The only thing that I love more than cats and skincare is coffee. Iced coffee, specifically. It is an essential part of my life, and the whole day feels wrong if I don’t have it.
This, combined with spending most of my teens and 20s working as a barista, means that I have done a lot of experimenting with iced coffee brewing methods over the years.
If you like iced coffee, but you just can’t seem to get it right at home, let me help! Today I’m going to share three of my favorite ways to make amazing iced coffee in your own kitchen, no complicated equipment required.
If you like iced coffee but just can’t seem to get it right at home, here are three ways to make amazing iced coffee in your own kitchen, no complicated equipment required.
1. Overnight Cold Brew Concentrate
When I’m feeling up for a bit of extra effort, this is the way I prefer to make iced coffee at home. The basic idea is to let an entire bag of ground coffee soak in two gallons of water overnight (up to 18 hours works best, but try for at least 12).
You can get as fancy with this as you want, but you don’t have to overthink it if you just want something relatively quick and easy. You can use any type of coffee that you want, but I think that it tastes best with a dark, rich blend!
Once the coffee has steeped in the water for 12 to 18 hours, all you have to do is place either a reusable cheesecloth or a couple of layers of paper towels into a fine mesh strainer, and slowly pour the coffee through the strainer. This gets the grounds and most of the sediment out of your coffee so that it’s ready to drink right out of whatever pitcher or dispenser you strain it into! (It’s normal for this step to go slowly. Be patient, and don’t let the coffee overflow out of the strainer.)
The end result is a pretty concentrated cold brew, so you’ll want to be sure to dilute it either with ice or cold water!
I use The Pioneer Woman’s process, so check out her post for step-by-step instructions.
I drink a lot of coffee, so this lasts me a couple of weeks. If you’re not a big coffee drinker, you can halve the recipe, but steep for the same amount of time!
2. Instant Espresso Powder
This is my current go-to iced coffee method because it’s smooth, delicious, and super easy. I like Cafe Bustelo’s instant espresso, but Medaglia d’Oro and Pilon are tasty too. Instant espresso isn’t the same as instant coffee (which I really just can’t get behind, sorry guys). The powder is much finer, and the taste is so rich and smooth that it genuinely surprised me the first time I tried it.
I don’t like to put much ice in my iced coffee, so I use two heaping tablespoons per 8 ounces of water. You can adjust the ratio up or down according to how strong you like your coffee to be. My favorite part about using espresso powder is that it dissolves well in cold water. I find that using a shaker bottle works best, but you can just vigorously stir as well.
3. Cold Brew Coffeepot
If the Pioneer Woman’s method seems a little too intense, but you’d prefer a little more control over the strength and type of iced coffee, then I think this cold brew carafe is a perfect middle ground.
This Hario carafe is the one I use, and it works perfectly! You just fill the strainer with coarse coffee grounds according to the instructions (I use extra for more flavor), and then slowly pour water over the grounds until the carafe is filled.
For the best tasting iced coffee, I recommend starting with about 8 ounces of hot water. Slowly pouring hot water over the grounds first allows them to “bloom,” which is what releases all of the flavorful oils and compounds in the grounds. Finish the pour with cold water, and let the carafe steep for 8 to 12 hours. When you’re ready to drink it, you can just take the strainer of grounds out of the carafe and pour the coffee!
I like that the strainer is reusable too, so you can just dump it, wash it, and pop it into the carafe when you’re ready to brew another pot.
How Do You Brew?
I’m always up for trying new ways to enjoy coffee. Iced coffee is my one true love, but I’ll drink any coffee once! Drop your favorite brews and variations in the comments!