and the filtered water in your coffee maker, stir, and cover, leaving the plunger up.
- Wait 12-24 hours for the coffee to brew.
- Press down the plunger to filter the grounds from the water.
- Mix your favorite iced coffee beverage!
- If you've made extra concentrate, store in a sealed jar or flip top bottle in the refrigerator up to 5 days.