Cold Brewed Coffee

It’s no secret that I love coffee.  You might even call me an addict but you’d be slightly mistaken because I’m fortunate enough to not get those “caffeine withdrawal headaches” that so many addicts get.  But with the amount I drink, I count it a blessing that I don’t get them.

Every morning I start with a cup of hot coffee, and I keep the coffee comin’ throughout the day.  The routine stays the same in the summer but the details change: I still have my hot coffee in the morning but then I switch to iced coffee later in the day.  Once it hits about 72 degrees, I’m all about iced coffee.  My only issue with it is that it goes down so easily that your glass is gone before you know it!  Am I right or am I right?

I was lucky enough to stumble upon The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for cold brewed coffee and let me tell you, it’s fabulous!  I know she calls it iced coffee, but I feel that it’s a misnomer to do so because so many people just literally put ice in their coffee and call it a day.  I used to do this from time to time with varying degrees of unsuccessfulness.  It is so unsuccessful because all you end up doing is diluting your coffee by adding too much water and if you put the cubes over your hot coffee you’re never going to get the coffee nice and cold; hence the name “cold brew”.  It just more accurately describes what’s going on here so it’s the name I’m going to use.  With cold brewed coffee, you make the coffee nice and strong so that you can add the ice cubes and milk and not worry about ending up with sad, weak coffee.

Here’s how I do it:

1.  Make sure your coffee is fine-ground because it needs to get all up in the water’s business and do its thing.

2.  For every 8 quarts of water, you use a pound of coffee.  I usually halve the recipe so I use 4 quarts water and half a pound of coffee.

3.  Pour the coffee in your container of choice. (I would love to get one of the Pioneer Woman’s storage containers but for now I just use my most giant pot and it works fine.) and then add cold water to it. Cover and let sit for 8-12 hours.

4.  Place a fine sieve and cheesecloth over your beverage dispenser.  I love the ones Target has this summer because their mouths are wide enough to do this.  Last year my dispenser had a narrow mouth and I had to strain my coffee into a different container AND THEN pour it into the carafe.  Too.  Much.  Work.  Moral of the story, just make sure you get a wide-mouth dispenser.

5.  Be patient and pour the coffee in batches.  I dunk my large Pyrex measuring cup into the steeping coffee mixture and pour that over the sieve.  Every once in a while the cheesecloth gets totally gunked up with grounds and you have to shake them out to keep going.  Just make sure you don’t dump any grounds out with too much liquid because you’re wasting your hard-earned coffee that way!

6.  Chill the dispenser in the refrigerator.  The cold press will keep for about 7-10 days.  You’ll know when it’s gone bad just because it won’t taste fresh anymore.  But who’s kidding who; this coffee will be finished in a few days anyway because it’s just so darn good.

7.  The Pioneer Woman also taught me to add sweetened condensed milk to my iced coffee.  Genius.  Apparently this is how Thai coffee is often prepared as well.  It makes sense, we add milk and sugar so why not have that goodness rolled into one?  Oh, but don’t forget to still add some sort of milk because your iced coffee will be STRONG.  I like to add half and half or whole milk.  Some whole milk and sweetened condensed milk?  So.  Good.  Even my husband “Mr. Black Coffee Drinker” likes his prepared this way.  Seal of approval.

It’s like a work of art.

Cold Press


Here’s a printer-friendly version so you can have this recipe by your side always:

Cold Brewed Coffee


2 thoughts on “Cold Brewed Coffee

    • Yup, as far as I know it just sits right there! (That’s how I do it, at least.) And yes, the sweetened condensed milk is ridiculous. Tip: Aldi sells sweetened condensed milk for just a little over $1 which is super darn cheap.

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