Today’s “Home Brew”- Secret to great iced coffee without great expense

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I love my coffee, especially when its strong and rich with a bold flavor minus the acidity which, in my mind, detracts from the flavor.

Now for those of you not from ’round here, the South is said to have four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas. Based on this, you can imagine that there are times of the year when a iced coffee is relished far more than hot.

If you’ve ever tried to make iced coffee at home, you know that its not as easy as pouring coffee over ice. You end up with a watered down version of coffee which becomes even more watered down and weak when you add milk or sugar. Still, there has to be a better option than heading out and paying someone $5 for a few minutes of divine caffeinated pleasure – and there is. ~smiles~ Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate.

I’ve been making this “home brew” for over two years now, much to the delight of myself and Mama. She recently started making her own but until then I’d brew up extra and share my “special recipe” with her as well. I can only imagine what the neighbors thought when Mama’s car pulled up to my driveway and I’d run her out a mason jar and send her on her way. Come by either of our houses at any given time and you’ll find pint sized mason jars of “the recipe” in our refrigerators ~giggle~. I feel just like one of the Baldwin sisters….

Cold brew coffee is brewed in cold water on your counter top for a period of about twelve to fifteen hours, depending on the strength you prefer. Coffee brewed using this method has significantly less acidity and far more full bodied flavor than coffee brewed with the traditional hot method.

One of the pitys of coffee for me has always been that it never tastes as decadent as it smells. Cold brew brings you closer to this flavor than any other method I have come across. Whats more, cold brew coffee made at home rivals anything bought in a coffee house at a tiny fraction of the price – I actually like my cold brew better!

This concentrate is not just for iced coffees though, you can easily use it to make hot coffee in the morning without the fuss of brewing. This is perfect for those who have problems with traditional coffee being too harsh on their stomachs. Simply mix equal parts concentrate and water (or vary proportions to taste), heat and go!

This concentrate will easily keep a month or more in your fridge with no change in flavor and you know if I’m showing you how to do it, you aren’t going to need any fancy schmancy equipment either.

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You likely have all you need at home already. I prefer to grind my beans fresh but you can certainly use pre-ground coffee. However, if you’re looking to amp up your coffee experience, I strongly suggest buying beans and grinding it fresh before each brewing, be it cold brewing or hot. You’ll find the difference is extraordinary! A grinder such as this one can be picked up for around thirty dollars or so. This is my Hamilton Beach one, of course!

I use a quart sized (32 ounces) canning jar to brew my coffee in and then store it in pint sized jars. You can use a plastic pitcher or container for this as well if you prefer. I like to brew mine in glass as there isn’t the risk of tainting my coffee with another flavor this way.

  • Container to brew coffee grounds in
  • Strainer
  • Coffee filters (largest size you can find)
  • Coffee beans and grinder or pre-ground beans
  • Bowl to strain coffee into

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You’ll need 1 cup of ground coffee.

coffee-012Place grounds in jar

coffee-013Fill jar with water.

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I leave about an inch of head space at the top.

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Place lid on jar and give it a little shake to make sure all grounds are wet.

Now just sit the jar on your counter for at least twelve hours.

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Once the time has passed (I usually brew mine at night and strain it in the morning), place your strainer over a large bowl. You can also use a collander for this if you prefer.

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Line strainer with a coffee filter. These are the type for twelve cup coffee makers, the largest I could find.

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Pour coffee in the filter and let it strain through a little at a time.

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This is after I’ve strained about half of my concentrate. I usually go through two filters when I do this. Throw your first filter away and replace with a clean one before pouring the remainder of your concentrate. It will take some time for all of your concentrate to strain out. I usually let it sit for about half an hour before pouring the remainder so it takes me about an hour to have my concentrate all strained and ready.

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Using this method, a quart sized jar yields about a pint and a half of concentrate. Now mixing it up is purely a matter of taste but I am going to show you how I make mine purely as a point of reference.

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Four ounces of concentrate…

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Four ounces of milk…

Skim, Whole, 2%, whatever cranks your tractor.

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Fill with ice and add three packets of Splenda and I’m a happy gal!

Honestly, this beats any iced coffee I’ve ever had away from home. Its rich, flavorful, and completely decadent.

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Cold Brew Coffee

  • 1 Cup ground coffee
  • 32 ounce container (1 quart)
  • Strainer
  • Large basket type coffee filters

Place ground coffee in container, fill with cold water. Cover and let sit for twelve to fifteen hours. Place strainer over large bowl and put coffee filter inside. Slowly pour over about half of the coffee and let sit until strained. Replace filter and repeat.

To make regular coffee: place equal parts coffee concentrate and water in cup and heat.

To make iced coffee: Place equal parts concentrate and milk in glass. Add ice, sweetened as desired. You may find my preference for iced coffee a bit strong for you so leave room to add some water to weaken it if need be!

Today’s “Home Brew”- Secret to great iced coffee without great expense

Today’s “Home Brew”- Secret to great iced coffee without great expense

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup ground coffee
  • 32 ounce container (1 quart)
  • Strainer
  • Large basket type coffee filters

Instructions

  1. Place ground coffee in container, fill with cold water. Cover and let sit for twelve to fifteen hours. Place strainer over large bowl and put coffee filter inside. Slowly pour over about half of the coffee and let sit until strained. Replace filter and repeat.
  2. To make regular coffee: place equal parts coffee concentrate and water in cup and heat.
  3. To make iced coffee: Place equal parts concentrate and milk in glass. Add ice, sweetened as desired. You may find my preference for iced coffee a bit strong for you so leave room to add some water to weaken it if need be!
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This has been a very busy week at home with the kids and their activities. I hope to get caught up on emails and comments this weekend! Thank you all and have a fabulous Friday!

Gratefully,

Christy :)

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.

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Comments

  1. Lori Ewing says

    I have been doing something similar to this for a couple years, too, when the expense got to be too much! I use milk and hershey’s syrup to my concentrate. Have it every morning!!! Yum!

  2. Carol says

    Christy, thanks for the brewing method for iced coffee! I ran across a travel lid for mason jars in case you are interested. They are called Cuppows. Don’t ask me why the odd name, but you can google it and find them if your interested.

  3. Robin says

    Christy, I found a blogpost, via pinterest, of course ;) (http://cravingcomfort.blogspot.com/2011/07/last-iced-coffee-recipe-youll-ever-need.html) that has something very similar. I’m just about addicted to the stuff. Do the same, cold-brew coffee (1 pound coffee to 1 gallon water, I think it was), and the cream she uses is 1 can sweetened cond. milk with 1 can evap milk. store that and the concentrate in the fridge. So easy, and soo tasty.
    Just had to share, since yours is so very similar. Coldbrewing is easy, especially doing it overnight. ;)
    love your blog!

  4. Laura L says

    I tried this…it is wonderful! My daughter loved it too. I especially like that we can individualize our coffee to the way we like it (she likes her especially sweet, not me!) Thank you for this method!

  5. Donna K. says

    I’d never had iced coffee. Hot and expensive, yes, but never iced. Until last week and that was from a golden place. It was good. But it was expensive. But then I remembered your recipe. I tried it. I was hooked. I’m on my third batch in a week. I’ve made it with evaporated milk and 2%. And I’ve added sweetened condensed milk. Love it! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Margaret Filler says

    I love that your recipe for iced coffee is for 1 quart. For cream I use a blend of 1 can fat-free sweetened condensed milk & 1 can fat-free evaporated milk. I’m sure this saves me many calories a day.

  7. Lacey says

    I just made this since it’s been too hot lately to drink regular coffee. All I have to say is OHMYGOODNESS!!!!! Vanilla ice cream, some caramel sauce, maybe a little chocolate syrup, some of this wonderful stuff and a splash of milk should be just right this weekend when it hits 100…..again!!!

  8. Newsitian says

    I use my French Press Pot for the same purpose. For the 12 cup pot, I put in seven scoops of either Community or Cafe du Monde decaffe with chicory and let it sit overnight. The next morning, down goes the plunger and I have yummy stuff. That usually gives me right at a quart of liquid. I mix that with an equal part of filtered water and then mix that in equal parts with milk. I then drink all of it in two days. By using the Press Pot, I skip the coffee filtering part and things move along much faster.

  9. Stephanie Gianniny says

    Hi Christy, I read somewhere about using coffee ice cubes when making iced coffees. I don’t drink coffee so I’ve never tried it but it makes sense. It would keep your coffee from getting watered down:)

  10. Margaret Filler says

    After experimenting with different ways to cold brew, this is my system. I brew in a qt Ball jar. I strain into a 4-Cup Pyrex with a fine mesh strainer. The first 2 times I do not use a filter. It flows quickly and you catch over half the grounds. If you do not shake the jar…and pour slowly, many of the grounds will remain in the jar. The next time I use a coffee filter. It takes less than 5 minutes to drain my coffer in the AM. I love iced coffee!

  11. Sylvia J says

    I can always count on you Christy to help me make my favorite drink. I just went to McDonalds to order their unsweetened iced coffee. I get a lot of flack when I order this and have to repeat unsweetened. Now I have quart and pint canning jars and some coffee beans. Tomorrow Iʻll be a very happy lady making my own! Thank you, thank you. Iʻm going to share this with a lucky classmate of mine. He took over his grandfathers coffee farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. Bet heʻd love some of his own iced coffee.

  12. Debbie says

    Oh my word, Christy! This is delicious!! Gotta figure out how to make it by the gallon!! This little container doesn’t stand a chance around here! LOL :) Thanks so much for this awesome recipe!!

  13. Canice says

    The straining process goes quicker if it is done in a 2 part process.
    First, strain the steeped coffee mixture to get the majority of the grounds out – without a filter – then rinse the strainer and insert a filter for step 2, and get the remainder of the grounds, including the fine particles out.

    Adding Stevia Herb to the brewing process would sweeten the coffee

  14. Linda says

    I have been doing cold brewed for about a year now & love it. I also freeze some of it into ice cubes and then it doesn’t dilute from the regular cubes. I found plastc screw lids that fit on Mason jars and my old wide mouthed Miracle Whip/ mayo jars. They have them for pint and quart sized jars and are wonderful because you don’t have any rusting. Don’t you miss the glass jars from mayo that they used to have? I guard my old ones with my life. Also I strain my coffee through a Mellita one cup coffee maker with 2 filters – strains right into another jar and I don’t have to change filters while straining.

    .

  15. heidi says

    omgoodness this is great! Coffee always gives me such a stomach ache. I tried this and I will NEVER drink regular hot brewed coffee again. This didnt hurt my stomach at all. I strained mine thru the reusable filter in our coffee maker. I poured the cold brew thru the filter into the glass coffee pot. On another site it mentioned to use a few spoons of sweetened condensed milk and a splash of half n half. SOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD!
    thanks christy

  16. Grateful1 says

    Thanks for sharing! This is going to be awesome to make! I’m going to use unsweetened vanilla Almond Milk. Also, Stevia comes in (Alcohol Free) (Flavored too) Liquid, it blends in easier than the powders. The more you use Stevia, the more you want-kind of like building up a tolerance! For the chocolate, I might try making some w/ Ah!Laska organic cocoa mix (non-dairy). Being dairy-free, one gets to improvise! It’s fun, after a while!

  17. Gayle Spears says

    Oh my word! Just LOVE this stuff! I’m on my second batch now – This batch is made with decaf – since caffiene doesn’t always agree with me. ;-) I bought some Dunkin Donut coffee at our local bent and dent. Can’t wait til tomorrow to fix my iced coffee!!

  18. Jennifer says

    Love this! My formula after my morning workout is 4 oz. concentrate, 4 oz. fat free milk, 1 scoop Designer Whey chocolate powder, and 2 packets Splenda with fiber. Mix in blender bottle. Iced mocha and the only calories are 50 or 100 from the protein!

  19. petra says

    Already looking forward to April when it will start getting real hot again here in Florida. I drink your iced coffee all summer long. However I hate the mess it makes and I ALWAYS end up having settlement no matter what. Just found a guy within my area who came up with a great idea. His kickstarter is running as I type this. He shows a plastic model but the kickstarter is to have this made in stainless steal. I usually avoid one use or whatever gadgets but since I drink iced coffee all summer and make a batch every other day I see huge timesaver and especially less mess. Though you might want to share with your readers :)
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/199942821/mason-jar-joe-make-cold-brewed-coffee-in-your-maso?ref=home_location

  20. eliza says

    We still have 3 feet of snow where I live. We are expecting another snow storm tonight. I came across your recipe and I can hardly wait to sit on my deck with a nice cool brew. Hopefully soon. Can’t wait to try it.
    Thanks for sharing.

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