cold-brewed iced coffee

Since I began working from home, I have no doubt I have saved a ton of money by not buying those yogurt-granola cups and salad bar lunches everyday. What I haven’t saved even a penny on, however, is my iced coffee habit. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

iced coffee, my love

Or better, depending on how you look at it. The first month, I spent a lot of time at Starbucks, yet not because I am addicted to their coffee, but the other unspoken the Opiate of the Freelancing Class: Free wireless. But after a few weeks, the loud and generally awful music (greatly compensated for by playing Hallelujah often, however, they’d play the John Cale version and that’s the wrong one and yes, I have digressed this far) and the fact that even at 9 a.m., the bathrooms smelled like a barn. An overcrowded one.

pouring water

Enter my newly-purchased wireless card, and suddenly I have freedom to work at wonderful coffee shops with from Joe to 9th Street to Grumpy to you-name-it, I’ve been to them all. Fair Trade and Clover-made and Sumatra blended coffees, my habit is spiraling blissfully out of control.

i stuck my nose in this

As you can see, I was long overdue to try what will now be, quite possibly, the most complicated recipe on this site: Cold-brewed iced coffee. I started with the iced coffee blend from Joe’s (about 1/3 Sumatra, 2/3 Vienna roast), coarsely ground, mixed it with water, let it sit at room temperature for about 12 hours, strained it, poured it over ice cubes, added water and cream and proceeded to hop and skip around the apartment. And not just from the caffeine.


Where has this been my whole life? If you are an iced coffee drinker, the difference between cold-brewing it and just letting hot coffee cool off is remarkable. The coffee is less bitter, harbors no acidity and all of those background flavors–chocolate, a dark caramelization and even slight smokiness–come through.


For now on, every time I drink this at home I am putting $2 to $3 in a jar, and perhaps a year from now, we’ll actually be sipping our Sumatra coffee from the Indonesian coast. Hear! Hear!

Another day to make coffee: Here’s my other favorite way to make coffee in the summer, circa 2017.

Cold-Brewed Ice Coffee
From The New York Times

Yield: Two drinks

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)
Milk (optional)

1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.

2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

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390 comments on cold-brewed iced coffee

  1. Yholl

    Just mix with room temp water and let sit? You don’t need hot water? This blows my mind. All you need now are those plastic iced-coffee cups with bubble lids because I always think those make iced coffee taste better.

    Btw, have you ever tried boba in iced coffee? Heaven! You can buy the balls frozen or in dried form.

  2. Brilliant! And I’m thinking that the cold-brewed coffee, tossed in a blender with some ice and milk, would make a fabulous Frappuccino replacement. Deb, you are my new-found hero! ;-)

    1. Sonia

      Just so you know, the secret to the starbucks frappucino is the xanthan gum mixed in. If you trying make it, just put a pinch of the xanthan gum in while blending. It will help stabilize the drink. I used to buy xanthan gum off of Amazon but now you can find it in the gluten free section of the supermarket.

  3. This is a great post – I love hearing about coffee passions! I am a big fan of the cold press as well – I usually soak my grinds in a french coffee press and then press when I am ready to go. If you get to San Francisco check out Blue Bottle Coffee at the farmer’s market, they add a bit of chicory to the iced coffee blend and it rocks!

  4. Love cold-drip coffee! Making it yourself really is a money-saver.It’s tastier (IMO) and less acidic than brewed coffee, too.

    You might consider getting a cold-drip rig from Toddy or Filtron to make a pound’s worth at a time. I make a batch every couple of weeks and keep it in a carafe in the fridge. I heat up a cup of milk or water and add the concentrate to it. It’s easy like instant coffee, but super-delicious! I also add it to cold milk to take to work, where I pour it over ice.

    I have pictures of how the Filtron works here.

    1. Cheryl

      I totally agree! Toddy makers are the best, we’ve been making toddy for years before this cold brew craze. It really is the best way to drink coffee.

  5. Jim

    I was introduced to this recipe three days ago and I have made it every day since then and I plan to to continue doing so until the weather renders it silly. I prepare one french press with the coffee/water the night before…and I prepare another as soon as I pour it out. I use the brew that’s ready in the evening to make ice cube with.

    At first I made ice cubes from the concentrated brew like the NYT writer suggests and then added them to my drink 1:1 with regular ice cubes. But the coffee cubes melt faster than the water cubes which throws off the balance. So I turn a ready-to-drink batch of cold brewed coffee into cubes for the next morning’s brew.

    Since this is my first comment I’ll quickly throw in that I love this site, I love the pictures, and I have made about half or more of the recipes you’ve posted since I started reading. So thanks.

    1. This is THE most delicious coffee EVER! Thank you for sharing this gem.
      Your first cookbook is not only great because of the recipes, occasionally, I will read through your intros to the recipes for the sheer enjoyment. Someday I hope you will be recognized as a national treasure.

  6. Whoa. Whoa! I was really diligent about brewing my own coffee all winter, but as soon as summer started I went back to my daily morning visits to the coffee shop on the corner to get it iced. I tried to brew my own at night a few times and let it chill in the fridge but it just wasn’t the same. I am definitely going to try this tonight! Thanks for the idea!!

    BTW, what is your “right” version? For me it’s Jeff Buckley, hands down, but my sister insists the original Leonard Cohen version is better…

  7. Another good iced Coffee that tastes like starbucks is just to make any coffee you like and fridge it and add 2 packets of splenda and 2 tablespoons of Vanilla flavored cream i use sugarfree and then 1 tablespoon of flavorted syrup… its so good.

  8. I started making this last year after the NYT recipe came out. Definitely the best way to make iced coffee!

    Also wondering about the “right” version, agreeing with Joanna on the Jeff Buckley version :)

  9. Cold brewed coffee is, indeed, wonderful. I’m so glad you posted this, I am constantly expounding on the virtues of making this at home and yours is the link I will use when someone wants written-out directions!

    As for other home-brewed beverages, have you ever thought of making kombucha (fermented tea)? It’s something I’ve been meaning to try, but I haven’t gotten around to acquiring the starter for it.

  10. The best part that my missus and I discovered is that it will also brew overnight in the fridge leading to gloriously cold coffee in the morning – especially wonderful on those mornings when we forgot to make ice.

    It’s also really delicious if you add in a bit of honey and cinnamon with the grounds (though that works best if you’re brewing at room temp). We use about 1 1/2 tbsp honey per quart of water.

  11. Chris

    Here’s what I use, and it doesn’t take 12 hours:

    The Aeropress brews some of the best coffee I’ve ever had, and it’s dead simple. And the best part….it’s designed to brew concentrated coffee that you then add water to to make a complete cup, so….for iced coffee…instead of adding more hot water to the cup to dilute the concentrated coffee, just add enough ice to make a full cup of coffee and stir until the ice is melted. Here’s the method I use for 16oz of coffee:

    -Grind 1oz of beans in your coffee grinder and add it to the Aeorpress.
    -Set the Aeropress on top of a 16oz coffee mug.
    -Pour 8oz of 175 degree water into the Aeropress, mix, let rest for 40 seconds, press for 30 seconds.
    -Add 8oz of hot water (for hot coffee) or 8oz of ice cubes (for iced coffee) to dilute to the proper strength.
    -Add you’re desired cream, sugar, flavor, etc.

  12. deb

    To be honest, I think the coolest thing about this recipe is that you need nothing but a strainer and a spoon to make it. That said, I’m surprised by the number of products out there that do the same, but, you know, cost more.

  13. CDG

    Can I still read your site if I prefer the John Cale version? Or the kd lang version?

    And thank you for giving this post to the internets, for those of us upon which the NYT is often lost, due to suburban, newspaperless living!

  14. Oh coffee. I’ve been off of it for 20 months. I used to think I would die without it in the morning, and now I don’t even think about it. Ever. But occasionally I catch a wiff of it and think, Mmmmm? Nahhhhh.

  15. I have to second Chris on the aeropress. We just got one, and I’m LOVING it! the clean-up is practically non-existent – just pop out the ‘puck’ of used grounds into the trash, and wipe the end of the plunger with a damp towel. So much easier and better than a french press. 175 degree water isn’t very hot, so it has the same low acidity as a cold brew.
    Also – Leonard Cohen all the way!

  16. Maytal

    YAY!! Love it!! I may this once a week in a cheap french press I had and then store it in the fridge and drink it all week. I feel like I’m saving $ every time, I should totally follow your lead and put $ in a jar.

  17. I love Leonard Cohen!

    On the other hand, I’ve never even had iced coffee. It sounds like cold coffee, no? How could that be good? But now I want to try it.

  18. Cold-brewed coffee is the best. Having said that, I am guilty of not having made it all summer long (and here we are with fall right around the corner)… might have to make up a jar of coffee tonight for tomorrow!

  19. Dave

    Okay, I love this site and this recipe but what’s with the hate for John Cale? I mean seriously, the guy was the soul of VU and his solo stuff is out of control good. On Hallelujah: Cohen – #1; Cale – #2; Buckley – #3, but it’s pretty close to a tie for all three. The others, I haven’t heard…

  20. Mimi

    Love the cold brew in a french press. However, I would reccommend that if you grind your own, put in whole cardamon pods and powder cinnamon before you grind and get a spicy blend. I discovered this combo at Gramercy Park and have not gone back to regular grind since.

  21. Oh yes. I’ve been spending FAR too much on coffee (albeit good coffee) over the past few months. So, thank you for this recipe! I’ll give it a go this weekend.

  22. cricket

    Yes, I agree with Kit! for those of you with cupboard space, I recommend the Filtron. I keep a carafe of decaf and a carafe of fully leaded in the fridge all the time. In the winter, heat water and add to the concentrate for traditional coffee, or hot milk for cafe au lait, in the summer, cold milk, mmmmmm. 2 bonuses: (1) It *is* less acidic. I learned of the Filtron from my grandmother who switched due to doctors orders for my grandfather for less acidity. I hadn’t known this, I just wanted to know how she, the Kitchen Phobe, made such good coffee. (2) my fathre-in-law and I can now happily drink coffee at the same time — his, watery; mine, dark.

    If you want one and want to help out a New Orleans business, give the good folks at Gentry a call. They had mine up to PA in no time, and gift wrapped ones for my dad and father-in-law in CO and MA several years ago.
    Gentry, 6047 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118
    (504) 899-4223

  23. Picot

    I have had this NYTimes recipe sitting a pile for over a year, and I have not tried it yet. Thank you for reminding/inspiring me. I will put this concoction in a Ball jar tonight.

  24. SAS

    Thank you! Thank you! I love cold press coffee and didn’t realize that it was so easy to make! And I already own a French press, and have several beans at home — also a freelancer who has saved money and kicked the corn-syrup addiction of Mochas from Caribou Coffee — anyway … my favorite coffee is not even local. I live in MN. But check this out — The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie It is actually a foundation that works to grow the beans and bring them to Vashon Island. I am not sure how much of the proceeds go to charity, but the site tells about it. Okay, and the taste is outstanding. I like the Guatemalan Reserve and the Orca Blend the best. Right now they have it by the pound for under $11.00 — a steal in my part of the world.

  25. Seriously, it IS the wrong version of Hallelluia and it bothered the hell out of me – I’m glad I’m not the only one. In fact, I heard yet another version of the song channel surfing (bc I have a tv now, yay) and had to cringe. Oh and isn’t cold brewed iced coffee the best thing ever? I made it all summer long and was going to write about it and ho hum, the fall is here… :)

  26. YES! I have been making cold-brew coffee for two years now, using a French press. It’s great for iced coffee but I even like it for hot coffee (I mix 1 part coffee to one part boiling water, or 1 part coffee to 1 part hot milk for a latte). I’m so glad you posted this so I can point my doubting friends to this post now for backup!

  27. Amazing! I will have to buy some coffee and try this! I live so incredibly close to Starbucks it’s insane, literally a couple yards. And here I thought I was cheating the system by buying the largest cup of regular coffee, putting it in the fridge to cool, and enjoying then at least twice later in the day over ice. This is a better cheat!

  28. Ok, my coffee is steeping as we speak, but I have one question. Can I just press it through my french press (which is where my grounds and water are resting) or will I need to still run it through a coffee filter? I can hardly wait till morning!!!

  29. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while. You’ve inspired me t finally do it! I guess I decided it wouldn’t be that different, but…if you say it’s a remarkable difference, I gotta try it.

  30. TJ

    Lately there’s been lots of blog posts around the world wide interwebs praising the joys of iced coffee and making it yourself. I am not sure if it is a southern thing or maybe a New Orleans thing, but I grew up with the homemade stuff. My parents never owned a coffee maker. Just a toddy (which you can find for sale here at My mother always made this in large batches and used it not only for iced coffee, but you can pour the concentrate in a mug, and add boiled water and/or milk to it. It results in a much less bitter cup of coffee. In fact, it’s pretty much all I drink to this day.

    So I’m really glad home made iced coffee is finally getting its due.

  31. OK, so we DID save a fortune this summer making our own iced coffees. It was hard at first, driving past a starbucks and two Tim Horton’s everyday on my way to work, but when I actually saw the difference in my bank account, and lost a pound at least from not buying the(wickedly dry) oat cake or the morning glory muffins.

    However, I’ve been making hot brewed and letting it cool. If I was short on time, we just added extra ice…which in turn waters the coffee down.

    THIS my love is genious. And I thank you a thousand times over.

    SO, in theory, I could use my French press and have a similar effect…. right?!

    THANKS again! (and again in the morning)

  32. mixette

    I tried this immediately when the Times article came out, and am now happily addicted. I was so tired of my hot, but necessary, morning coffee making me sweat in my pajamas (I live in miserable hot Texas).

    I use Cafe du Monde coffee (bonus: great graphics on the can), add milk or almond milk, and sweeten with sugar-free Torani syrup.

  33. They make this at the coffee shop I used to work at, and it is so wonderful. However, I hadn’t considered, until I read your post, that I DON’T need a bucket with a filter at the bottom, like they use. Brilliant deduction!
    They make this drink called a buzzer, with Toddy (cold brewed coffee).
    1/3 toddy
    1/3 whole milk
    1/3 half & half
    three squirts chocolate syrup
    two squirts vanilla syrup

    Stir well. Proceed to explode.

    PS- Cold brewed coffee has more caffeine per ounce!

    PPS- #48: For reals. For really reals.

  34. YAY! No more stomach ulcers from the high acidity. I stopped drinking coffee and switched to tea on the advice of my doctor (then again I was also a teacher – acid+teaching stress=ulcers), but this I can do. Now I just need some beans again…….

  35. Who knew? I’ve always considered myself a bit of a coffee princess and to think there is this whole arena of coffee I never even knew existed. I am already trying to remember where my french press is. Thank you!!!

  36. Okay, so I keep a pitcher of coffee around for the iced goodness…

    But are you honestly telling me that you sit at Ninth Street and actually resist buying from them?!?! If you actually resist that frothy Americano goodness, then you are truly my hero.

  37. Anisah

    I had some chocolate hazelnut coffee beans ground coarsely at the supermarket today and set up the cold brew just now. Can’t wait to have try this out tomorrow!! Deb, your recipes and pics are wonderful; this is my new favorite site!

  38. Christie S.

    My grandpa has a cold brew system, which spits out super concentrated coffee- he just adds hot water to it later, amount to his liking. It is the least bitter, most flavorful coffee I’ve ever tried, and he doesn’t even use really good coffee beans. And I don’t really even like coffee.

  39. deb

    To add about keeping it in the fridge: Once mine was brewed and strained, I kept in in the fridge for days (I had made a whole pitcher of it, as you can see. We like to mainline it here at the smittenkitchen.) and it never got that nasty taste that old coffee does. It always tasted like it was made that day. My mind was blown.

    As for straining the coffee, definitely use the finest strainer you have, and a cheesecloth or coffee filter too. I don’t think you can be too careful about getting the grounds out, though the likelihood of them slipping through has more to do with how finely ground they are.

  40. Mark

    The blend that you use, of what exactly is it a blend? You say: “1/3 Sumatra, 2/3 Vienna roast” but that doesn’t make sense to me. Sumatra is a place where beans are grown (the beans have a characteristically spicy flavour) and Vienna roast is a degree of roast (second crack is well under way at that point). Beans from Sumatra can be roasted to Vienna.

    Anyway, I’m asking because if this is a good blend for iced coffee I’d like to try it. (While we’re at it, how dark is the Sumatra portion roasted?)

  41. Erica

    I literally finished reading this post five minutes ago, and I already have the coffee grounds sitting in a covered Pyrex glass of water. I can’t wait to try it in the morning! I am a notorious coffee fiend, and I’m so excited by the idea of a better brew and saving money at the same time!

  42. Tori

    If your looking for a Toddy set up then hit up your local Seattle’s Best; if they exist on the east coast.

    The perk of my 4 month stint working at Borders was the big pitcher of cold brewed coffee kept in the break room. Free for the taking.

  43. Sarah

    Here’s my version. We drink a LOT of iced coffee and I have a LOT of mason jars in my kitchen for storage–nuts, beans, grains etc.–to keep the pantry moths away. Also, I use a “manual coffee pot” to make hot coffee (see ). So I already had all the equipment I needed for this, and it’s cheap if anyone else wants to try it this way.

    I take a 1/2 gallon jar (available in a 6 pack at hardware stores along with the rest of the canning jars) and fill it up to the 3 cup mark with ground coffee (I prefer Ethiopian Yirgacheffe). Then I fill it to the top with cold water, screw the lid on, and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

    I filter it (just once) using the Melitta pot, which is exactly big enough (and the filter is just big enough to hold all those grounds).

    The coffee is strong–sometimes I dilute it but usually not!

  44. Robyn

    Love love LOVE cold-brewed coffee! I’ve been making it all summer; at first I tried to refrigerate a whole pot of hot-brewed coffee, but that gets nasty after just 1 day. Luckily I came across a recipe for cold-brewed this summer. I use 12 oz of medium grind coffee to about 7 cups of water, refrigerate overnight, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter. It takes a long time to strain, but definitely worth it. You’ll have a lot of “sludge” if you don’t use the coffee filter or cheesecloth.

  45. Amy

    is it because I live so far from NYC that I’ve never HEARD of cold brewed coffee? we only drink iced coffee in our house, and I make it by the pot and throw it in the fridge to chill, often I put sugar in with it so its pre-sweetened. I often find it bitter, but never knew there was something I could do about it. I will definitely try this.

  46. etienne

    i’ve made this several times since the recipe came out last year, too. and i love it mixed with some chocolate soy milk. like a mocha, only healthier! and cheaper.

  47. Sue

    I saw this recipe in the NYTimes a year ago and have been making my iced coffee this way ever since in a canning jar.

    I don’t mix the resulting concentrate with water, however. I just add some half-and-half and sugar. This recipe makes one serving — mine!!!!

  48. So I’m stuck at home with a broken leg, and have been craving nothing more than sweet, cold iced coffee. It’s just not the same to save hot-brewed coffee and drink it a few days later! Thank you!

  49. I also swear swear swear by cold-brewed coffee (and also blogged about it a little while back). All the good things about coffee with none of the bitterness. Wonderful. And, by the way, thanks for the recipe for the blueberry crumble bars. They went perfectly with my cold-brewed coffee!

  50. meg

    cold-brewed coffee is the absolute best. i second cricket and love my filtron. i got it from gentry, as well. it’s one of the most used things in out kitchen – totally great investment.

    and jeff buckley is my fave, but that’s hard to admit because i love cohen’s version, too.

  51. Not to complicate the process… ;) but has anyone tried it using coffee pods? That way you could skip the filtering stage… just fish them out and presto :) Kinda like ice tea :) What do you think??

  52. Jelena

    I drank this all the time last summer. Now you’ve reminded me to do it again. Although, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I don’t really taste too much of a difference. I’m not a coffee connoisseur though. :)

  53. I hear you Deb- I’ve spent the past month at home studying for my PA certification exam which means a few too many trips to Starbucks. It never occurred to me that you could cold brew coffee. I just stirred up a batch and I can’t wait to taste it tomorrow!

    I bet this would be amazing with some cinnamon simple syrup: 2 cups water, 4 cinnamon sticks, 1.5c sugar simmered for 10 min then cooled.

  54. Iced coffee is my life.
    I bottle it up and bring it to school where it keeps me from snoozing off in particularly boring classes. I put a couple of spoonfuls of raw sugar at the bottom and use a straw to drink it. You get crunchy sugar with every sip.
    Yeah I know it sounds weird but it is so delicious!!
    I keep a big bottle of cold brewed coffee in my fridge for 2 weeks before I use it up and it always tastes fresh.

  55. calico13

    Ah, cold brewed coffee! It’s my summer staple. I make it in a homemade contraption, and keep in the fridge for days in a sealed container. No change in flavour at all! My contraption is 2 huge plastic cups that fit inside of each other (mine are the supersize cups from a fast food restaurant). Poke holes in the bottom of one of the cups with a push pin, so the bottom of the cup is perforated like an asterisk. Nest it in the other cup. Put the grounds & water in the inside cup, steep, and elevate the inside cup over the outside cup (I use a piece of cardboard with a hole cut out, and drain.

    Also, I’m with you on the Cale version, but my favourite is the Rufus Wainright version, followed by the Cohen version.

  56. oh my! it’s 11 pm and i’m going to the kitchen to do this right now. i cannot wait till morning!!!!! this may save me a sinful amount of cash. we should all keep track.

  57. Katie K.

    Why do you think the John Cale version is wrong? It’s not enough to simply declare that it is. Personally, I feel he’s got the sense of the lyrics perfectly, and I adore it.

  58. I never ever comment on your site—mostly because I think you’re fantastic and my wee nascent site can never compare (it can’t)—but you have finally found a subject that I have many years of experience.

    A) Starbucks is shite. Anyone who uses it as a benchmark either has no love of nuances of coffee or just wants pure undiluted sugar in a cup.

    B) Venti or huge-me or whatever are not valid sizes. Ladies, please don’t blame your backsides or vendors when your arses exceed your pants. Skinny or no, you’re still drinking a very large cup of milk. Think about that everyday you order it.

    C) Cold-pressed coffee is the BOMB. But single bean brews are not what you want. You want to find a local roaster/brewer who uses or can suggest a blend. Single bean brews/roasts are very one-note and cannot give you the shades and sort of differences a true coffee connessiuer can suggest. (Yes, I know I totally misspelled that. I’m bloody tired) I completely advocate cold-press coffee, but buy local, taste local, and the quickest end is not always the best means.

  59. This gives me an idea. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do iced tea efficiently for the longest time. Could I possibly do this but with tea instead of coffee grinds?? That’d be magnificently genius.

    I think I will first try the coffee recipe, though. Let’s master that before trying to tackle too many things.

  60. michele

    sounds great. something my grandmother always did was freeze her left over “hot coffee” in ice cube trays to use later for her iced coffee that way her iced coffee wouldn’t get “watered down” – she was right.

  61. Okay so this might be slightly of topic but, a french press works great at frothing milk so you can froth ( and i mean froth BIG time) skim milk and add it to ur iced coffee or hot chocolate and the result you get is UNBELIEVABLE its like sbux coffee but without the guilt! You should seriously invest in a french press! i got mine from starbucks :P

  62. To answer Mark’s question above, you really can use any kind of coffee for this; it doesn’t have to be a particular blend. I order 10 pounds at a time from Community Coffee in New Orleans and get a variety, usually dark roast, in-between roast and New Orleans roast (with chicory). I also buy coffee locally and just have it coarsely ground (it’s easier to filter). Picked up a bag of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee at Costco the other day to try.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a “bad” batch, no matter what kind of coffee I’ve used.

  63. Well, lucky you guys, paying only 3$ for your coffee. We pay 4 euro! That’s why Greeks are the MASTERS of iced coffee. But, our recipes are somehwat quicker. Will give this one a try though, because the bitterness sometimes gets to me.

  64. This is a great idea – and makes me think I should try to invent my own homemade version of the Starbucks Dark Mocha Frappucino ……. *swoons* … I’m addicted to the damn things! Luckily, I know I can’t afford to spend £3.25 on one each day, so it’s a good deterrent!

    Still, if I invent my own, might save a few pennies, if not calories! Next thing, you’ll be inventing zero-calorie, zero-fat whipped cream. Right? *makes big, beseeching eyes at Deb*

  65. Ahhhhhhhh! Soooo complicated… too cute! Even I may be able to manage this one. Lovin’ the coffee, lovin’ the iced, lovin’ the concept that my rear view needn’t resemble one of my bulls!!!


  66. monika

    besides the great recipe, knowing the different versions of hallelujah is worth more than a wet mushy kiss on the cheek…
    love the site/recipes. if you do go to indonesia, i suggest not visiting sumatra, btw…

  67. OK, Deb–I am a believer! Completely different, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to drink hot-brewed iced coffee again. And gosh, what an easy process with such great results. Thanks for inspiring me!!

  68. Anisah

    The iced coffee tastes great, definitely less bitter! :)
    Is there more or less caffeine in cold-brewed coffee, anyone know?

  69. Tiffany

    Hi all,

    I have become addicted to cold brew myself in the last year. The best invention ever is the “Toddy” coffee system over at

    Cold brewed coffee a pound at a time.

    And yes, cold brewed coffee has less caffeine and is less acidic.

  70. Just wondering Deb, and I know this is totally w- r- o- n- g to ask, but how would this be heated up? I mean if you really wanted a cup of hot coffee and didn’t have time to wait for the coffee machine, could you microwave some of this?

    We have a product in Australia called Dare. Its an espresso/milk drink you find in the dairy department. When I visit the US, I can only think about getting home to have one! How spoiled I’ve become after moving over here!

  71. I have the same problem! As I freelancer, I spend about half my earnings on coffee! Haha well not quite, but I spend a lot of time in coffee shops too and am pretty much permanently on a caffeine high!

  72. Pat

    Another idea…use the iced coffee instead of the water in a simple sugar mix (and maybe a little of your favorite liqueur), freeze and serve as a sorbet. It is excellent!!!

  73. Pat

    Another idea…use the iced coffee instead of the water in a simple sugar mix (and maybe a little of your favorite liqueur), freeze and serve as a sorbet. It is excellent!!!

    Sorry, meant to say simple sugar syrup.

  74. Sam

    Living in Denver, I’ve often looked at the cold-brew displays at Peaberry and wondered why they actually were sitting there, considering hot coffee is their life-blood. Then I saw an article (maybe a reprint) in the NYTimes in June, maybe July, this year and wondered….”eh? yea?” Then forgot about it (I’m ADD). Now, comes this. Well, gee, I was just standing at the counter thinking “well, i need coffee for the b’day party on Saturday….yea…hot late summer day….yea!”

    One of my fondest memories of my Dad, who was a travel writer for Holiday and Travel & Leisure in the 60s/70s, was at a diner when we were out on the road between somewhere and somewhere else. He was a coffee FREAK and back then, it wasn’t Sumatran, French Roast, extreme southern Venezuelan, it was just A&P or Crosse&Blackwell (LOL) or something. S0,we were in this diner on a hot summer day in the midwest or maybe Nowhere North Dakota, and he asked for an Iced Coffee. Waitress, “we don’t have that.” My Dad was mystified. “You don’t have ICED COFFEE?” he asked. “It’s not on the menu, is it?” she asked. “OK,” he said “I’d like a cup of coffee and a glass full of ice.” A moment later, she returned with the 2 items and watched, wonder in her eyes, as my Dad poured the cup of coffee over the glass of ice, took a sip, and said to her “Iced coffee.” She shook her head and just looked.
    Jack Nicholson’s scene in Five Easy Pieces, regarding the egg salad sandwich… was VERY reminiscent of what took place that day in the diner about the iced coffee. Sadly, I don’t think he ever saw the movie.

  75. Susan

    Can you believe I’ve never had iced coffee? But I remember my parents drinking it in the summer..but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melted in it. They wouldn’t let us kids have any. We were pist!

  76. Mona

    Amazing! DH loves Iced Coffee, me, not so much….however, you may convert me with this one!

    I’m thinking aloud (awritten??) here, but would it be possible to use a French Press for this? Please say yes. Straining twice through coffee filters is not appealing to me…..

    And I will definitely check out Trader Joes for that coffee blend!

  77. Beth

    I am just not a coffee drinker unless im desperate (stayed up all night with the baby or playing video games, whatev) but a friend made me a cup of french press and I could really tell the difference but didnt want to hassle with getting all of the equipment (like coffee beans). Ive always said I love the flavor of coffee, in ice cream, or sweets and treats, but that i didnt like coffee. Its too bitter. I will definitely give this a shot! If its like you and many of the other commenter are saying, I might turn out to be a coffee drinker after all…

  78. Nicole M

    Awesome! I don’t have a coffee maker at home so this would be the perfect way to get my fix on the weekends without going to the cafe or breaking down and buying a coffee maker.

  79. Rachel

    Made this last night. Def less acidic than brewing a cup of coffee! I added steamed milk to 1/2 cup of the brewed coffee concentrate. It chased my morning heartburn away. Thank you Deb!

  80. Linda J

    This is great idea. I used to work in a restaurant and we would use up the end of the night coffee, pour in some hershey’s syrup, cinnamon, milk, stir and add ice. This was way before the lattes hit the scene. I tried this variation with Smitten Kitchen’s recipe and it tastes great. And much cheaper than the $4.00 latte. Thanks!!!

  81. Sandra

    I just tried my first sip of this—it’s heaven! Thanks for posting the technique, it’s easier than I would have imagined.

  82. CanadaGoose

    I’ve been making cold brewed coffee since I read about it in the Times a few years back. So good!
    And the #1 version of Hallelujah is k.d. lang — if you can listen to it and not be profoundly moved….just lie down, you’re dead.

  83. sarah

    i make my cold-brewed coffee using a french press– i dump my coffee grounds into the pitcher, add water, and leave it overnight. In the morning i plunge down the strainer and Voila! the grounds are separated from the liquid automatically! yum!

  84. Oh I can’t wait to try this! I used to love iced coffee but stopped buying it because of the cost, and making my own (letting hot coffee cool, adding ice) wasn’t as good. Thanks for the great idea!

  85. Weeziefitz

    I had a Toddy years ago and lost it in the move to this house; it made the BEST non-acidic coffee, hot or cold. In those pre-internet years I was unable to find another, but you have just reminded me how much I loved that coffee. BTW, plebian music tastes that I have, I LOVE the kd lang version (but I’ve just purchased the ones by Cohen and Buckley – also enjoyed the performance by the dreadlocked kid on American Idol this year).

  86. Marie

    OK folks — listen to Deb. You don’t need ANY fancy equipment, no French press, no Toddy. Water, coffee, a mason jar, a #6 Mellita filter (and the plastic thing-y that holds the filter). That’s it. I put the filter over a red plastic 16oz party cup. I only filter once. Rinse out the Mason jar, then pour the filterd coffee concentrate back in the Mason jar and into the fridge. I agree with Deb, a blend of (full caf) two coffee types works best. I have used decaf, single blend. It tasted bland to me. Also, when I want it hot I haven’t tried nuking it. I steam it. My coffee cup fits over the Whistler water pot I use. (I learned the steaming method when I nuked tea and it came out bitter.)

    I just went and took a sip from a jar I’ve had in the fridge for a week. No bitterness. It’s going to be 80 degrees F here in San Francisco today. (80 F is HOT for us.) Perfect iced coffee day. Wish I had some of your esspresso biscotti to go with it. Thanks again Deb. You’re always on the mark. Hope you convert the masses.

  87. Ohh that coffee looks like sweet of Gods, it is really enjoyable and exquisite.
    I think you need a special machine to prepare that but i prefer to take a cup of coffee like this in my favorite place Starbucks where i can taste the original flavor in the original coffee.


  88. ooh-lala! I am a fan –no, make that an addict — of iced coffee and always get my fix by buying UCC’s packed iced coffees in liters. Maybe this will give them a run for their money :-) thanks, i can’t wait to go home now and try it!

  89. I’ll have to save your recipe for iced coffee. Usually I make myself two cappuccinos/day with my much-loved Pasquini, but in the heat of the summer, this would be wonderful.

  90. Oh Deb. What are you doing to me???

    I’m getting up and making this right now…perfect for tomorrow!!!!

    By the way, made the peanut butter chocolate cake..well, my daughters made the cake part, and then one plus husband made the frosting and ganache. I about fell out of my chair in sinful delight at the first bite. I took pictures. I’ll share after I post them.

  91. Colleen

    A million thanks from the Arizona desert, where I drink iced coffee nearly year-round and always wonder why I can’t make it taste better at home!

  92. Okay, I bought a jar on the way home from work (I own exactly one, and it’s already in the fridge with some cucumbers-becoming-pickles) and mixed together a double batch. I’m very optimistic for tomorrow morning!

  93. I tried to make this once. On the same day I was roasting some chickens. The trauma has partially blocked the memory, so I am not sure how it happened; all I remember is raw chickens covered with clumpy wet coffee grounds, coffee-water on every surface, little flecks of coffee stuck to the walls and the cabinets and the pots and pans…. Let’s just say I haven’t had the heart to try it again. Someday.

  94. D

    I made this today. It really works! Yes, cold-brewed coffee. I only strained it once using a regular cone-shaped coffee filter. I added 1-1/2 tablespoons of hazelnut syrup and some soymilk and it was god to go.

    I make ice tea this way too. Cold-brewed overnight. Very clean tasting with no bitter aftertaste.

  95. Munchkin

    I made this last night right after reading this and was rewarded this morning to the most delicious treat! I put it in a tall cup, a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk (my weakness) and topped it with ice. Heaven! The brewing process brought out a lovely cinnamon aroma that I’ve never smelled before from this particular bean!

  96. Allison

    I am trying this this weekend.. maybe even RIGHT NOW! I’m so excited b/c I’ve had my eyes peeled for a good iced coffee recipe. Glad to know you’ve stored it in the fridge for days! Darn.. now I need to go buy a pitcher to store my cold brewed coffee :P

    I’m a Buckley fan, myself. I guess I prefer his darker feel in Hallelujah.

    Thank you thank you thank you! This is perfect for my 8 o’clock classes :D

  97. Paulette

    I am a little embarrassed that I didn’t think of this myself…after all, I make ice tea this way!! I’m ‘steeping’ Kona Blend as I speak and 12 hours from now I’m going to try it with just a bit of lemon zest.

  98. This is good stuff! I tried it last summer after seeing the Times article, and I made batches of it all summer longr. And you’re right, it does taste so much better without all the bitterness.

  99. Susan

    I made this last night before I went to bed. How nice to wake up with the coffee already made! It was already too warm in the house, so I went straight for the iced coffee..and then another. It’s really, Really good. I have some baking to do tonight after it cools down (if it ever does) so I’ll try it with a scoop of vanilla iced cream. That should hop me up enough to get things done! Thanks, Deb.

  100. Merrypetal

    Deliciously smooth coffee on waking. Composted coffee grinds too for azaleas :) … corner coffee shop can’t do that for me! I really don’t like acidic coffee and this is the best ever. Just filtered once though and it tasted fine and wondered why you would need to do it twice. Thank you for sharing this. Fabulous!

  101. Jen

    My Aunt Deb my delicious iced coffee last summer…to your brew, she simply added cinnamon, a little nutmeg and cardamom…mixed with half and half and ice by the glass, we drank it for days…thanks for bringing back the memory. – Jen

  102. Rachel

    oh NO! If you take away my excuse for two coffee breaks a day, I’m going to have to get the nerve to actually ask the cute barista out! I guess I’ll have to delve into the cocktail archives first

  103. Cookie Monster

    Just started this brewing… Looks AWESOME
    BTW I used to work at the place of green aprons and sad music (imagine listening to that stuff all day, every day) and unless they’ve changed the recipe, it simply is a double strength hot brew that gets shoved in the fridge and then (if you’re lucky and your barista isn’t lazy) SHAKEN with ice. (If they don’t shake mine I send it back, icky otherwise.) Anyway, this looks TONS better! Thanks!

  104. Toddy, Toddy all the way. Ditto on the Toddy, Love the Toddy. I own one, use one and the coffee is deelish and goes quite a long way. Cheap too. Enjoy and cheers to writing about one of the best kinds of brewing out there.

  105. D

    I made another batch of this cold-brewed coffee.I wanted to experiement again. I used 6 ounces coffee to 3.75 cups of filtered room temperature water. Let is steep for 24 hours. I used 1:1 ratio coffee concentrate and soymilk for my ice coffee because I prefer a stronger coffee taste. I also add a tablespoon of French vanilla syrup. Tastes good! So again, this really works. Very clean tasting coffe for an economical price.

    The next time I make this stuff, I”m going to make the full pound of coffee to 10 cups of water (thanks Adrienne from

  106. This was a revelation for me too this summer. As much as anything I am ecstatic to be able to brew coffee at the cabin, in a tent, hell in the back seat of my car, with nothing but a glass mason jar. (And if it’s hot coffee you’re after, without the acidity, you can cold-brew it and then heat it up.)

  107. Leighann

    It’s 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, and I’m enjoying a tall glass of my second batch of this amazingly smooth coffee. I dug out my French Press a few days ago to try this recipe. It had been languishing on the top shelf of my kitchen for far too long. The press works a treat for this, just mix it up in the evening and plunge down the strainer when you get up. Couldn’t be simpler. I need to get to the bank and get a bundle of one dollar bills so I can also start throwing a couple in a jar every time I mix this up and take it to work instead of stopping at “the place of green aprons and sad music”. (Thanks for that description Cookie Monster. lol) Thanks for the recipe Deb. This is really wonderful!

  108. Dwilah

    I’m not a coffee drinker but I decided to try this anyway, because I keep wishing I liked it (because it smells soooo good!). I think it is smoother and better than regular coffee, not nearly as bitter, though I sadly don’t know coffee enough to taste all the chocolate and caramel flavors other people get.

    Better than that though, I enjoy proving my boyfriend wrong. I did a blind taste test and he proclaimed that the hot brewed coffee had to be the cold brewed–because he thought cold-brewed coffee was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard. When I revealed that the cold-brewed was the one he thought was better, it was a sweet moment of triumph.

  109. Amy

    I heard Lynne Rosetto Kaspar talk about this method of making iced coffee on The Splendid Table earlier this summer, and have been hooked! You’re right; it’s amazing stuff.

  110. Christina

    I’m not a coffee drinker at all, but this inspired me to try “cold brewing” iced tea….and of course, I love my sweet tea so I had to figure out the simple syrup combo to go with it. I finally perfected it after a few tries….yummm! Oh think of the money saved by not having to go to McD’s to get my sweet tea or buy AriZona! Thanks for the inspiration!

  111. Katrina

    Hi, long time lurker, first time commenter. I couldn’t resist – I am obsessed with my Toddy. I always loved the smell of coffee but never the taste, mostly because I can’t handle the acidity or caffeine. The Toddy takes those factors away! Try my favorite drink ever, the Sunny Bear:
    Put some ice in a glass
    Fill about 1/3 the way up with cold brewed coffee (more if you like it really coffee-y)
    Fill about 90% of the way up with rice milk
    Top off with about a tbsp or 2 of soymilk creamer
    Add a dollop of maple syrup.

    You won’t regret it!

  112. I used to be a barista (10 years ago), and while I love the smell of ground coffee and whole beans, I could never drink the stuff because of the bitterness. With my occasionally-graveyard-shift career, I’ve slowly learned to tolerate and then actually like mochas and lattes with flavors, but it gets expensive. I have never been able to go au naturale with the coffee — I’ll drink drip only when truly desperate.

    This… this may save me SO much money. I made up a batch last night and tried it this morning, and it was wonderful!

    (I also tried your method of poached eggs yesterday, which was also a success. <3)

  113. Teresa

    Am I the only freak of nature who drinks hot coffee on even the hottest days? Iced coffee never seems like coffee to me, more like a way of using up coffee “leftovers.” I drink it if it’s offered to me, or if I have coffee I didn’t finish in the morning (rare, but it happens) but coffee, to me should be hot.

    Tea, OTOH, is another story.

  114. Judy Johnson

    I tried this over the weekend and it’s the best coffee I’ve ever tasted! Lovely, smooth true coffee flavor. Well worth the 24 hour wait!

  115. kim

    where has this been all my life! what a wonderful addition to the holiday weekend. i had to keep myself from downing the entire triple batch i made in one sitting. normally i drink coffee and feel no effects, i can drink a huge cup right before bed and fall right to sleep. but for some reason, this gave me that little jolt that caffeine never seems to give me. i will be making coffee this way again and again!

  116. I’m a HUGE fan of iced coffee, but have never cold-brewed the coffee at home. I usually buy a cold coffee concentrate like N.O. Brew or Cool Brew (both from New Orleans) and go to town. I’ve since moved to Austin, TX, but have been able to find N.O. Brew at Whole Foods. A little milk, and a dash of a flavored creamer will do me right. And when I want a mocha, I usually start with different flavors of cocoa. Endless variety, I tell you!
    Starbucks has some serious competition from my kitchen.

  117. Geri

    I LOVE iced coffee and found a toddy maker at a garage sale for $1 last year. My brother and SIL made this many (over 30 years) ago when they went camping. They used a large mason jar, and strained it with clean nylon hose. Last year I started making it again (with the Toddy – not the hose) and made one batch reg and one decaf for my after 5 drinks. This way my hubby and I can both indulge. Since I haven’t made it all summer, it’s time to start again. Can you please remind us at the beginning of next summer to do this??

  118. Tina

    In Australia, a good iced coffee must include cold brewed coffee (usually espresso with some sugar), milk, a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream (okay, I like a big scoop but regardless, ice-cream is essential) and maybe some crushed ice (I’m not picky). This is topped with a swirl of cream and usually sprinkles of chocolate. A mocha is the same but with chocolate syrup added. So, if an Aussie or even a Kiwi scrunches their nose at an iced coffee they have ordered that does not look like this then this is why…

  119. soomin

    Do I have to leave the jar out to brew or can I leave it in the fridge for the 12 hours and get the same results? My freezer makes all my ice taste funny so I was thinking that if the concentrate is already cold and I add cold water to it then there’s no need to break out the gross ice. Thanks!
    I’m big fan of the site…love trying out all your recipes!

  120. Love this! I don’t have a big enough strainer and I ran out of coffee filters, but two paper towels worked just fine! I’ve converted my coworker into a cold-brew fan. Intelligentsia’s El Gallo breakfast coffee = amazing cold-brewed.

  121. hey smitten. i wanted to leave a little note and say that a friend mentioned this last month and i finally got around to scouring the internet for advice/directions. so many of the recipes needed more equipment or another gadget or more coffee than i had on hand, etc.etc. but then i found you! the easiest way to do this is yours! 1/3 cup of coffee with 11/2 water in a jar, shake, refrigerate, wait. then….bliss.


  122. Iced coffee is sooo delicious! I’m a professional barista, and at the place that I work we have this handy gadget called a “filtron” where we brew 5lbs. of coffee at a time. I have obtained a smaller, home unit, which makes a delicious concentrate. You use one lb. of coffee ground to a french press setting, then fill the top with water (there is a fill line). The coffee sits in the filtron for 24 hours! Then you drain, and dilute the concentrate with milk or water, according to taste. It’s really great for baking too – oh, and popsicles. Can you tell I really love coffee?

    Here’s the link for purchasing a filtron:

  123. I cannot extol the virtues of cold-brewed coffee enough. I make enough to fill a couple of empty juice bottles at once so that I can take one to the office and keep one at home. Also, since I’m making my own, I schmancy it up a little by putting a couple of cinnamon sticks and three ground cardamom pods in each bottle. Totally delicious!
    And I second the Aerolatte for making non-acidic hot coffee. Looks silly, works great.

  124. Mary Kay

    Wow–we have a package of coffee that has been very disappointing, drip style. Almost undrinkable. I tried the cold method with it and it is MUCH BETTER. Plus, we are going camping next week, and bringing a jar of cold coffee concentrate is going to make breakfast a snap. Thank you!

  125. Oh noes! I was all set to make this, then I forgot to pick up the coffee at the shops earlier on! Dammit. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to cold brew some nectar now.

  126. T

    This post caught my attention as I recently started making my own ice coffee too. I’ve tried two methods of brewing: Bodum french press and Bialetti stovetop espresso maker. Although I didn’t cold steep it… I’m much too impatient for that, but I still got an excellent ice coffee! It’s ruined me though.. I can’t go for coffee anymore with people because I just reminisce about my homemade brew.. as well as think about how much I’m getting ripped off for an inferiour product! Nice blog by the way!! I’ve subscribed to the RSS feed. :o)

  127. lou

    I am soo trying this tomorrow for my husband,,,,he spends a fortune on those at cafes. Also, everyone should checkout the David Bazan version of Hallelujah….its great

  128. Debra

    Just made a batch of this today. I had never heard of this coffee making method before. This is far superior to the way I used to make iced coffee – which was to keep regular brewed coffee in the refrigerator. This is smoother and cleaner tasting. Wonderful!

  129. Julia

    I constantly have cold-brewed iced coffee on hand! I use the Todd maker, which is just a cold-brewer for people who don’t want to think about it! It holds a pound of coffee at a time, so we don’t run out often. If you’re looking for ways to make your iced coffee more like coffee shop coffee, look into flavor syrups. They have regular and sugar-free varieties (uses splenda). My go-to flavors are vanilla and almond, but there are dozens out there. Glad there’s another iced coffee lover out there :)

  130. How did I not know of this??? I don’t make coffee at home (I drink tea), but I’ve tried like 5 ways short of Sunday to make iced coffee and nothing worked. This is awesome!! Thanks

  131. kittyball

    Cold press is like crack for me, in the winter I’m really good at drinking tea, and keeping my caffeine intake low, but second spring comes around it’s all about the cold press. I’ve experimented with a lot of different blends, but my favorite uses African coffee beans, preferably Ethiopian. Has a great rich flavor, mix with some Sumatra or something darker like a french roast and it’s perfect.

  132. kris

    Found you via PW. I had never heard of cold press but since it was so easy decided to try it. Did it overnight on the counter then threw it in the fridge after I strained it. I took it out of the fridge, added ice, half and half, a little skim (instead of water) and sugar syrup. Yummmm! Definitely going to have to make a bigger batch to keep in the fridge. Hubby and I both like iced coffee. This is much cheaper than going out and it takes much better than what we usually make at home.

    Oh, and I just put a coffee filter in my strainer so I only had to strain it once.

  133. Suz

    Just found this, Googling around for ‘recipe iced coffee’ and I’m totally bummed because it’s 13:38 so a 12-hour steep right now would have my coffee ready at one-thirty in the morning which, even for me, is too early. DH gave up coffee so he took the drip machine to work; I kept the gold drip filter (let them worry about buying paper filters!) and I have a single-serve Bodum. Gonna try this in a Mason jar, to be filtered thru the gold filter, and in the press, and I’ll try one on the counter and the other in the fridge. Just gave up processed sugar and all dairy, but I can still drink coffee, so I was delighted to find out that the cold process is less acidic. I also have close to a dozen kinds of flavoured coffees in the fridge still (most ground, some whole bean) that DH won’t touch now, so I’m THRILLED to find this site, Deb! A thousand thanks!

  134. Jessica

    I wonder if your could save yourself a step and start this in a french press? Wouldn’t need to strain it that way!

  135. LISA

    I’ve been reading your site for a while. I’m in the desert of the middle east and i can tell you as soon as I clicked on this link… I immediately got up and started my cold brew. I mixed my Ethiopian/Brazil/Sumatra mix and I’m letting it sit. I can’t wait to try it this evening (I work 12 hour shifts EVERYDAY)! I love iced coffee!

  136. jd

    this is finally catching on wonder what took so long. My recipe is pretty simple I take 16oz and grind coarse put in a plastic milk jug washed of coarse after you put coffee in jug fill three Quarters with cold tap water Cap top on jug and shake well now take off the cap and let sit in the sink overnight if you leave the cap on it will expand the plastic container so leaving the cap off will allow for the coffee to expand. It helps to shake the container for a few minutes after you add coffee this cold brewed method takes out 68% of acid and tastes fantastic great for people with acid reflux. I like my coffee hot so I fill my coffee cup 1/4 full of coffee and the rest with water and nuke yum!! I strain my coffee with a paper towel works great. I strain into a carafe. enjoy!

  137. Marisa

    I made this last night for the first time with the only coffee we had in the house — an old canister of Folger’s in the freezer, and it’s still delicious! This is amazing! I’m never buying iced coffee again.

  138. Kathleen

    Ok, now that the school year is over and summer is official, I finally tried this recipe…I’ve been lusting after it all month. You are SO right about the undertones of the coffee coming through! I just have one little question–yields two?! I’m almost through the first batch, and am longing for more. Note to self: double (triple?) recipe! No more WaWa necessary!

  139. Chiara

    If you do end up visiting Indonesia, you should try Balinese coffee (sipped overlooking the ocean) or if you can find it, bring back some “Kopi Toraja” :) Just a tip from an Indonesian coffee drinker :D And this post is perfect, just in time for summer!

  140. Julie

    Like a poster previously mentioned, I too am a coffee princess. I *love* coffee but usually shy away from iced coffee (often bitter and stale tasting). After reading this post (last night) I hopped up and made a batch. My BF seriously questioned the quality of coffee that one could brew without using hot water but we were both completely won over when we tried it this afternoon. I used my regular blend and let it steep in a french press over night. I don’t have cheese cloth or a super fine sieve but my french press worked perfectly. We drank it one part milk to one part coffee and I stored the left overs in a jar in the fridge. Thanks so much for sharing, now I get to enjoy iced coffee too!

  141. Nothing like coming late to a party. However, I’m smitten with this coffee. I made it last night, grabbed some on my way out the door this morning, and I’m kicking myself for not bringing a VAT of it to work. I can’t believe how good this tastes ! And with Folgers regular grind that I found. Wait til I make it with some of our better coffees. Oh my. I’m sure I’m going to be able to convert my coffee-but-not-iced-coffee drinking wife to Iced. Thank you thank you thank you.

  142. Since summer has finally arrived in NYC I finally got around to trying out this recipe, and I made a jug of this before I went to work. Every time I got stressed at work I though about what would be waiting for me when I got home and it is delish! Discovered just in time for the long weekend :)

  143. If you want a really decadent iced coffee, mix in sweetened condensed milk to strong coffee. My ratio is 1 can to a 12-up pot of coffee (this was before I started cold-brewing.) YUM!

  144. Scott

    Oh, hooray for Cold Press Iced Coffee. I work at a coffee house in which we make 12 gallons of cold press a day. Oh, god. Yeah. Guess who gets to strain all that? Me. I’m a master now. (Also, I’m sitting right next to my personal cold press at home right now, steeping away!)

  145. Jendorf

    I’ve just set up my quadruple batch, which is sitting on the counter waiting for the am. . .I wonder if this has been posted above: The best thing about homemade iced coffee is making homemade coffee ice cubes! They keep your iced cafe so deliciously cold, and don’t make it all water-y as they melt!

    This will be sooo much better than my refrigerate-the-leftover coffee-so-I-can-have-iced-coffee technique. . .

  146. Thank you so much! I have seen the gallon version for this, but being the only iced coffee drinker in the family I wanted a simple one cup (2 for most people) recipe! Mine is in a Miracle Whip jar as we speak, the beauty is so few ingredients and no electricity required only ice! I have seen those machines, but honestly if this works why would I waste money?

  147. Della Smith

    I’m so happy you published this and can’t wait to try it. I fell in love with Cold Pressed MAPLE coffee in Minneapolis while visiting last week.

    Add some maple syrup and, if you wish, soy milk and you’re in heaven!

  148. Oh!, so much trouble when one can save the strong left-over coffee, put in
    some ice cubes, and two scoops of coffee ice-cream per 8 oz. glass. Add any type
    sweetener if desired. To save on calories: Try Splendor and no sugar added ice-
    cream, coffee flavored. Enjoy!

  149. foldered

    I usually just double strength french press and pour into a pitcher filled halfway with ice then throw it in the fridge. *shrug*

  150. Cold brewed coffee is a great way to taste the origin flavors of a coffee… since cold brewed coffee will be smoother and less acidic, I recommend trying this with a medium or light roasted coffee.

  151. carolyn

    stumbled upon “cold-brewed coffee” by accident, was intrigued. having my first cup now – i’m a convert!! i used 1 cup of medium ground coffee, 2 cups of cold water, french press, let it sit 10 hours, mixed the 1/3 cup of concentrate with about 10-12 ounces skim milk, nuked it ….. great stuff!! will save me a lot of money and will be convenient for my upcoming camping trip too! some of the posts are funny……. thanks everyone!

  152. Heidi in DF

    Am on week 2 of cold-brewed revelation. It’s still nice enough weather here in Mexico City that it’s the perfect quick coffee as I’m running out the door to school. And yesterday when it was chilly and rainy I tried adding hot milk and was pleasantly surprised that it still tasted terrific. I may be spoiled…the drip coffee we made this weekend paled in comparison. Thanks for the great, easy idea!

  153. SeaHorse

    I’ve been drinking cold brewed for a couple of years now and love it. We have just recently purchased our beans from “Grounds for Change” and discovered the stronger the beans the much better (not just stronger) the concentrate will be. The last batch of beans I bought were so strong they didn’t even smell like coffee. We thought they might have been ruined. They made the BEST coffee any of us have ever had.

  154. I love your step by step instructions and the photos are awesome.

    One of my favorite type of iced coffee drinks is a Vietnamese drink where a hottle is placed on a glass of ice and sweetened, condensed milk. The hot water is poured in, the grounds steep and the resulting coffee passes through. Delicious… And unique.

  155. kerensa

    i have been making this every day!
    my coffee pot broke and i have a big stack of coffee filters still on hand. i just put a filter in the strainer and only need to filter once. it’s perfect!

  156. Brian

    This is great! I’m glad to see the recipe here. I learned this when working at a coffee shop where we made 5 gallon batches. If you really want a buzz try it without adding any milk or water!

  157. Reid

    Thanks for the great site and the wonderfully informative posts. I’ve known about cold soaked coffee about year. I am a wordsmith and “cold soaking” seems more accurate to me than “cold brewing.” I wasn’t allowed to drink coffee as a kid and, now in the acid-reflux generation, came to it late in life. I’ve collected several tasty looking flavor recipes from your posts, and am trying my own soak-to-taste batches in 1 qt canning jars at the moment. I am using the kind of jar with the measure marks on the side. I’ve put coffee (I like a blend, too) up to the first mark, then added cold tap water up to the top mark. I’ve stirred and capped it finger tight with air space inside for expansion, and am letting it sit on the counter overnight. In the wee hours of the morning I’ll strain it in my a French press, heat and enjoy. I work 3rd shift and look forward to a rich (only like cold-steeping does), low-acid cup of hot java to help me get going. Indigestion is a bummer. I live in WI. It is December. Brrrr. I’ll enjoy drinking it hot from the microwave for few months, then cold when the weather warms next Summer. Best to you!

  158. Jenn

    Awesome! I had no idea this could be done…or so simply! Summer is starting to heat up in Argentina (where Starbucks is just starting to introduce the idea of cold coffee), and I have a feeling this will become a staple in my kitchen!

    Thanks for mentioning it in your brunch post!

  159. Lindsay

    Made this last night, and am enjoying my first cup right now – thanks! Ignoring, for the moment, the fact that I have to sit here bundled up in three layers due to the (relative) cold of winter here in Southern California, this is the perfect refresher. Sometimes I think a cool drink is nice to combat the dryness of the heater, don’t you? Also, although I do enjoy coffee, my stomach doesn’t care for the acid in it very much, so I have to limit myself frequently, but so far this cold-brewed cup doesn’t seem acidic in the slightest, and there is no bitterness. I used a blend of about half organic “Sunrise” (described as a medium roast breakfast-style blend) and half organic Sumatra, and the flavor is mellow and lush, with definite earth tones… which is impressive once you learn that I’ve never before been able to describe coffee as anything other than strong or weak. I guess all the flavors were muddied before, but the copious amounts of milk and sugar it took to make it drinkable to me probably didn’t help either. So thanks again for posting this – I’m sure I’ll be making it again and again.

  160. You really are a wonderful photographer!

    Also, I fell in love with cold brewed coffee last year. I bought some pretty good whole bean coffee that I haven’t been brewing since I need so much of it for it to taste good, so I think I’ll use it to make cold brewed coffee now that it’s warmed up some.

  161. J.

    This was so simple.

    Omigosh, both my boyfriend + I drink our coffee pretty black, so at first I tried just the concentrate. Ugh, too black for us – but your blend of 1:1 was just right. Thank you so much!

  162. I agree! We use a different currency in Jamaica, so I’ll be putting my equivalent $250 away for each iced coffee that I would’ve bought out! This is amazing, I never made it at home, not really because I didn’t know how, but the cafe is on the way to school, so why not? You’ve encouraged & saved me!

  163. Tried this last night and I am a convert! My icey cup was made with raw milk, cold coffee brew, and a bit of grade B maple syrup…YUM! Now I need to get my hands on some decent coffee :)

    I am not a hot coffee drinker, but have always loved iced coffee. Add to that living in the sticks and iced coffee is something I get on vacation or the occassional trip to the big city. I don’t regularly fork over the cash for one, though, as I usually have all four of my girls in tow. The resulting questions of why mommy gets a treat but didn’t drop the extra $20 for them to get a treat…well, you get the picture I am sure.

  164. Michelle

    I have never been a coffee drinker so when I recently discovered that I LOVE iced coffee, I immediately looked for a recipe on line. This is the first one that came up so I decided to make it last night. I had my first homemade iced coffee this morning & all I have to say is Thank You!

    I used a blend of French Vanilla & Vienna with a little splenda and French Vanilla creamer. It was heaven.

  165. MC

    Am I the only one who’s mind is blown that this comment thread has been going on for 2 whole years? That’s pretty awesome. The Internet, man.

    I’m also trying this coffee recipe tonight!

  166. At the coffee shop I “work” at we use Toddy for iced coffee only and just ice the other espresso drinks to make them cold, but the recipe #56 left sounds effing awesome. And bad for you, but that’s beside the point. I’m going to have to start using this method for making coffee at home, now that it’s 90+ degrees nearly every day. Great photos, btw. :o)

  167. Nicole

    I always make cold-brewed tea (85-Chare, this comment is 2 years late, but in case you are still wondering, you can definitely do it with tea) so I’m not sure why I didn’t think to do this with coffee. I tried it last night and it turned out great – just used a cone filter set in a cone filter holder: I used a single origin bean, but after reading 84-Kali’s comment about using blends, I’m going to try that.

    I was wondering if anyone has tried re-using the grounds? I have a feeling that it would probably be very weak, but curious.

  168. Amy D

    ok this is brilliant, why have I not hear about this before?? I drink iced coffee all summer because, while addicted to coffee I cant drink it hot when its a million degrees out….this is perfect, thanks!!

    oh quick tip, add the water to the coffee, not the coffee to the water, I did it this way and the coffee kind of floats around for a while and has the potential to make a bit of a mess when you stir it up,

  169. tgb

    best iced coffee ever! sometimes I add a little cardamom to spice things up. the idea of adding sweetened condensed milk is tempting

    best version of “Hallelujah”? kd lang, hands down. even Leonard Cohen has said that her performance at the 2006 Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame took the song “to its ultimate blissful state of perfection’.”

  170. Mary-O

    I was a fan of Starbucks iced coffee – managed to limit it to once a week because of the cost – because I thought it was genuine cold-brewed iced coffee. Yesterday I went to the SB in Yardley, PA, and one of the employees told me that it was NOT cold-brewed, and that they took hot brewed coffee, poured into a pitcher and stuck the pitcher in the fridge. What a let-down! So I’m making it myself. I will have to have an iced-coffee tasting with my hot brewed drop coffee over iced and see if there is a difference.

  171. R

    Aaaah thank you!!! [my wallet thanks you as well]. I would like to know if there is anything wrong with letting the grinds sit in a French Press and plunging after the steep instead of pouring through a sieve and/or cheesecloth?
    I just had a great cold-brewed drink at Sweetleaf [] in Long Island City last week. It was made up of cold-brewed Stumptown, some sort of chicory syrup, and maple syrup over ice with milk.

  172. hannah

    I’ve been reading this site for years, have made dozens of recipes, commented many times, and I think I’m ready to make a proclamation: this iced coffee has permanently changed my life. Not only have I saved hundreds of dollars on IC this summer alone, it’s actually BETTER than even my favorite coffee shop. It is so smooth and not bitter or overly acidic…I’m addicted! (well, I’ve been addicted for a long time) But now I’m double addicted! Thanks so much Deb!

    And to R, the commenter before me–you should try the New Orleans Iced Coffee at Blue Bottle in Williamsburg. It’s slightly sweet and really strong. And VERY tasty!

  173. Sarah

    I know this post was a whole two years ago, but I just tried it and it is delicious!! I’m a decaf/half-caf drinker and it’ss hard to find good decaf iced coffee; this one is SO smooth. And my husband is grateful for the savings, too! Thanks.

  174. Matt

    I work at a coffee shop where we cold-brew our iced coffee, and the difference as you say is noticeable. However, I would highly recommend dosing your coffee by weight rather than volume, as volume is highly inaccurate when it comes to coffee beans/grounds. Here is a good formula:

    1/4 lb. coffee = 3 c. water

    Also, you can cold-brew it for anywhere between 12-24 hours – it is hard to mess up iced coffee, so no need to stress if it sits over 12 hours. And, 24 hours can be a much more convenient time frame.


  175. amy

    The “right” version is the Bono cover! So good.

    Will be trying the recipe tonight — judging by the comments, I’m in for a treat when I wake up tomorrow!

  176. Zach

    Sounds great and plan on start brewing tonight! Is that correct that i should use 6 cups of water for a half a pound of ground beans, which will yield 12 cups unconcentrated coffee? Maybe its just me, but that sounds like a lot of beans for not-so-much coffee. Please tell me I’m wrong!

  177. deb

    It uses a bit of coffee (more than drip), but not that much. Once you’ve got your ice cubes in the glass, filling it halfway (or a third of the way, if you’re me and you like a lot of milk in your coffee) is not as much as it sounds.

  178. Ellie

    I work at Caribou Coffee (it’s a midwest thing!) and that’s how we make our cold press, almost to the letter. de-licious. In our bulk batches we use 1/2 lb. coffee with 4 qt. water.

  179. Kitty

    My daughter-in-law turned me on to this site. She has been giving a great iced coffee every morning and when I asked how she did it, she sent me here. Woohoo!!

  180. Denae

    I found this recipe on your site about a year ago, and have been meaning to come back and shower you with praise ever since. I live 50 miles from the nearest coffee house, and this recipe has been a gift!

  181. jo

    absolute bliss. i made my first batch last night and used what i had on hand – finely ground espresso and i put it in the fridge overnight, instead of letting it sit out @ room temperature. and it was still perfect. i also made some coffee ice cubes because i didn’t want to water down a perfect glass of iced coffee. there’s already a double batch steeping in the fridge!

  182. Bonnie Pierce

    made it last night let it sit strained it this morning added straight skim milk and a little sugar syrup and ice and i was GOOD TO GO! Thank you SMITTEN KITCHEN!

  183. Victoria

    I’m so thrilled to find this post. Simply put my husband and I spend a large amount of money each week on coffee at places like Dutch Bro’s and Starbucks.

    I do enjoy being able to order and receive my coffee quickly at coffee shops and I also look forward to spending time together chatting with my husband at the coffee shops.

    However, now that I have found your post on home-made delicious iced coffee I look forward to trying to make this yummy iced coffee, while also spending time chatting with my husband in the comfort of our living room.

  184. Deffo the Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright for me. Both are great.

    Thanks for this post! Looks SO simple, and I’m dying to try it. I have a nasty sensitivity to some brands of coffee (they literally make me puke – the best I can guess is some chemical or additive used in the roasting or processing), so I only drink organic coffee that I brew at home – not worth taking the chance that I’ll barf all over my seatmate on the metro when I’m out – but I still need regular cups of joe to help kick-start my Ritalin throughout the day. Chilling hot-brewed coffee just never tastes the same as those yummy drinks from the Evil Green Empire. I’m a real DIY gal, and I’ve also recently learned to make my own coffee syrups, since I now live in a place (Holland) where they are not readily available in stores. Armed with homemade caramel syrup (HEAVENLY, and SO easy to make) and now this recipe, I will conquer perfect iced coffee drinks at home! Thank you!

    P.S. – homemade pumpkin spice lattes are the bomb!

  185. Erik

    I’m new to your site and I came across this recipe by hitting the ‘Surprise Me!’ link. I’m so glad I found this. I love Iced Coffee (even in Winter) and I’ve never been happy with anything I made at home. Now I see the problem, I didn’t make it easy enough! Thanks so much for posting this. I tried it last night with some less than awsome store-bought ‘can’ coffee and even that was really good using this method. I can’t wait to try some quality coffee in this recipe. Like someone else commented, next time I’ll make it in my French Press to simplify the filtering process even more. I’m going to be enjoying my Iced Coffee far more often now!

  186. JustJessiB

    Deb – were you aware that you now have a Blue Bottle in your neck o’ the woods? I know that at least one of their employees is a huge fan of this blog and since moving to NYC with the cafe has hoped to run into you somewhere in Brooklyn! I hope you have had the chance to check it out.

  187. DocTonyNYC

    While I love the recipe, the English professor in me can’t help pointing something out. While you claim this is “adapted from the New York Times” recipe, that isn’t really the case. An “adaptation” suggests that you made at least one modification. You didn’t do this. In fact, the recipe is duplicated verbatim from the New York Times recipe. Since NYT is acknowledged, there’s no ethical problem, just an accuracy problem. Okay, sorry to be so anal. . . back to coffee making.

  188. Sheila

    I don’t what it is about this, but the cold brew method really brings out the flavor of the coffee. Way better than my old technique of brewing a pot of coffee and then cooling it over lots of ice. I love how simple this is, and I can’t get over how bold the coffee turns out. I don’t add water, but simply add agave nectar and ice, or milk if I want to indulge. Perfect to keep in a container in the fridge for summer days in the office.

  189. kat

    This looks amazing! Finals week! I am definitely going to try it.
    I just looked up the original Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, as well as the Jeff Buckley one. I don’t think I had never heard either version before. Beautiful lyrics and I don’t think I have ever heard a version that I didn’t like, but you have always have to have great respect for the original.

  190. Burt

    I have a coffee shop right on my corner but this is so good! My wife loves it with chocolate syrup…MONEY SAVER!!!! Sheila the agave syrup is really good!!

  191. wow! ive recently got into coldbrew, being from nyc, we have a lot of good places to get a 3-5$ coldbrew, stumptown, grumpy, etc etc but now that i realized how easy it was because of you i cant wait to make my own!

    and doctonynyc… totally not necessary

  192. Charity

    This recipe, my friend, is a keeper! I made this last night and it is so good. The coffee is not bitter and kind of caramelly (I know that is not a word) and yummy. I strained it with a fine mesh strainer and a paper towel as a substitute for a coffee liner.

    I added a bit of skim milk and half-and-half, a spoonful of raw sugar, and a pinch of cardamom and cinnamon. (Heated it up to help the raw sugar dissolve a bit since it doesn’t really disolve well in cold liquids.) I then used that mixture with equal portion or a bit more of the coffee concentrate. Delicious with a hint of spice and sugar. Perfect to start the morning with!

  193. Lindzer

    I prepare this using 3 cups of water and 2/3 cups of ground coffee. After straining, I add the 3 cups of cold water to the coffee concentrate, and then add about 1/2 to 2/3 of a can of sweetened condensed milk. HOLLAAAAAAAAA!

  194. Megan

    My local Caribou Coffee (in MN) is going to go out of business now that I started making my own cold-pressed coffee. I make a double or triple batch each time and I also make my own vanilla syrup (which people also pay for…crazy, seeing as it’s just equal parts water, sugar, and a bit of vanilla extract). I bought one of those double-walled insulated acrylic tumblers with a straw and I’m set for the summer! No more $3 cold-pressed coffees for me! Now…what to do with all the money I’m saving???

  195. LisaMarie

    Just an afterthought, I now make ice cubes with my leftover morning coffee and use that in my iced coffees so they don’t get diluted. It just takes the whole iced coffee concept over the top. BTW, Smitten Kitten, I have been a fan since I found your page and tried many recipes from your blog. Rock on, you are a cooking rock star!!!

  196. Jamie tidesong

    Just found this when searching for a way to make iced coffee. I steeped the beans overnight and tried it today, and man, it was absolutely fantastic! So easy, and just absolutely amazing. Thanks so much!

  197. roger

    cold brew is not a new idea. You can buy an English Toddy which is basically a gallon plastic container with a filter in the bottom. Pour in 1 bl of ground coffee and add cold water. Let is set for 24 hours and drain thru the filter in the bottom. Store coffee in the fridge for a few weeks. One ounce of the coffee and add hot water (i have a hot water tap built into my sink). Best coffee in the world as you don’t burn the coffee with hot water.
    Great for making iced coffee as well.

  198. Hello. I just came across this old post/wonderful idea. I seem to have luck following your directions (though I tend not to water the coffee concentrate down as much.) I am pursuing this recipe for environmental reasons (and because I prefer colder drinks.)

    That said, I used 1/3 cup ground coffee (i.e. +5 tbsp) and ended up with barely two cups of coffee. With my traditional coffee maker, I can typically make more coffee with only 3tbsp! Is there any way to change this? I’m contemplating getting a french press to strain the concentrate. (N.B. I have not been using cheesecloth, just a filter/sieve. I would like to avoid using disposable products.)

    Thanks for any thoughts/advice! Much appreciated!

  199. just a wondering: what is the difference between ‘adapted from’ and ‘copied from’? as i read it, this is copied verbatim from the nyt. i guess i’m just wondering what a more fitting attribution might be.


  200. Kelly

    I added some ground ginger and cardamom to the coffee while letting it brew. Once filtered, the coffee had a really interesting flavor that I loved! I might try experimenting with different spices (maybe cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.)

  201. amy

    @kimron yeah, the difference, i would think, is that “adapted from” would indicate some change. it seems only fair to just credit the source rather than claiming inspiration from it, even when that source is a giant like the NYT. a little ethics go a long way.

  202. tracy tammaro

    This site is great! I have been wanting to make my own “skinny” cold coffee drinks (from a well known establishment). I didn’t know that you should start out with cold coffee or even make coffee ice cubes to use…..this is great!

  203. Cassidy

    I LOVE iced coffee!! I make it all the time! Thanks for the great recipe!! I of course have to add sugar because I like mine kind of sweet. :)

  204. Cassidy

    I prefer to make a little bit of simple syrup (cooled) and add that to the concentrate and fill the rest of the glass up with milk and use that for my 1-to-1 instead of water.

  205. Douglas

    Just bought a Toddy (my local cafe uses one but I was looking to save money on my morning coffee) and then stumbled on this site looking for bean advice. I’ll have to try the Sumatra/Vienna blend – sounds tasty!

    Switching to making cold brewed coffee myself at home was one of the best things I’ve done for myself and my wallet lately. It’s more affordable than getting iced coffee out and it tastes just as good as my favorite cafe’s, which is 10x better than that of the the other cafes nearby!

    Doug in Boston

    (I do disagree on the John Cale though!)

  206. Thanks for sharing,I found this recipe on your site about a year ago, and have been meaning to come back and shower you with praise ever since.
    Awesome! I don’t have a coffee maker at home so this would be the perfect way to get my fix on the weekends without going to the cafe or breaking down and buying a coffee maker.

  207. deb

    Douglas — I have since warmed to the John Cale version. He really did the song justice. It’s just that it ended up in Disney and all sorts of other random movies and I was resentful that people forgot that it was Leonard Cohen’s first. And I love Leonard Cohen.

  208. Scazza

    Oddest thing: when I covered the coffee resting overnight = bitter. Uncovered = no bitterness, totally smooth.

    Love this recipe, though I wish I hadn’t made the mistake of covering it the past 2 days!

  209. Mary Ellen

    I’m late to the party, but THANK YOU for this, my son just finished his Iced Coffee and loved it. It was so easy, and reminded me of being in science class wondering how an experiment would turn out. I enjoy your site and always find something to try. As usual, the recipe was a success! Thanks, again.

  210. I love love love this idea. I am wasting money each day on cold iced coffee. I am going to put that money in a jar each day now and I’ll probably be able to afford to go on vacation for the first time ever in my life! Thank you!

  211. Brooklyn

    I like to make chocolate milk ice cubes then toss those into a blender with my cold brewed coffee and Voila! You have a (non-diluted) blended mocha frappe! You can make plain coffee ice cubes if you don’t want the cream and flavor, you can make caramel ice cubes, or just milk ice cubes! The possibilities are endless, and delicious. Another favorite is to make Mocha iced coffee and freeze it to make Popsicles for a hot summer pick-me-up! (for me, not kids!!!)

  212. Suzanne

    What kind of strainer are you using for this? I thought mine was fine mesh, but it lets grounds through. I have to use paper towels + my strainer, which is icky. When shopping for strainers, I don’t know if the ones I’m seeing will hold coffee grinds, and the shopkeepers usually don’t have coffee grinds they want to let me make a mess with.

    1. deb

      Suzanne — I think I have one of these. It was expensive (definitely one of the more expensive small tools I’ve bought), I remember, but I really wanted something very fine that I’d hoped, based on the brand name, would last a long time. It’s been 5 years and it’s like new, so it was a good investment. If grounds are getting through, it could be as much about the grind of the coffee (even if coarse, some flecks will be smaller) as it is about the fine-mesh colander. You could line your colander with a coffee filter as well.

  213. Shere Victoria

    I had been meaning to try this recipe for years, now. Since my coffee machine died a few months ago, I figured it’s about time! I can honestly say, I will never buy a coffee machine again. This has changed my life!! ( : Thank you so much!

  214. Christina

    Oh, Deb. This has changed my life! I love the way you’ve indexed and archived your site. It’s so easy to navigate and find previous recipes and posts. I remember reading the original post, but at the time I had yet to develop my love (ie, addiction) for coffee. Now that I’ve come to my senses and tried this, I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. Thanks!

    I let the coffee grounds/water sit overnight in a French press and then pour it through a filter-lined strainer in the morning, to catch any grounds that made it through the press. Absolutely no errant flakes or bits. Works like a charm!

  215. Harry Kuheim

    There is an easier way…make batches of esspresso… sweeten if you like…let cool… fill icecube trays. When you like add the cubes to milk or put in blender…

  216. James

    Hi Deb, came accross you blog post. Made it here in the Netherlands, using our Master Blenders 1753 (Douwe Egberts) coffe. Damn, that tasted great!

    Now for the kicker:
    – Add a scoop of vanilla ice to a refridgerated glass
    – put the cold-brew concentrated coffe in a milk-frother thingy and switch the thing on (remember, put it on COLD-mode!)
    – add the coffee-foam to your glass
    – add a few ice cubes
    – top off with milk.
    – Done.

    You now have a beautiful Frappé! Enjoy!

  217. Mariam

    This sounds interesting, however I doubt I’d bother since I love my iced coffee made with. Hot shot of espresso, lots of ice to cool it then add my milk!

  218. Katie

    I love this iced coffee! I make a double batch and keep it for a week in a jar in the fridge. I wanted to add my method for filtering out the grounds: I put a paper coffee filter inside a mesh strainer and then place the contraption over a medium size mixing bowl. Only a little messy :). Love the blog!

  219. Rebecca

    Brilliant, my life will never be the same. I made a double batch in a french press and found: 1) i don’t need to filter next time, the french press is perfectly fine; and 2) it is not all that concentrated and did not need dilution with water, just a glug of lowfat milk. Unfortunately I am very capable of drinking an entire double batch of this in the morning.

  220. if you love coffee and you live in Miami, come to south beach at 1875 Purdy ave. we have the best coffee there. just open and the workers there are awesome and the place also looks great. Hope to see you there!

  221. I’m all about the cold brew. I’ve been doing it in a french press using a medium grind since my strainer seems adept at filtering this out without the aid of cheesecloth or some other medium that needs replacing day after day. If I had a finer sieve, I’d use a finer grind.

    Just the other day I put some chocolate milk in it and frothed it up with a small handheld frother… don’t ever do that. EVER. I’m warning you… it is way too good! Frothing cold milk gives it a milkshake-ish texture that seems way too decadent for a weekday morning in my pajamas.

  222. Foscato

    awful music is right. how do the starbucks employees handle that stupid music playing over and over. every now and then there’s a decent song but it’s rare.

  223. Jenny M.

    I’ve been using a coffee filter inside of my sieve since the sieve isn’t that fine. Works like a charm!

    Also, for anyone that likes Vietnamese-style iced coffee… I recently saw that Trader Joe’s now carries sweetened condensed milk in a little squeeze bottle that you can keep in your fridge. Before adding the coffee concentrate and ice, I mix up a little sweetened condensed milk with warm water (so it mixes in quickly).

  224. Laulau

    Wow, very nice. But dare I say almost too smooth? I think I actually miss some of the bitterness in my usual Iced Coffee. That being said- I am making a second batch right now. Also used it pretty much straight up with a bit of soy milk or coconut creamer and it was great. First glass did half soy half coffee and just tasted the soy milk, so next one I just added a splash and it was very nice. I notice you don’t need sugar in it since it doesn’t have any bitterness to it- so I’m sure that is a good thing!

  225. Like most other, I am also addicted to coffee brewed ice cream since 2010. I need a cup of coffee daily but in Summer it isn’t so pleasant. But in 2010 I found your site and from then I am a big fan of coffee brewed ice cream. Thanks for your recipes looking forward for your new recipes.;)

  226. Allison

    Love my iced coffee. Even now in the cooler weather. I am not a coffee drinker or know anything about coffee – what kind should I use? I haven’t a clue. Thx.

  227. witloof

    I love iced coffee in the summer and have been cold brewing large batches to last for three or four weeks during the hot weather. It keeps for the entire time with no compromise in taste. I figure I’m saving over a hundred dollars a month. I use a mason jar with a Cuppow lid {} and throw it directly into my backpack.

  228. Hailing from Costa Rica, never been to a Starbucks and never tried Iced coffee but I love my Joe and we have excellent coffee. I’m setting up my French Press and want to give iced coffee a try. Love to cook, experiment in the kitchen, and love Smitten Kitchen.
    Cheers! Fred

  229. Jessica

    I have been using this recipe for years, and there is nothing better. I use a large french press to brew the coffee, and strain it that way. Iced coffee season is almost upon us in NY….can’t wait!

  230. We discovered this while out on summer vacation in Tofino without proper coffee brewing equipment… So brilliant! And we were just saying yesterday you can just heat it up after it brews to make regular coffee too!

  231. stef

    I’m with Canada Goose – the K.D. Lang version is the best I have ever heard. I end up comparing any new version with hers. Worth listening to!! Going to start the cold brew iced coffee in a few weeks… still have snow on the ground here. No snow = iced coffee…. kind of like Easter = white shoes??? Yay Spring!

  232. James

    Interesting that it works. But I think it would be smart to note that caffeine has a half-life in water of about 12 hours (it depends on acidity, hardness, chlorination, bromination, &c). I wonder if that has anything to do with the rounded-out taste. Also, caffeine is 33 times more soluble in boiling water than in room temperature water. It sounds like a lot of the bitter plant alkaloids did not dissolve into the coffee, and a good amount probably degraded into something else. Just a guess, but I think it sounds reasonable.

  233. Ruth

    Hi… For the “medium-coarse” grind coffee, is that similar to the grind for a French press made coffee? My coffee shop grinds coffee according to how it will be brewed (ex. espresso, drip, French press, etc.). Thanks!

    1. deb

      Ruth — Yes, but you can also tell them you’re going to cold brew it at home and they will select a grind. But yes, I think a French press grind is about right.

  234. karen marie

    One of my favorite things is sweetened condensed milk in iced coffee. Nom nom nom! I have always made the coffee hot, then cooled it, but will definitely try this. For 8 to 10 cups in your coffee maker, I add one big spoonful of the condensed milk.

  235. Elaine

    Get a ‘coffee toddy’ and you can make an entire carafe at once. It’s just a plastic ‘bucket’ with a place for a filter at the bottom and a plug below that. Plus the carafe to let it drip into – if you’re waiting 12 hours for 2 cups of coffee, why not make enough for the week?

  236. Lisa

    For those who brew super strong and then put it in the fridge-DON’T! It will get cloudy and bitter. Cool the pot off on the counter and then add ONE-TWO ice cubes before putting it in the fridge. That’s all. It will stay nice and clear and taste fine for days. I will try this method but I need about 2 quarts as I don’t want to make it every day. I love, LOVE iced coffee with coffee ice cubes. Black. Yum.

  237. Torym

    I cold brew my own, or use Grady’s coffee bags. We freeze some plain-but-sweetened coffee in an ice cube tray, making an iced coffee like an all-day sucker for grown ups.

  238. Carol

    After reading this last year, I finally got around to trying it. Wow. Super easy. Used a fine strainer lined with a wet coffee filter as suggested. Only needed to strain it once. This made awesome cold and hot coffee. Only one problem, I could drink a ton as it goes down sooo smooth. My body can only handle 2 cups of coffee a day at most, so major restraint is necessary with this brew. I didn’t use any special coffee grinds, just my usual Peet’s Major Dickenson ground for French press. For the hot version, I have been adding skim milk instead of water to the measured out finished concentrate, then popping my mug into microwave to heat. Even the Low cal latte, delicious.

    I am going to try it with decaf beans next so I can maybe splurge on a third cup.
    Thank you for this common sense approach.
    P.S. I forgot about it and ended up having the brew sit for about 18 hours. Still turned out wonderful.

  239. Carol

    I am now addicted to this coffee. I started with a single recipe in my french press. Yum. I have now graduated to triple recipe in a pitcher just using a strainer lined with a wet coffee filter. So easy to make, easy to clean up.. Set it up one day, strain the next, pour into covered carafe, refrigerate and good to go for days. Only problem is that the coffee is sooo smooth that I could drink it all day…then my poor body starts the jitters. So I have shamefully started making pitchers of this recipe using PEETs decaf Major Dickerson (spelling?). Now I can drink numerous cups. I will switch back to fully leaded or half and half when school starts next week. I have been loving the coffee concentrate with milk instead of the 50% water and heated briefly in microwave… My own delicious cafe au lait. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  240. Amy

    I, also like another commentor, use my French Press to make cold brew. I am addicted to cold brew in the Summer. One of our local small batch coffee roasters (Dogwood Coffee) here in Minneapolis roast a special blend just for cold brews and it is amazing. Definitely save a lot of money!! I also make my own infused simple syrups just to make is a fancy one :-).

  241. Caroline

    A tip to spice up your cold brew in the summer: instead of using water or milk, try adding ginger ale or tonic water!

  242. Stephanie Faulkner

    Easier, faster, delicious….. Get a bag from online to put the grounds in (You can use it for almond milk too – and make sure you get two as one will be washed as the other is in use)… put in enough coffee for whatever amount of water is in the container you use – 3/4 to 1 cup of ground coffee. I have a gallon jug with a spigot that, depending on how hot it is outside, lasts at least a few days. Suspend the bag in the water, put it in the fridge overnight. In the AM there is the most delicious, un-bitter coffee! Use more coffee if you like lots of milk in yours. I leave the bag in until the coffee is almost gone. Iced coffee on tap!

  243. Cari

    As a former hard-core “soy mocha with an add shot” from Peet’s I took a risk last year and tried a cold brew. I will never go back. Chocolate is the overriding flavor, with just a splash of milk and sugar. I keep intending to start my own batching and now feel inspired!

  244. Kater

    If you want one less step a 4 dollar “nut milk” bag cuts out the need for straining just grinds in the bag overnight and then pull it out and squeeze it.

  245. Charlotte in Toronto

    kd lang did a version of Hallilulia at the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Now when ever I hear her sing it I have to stop whatever I’m doing and listen. I can’t focus on anything else.

    I’ve been making coffee(hot), letting it cool off and putting it in the fridge in a glass bottle for a while now, but I’m gonna try this as so many people rave about cold brew.I didn’t know it was so simple. Thanks.

  246. PeggyAnn

    I have been making my own cold brew for 5 years now . I make 3 gallons at a time and let mine sit about 3 days at room temperature , strain it into gallon milk jugs then brew a pot of double strength hot coffee and divide it between the 3 gallon jugs and top off with cold water . I make a batch about every week and a half . I have a dorm fridge that is at the lowest setting to store it and other back up things in , butter , champagne . I bring a half gallon at a time to work with me and a quart of milk so I can refill as needed

  247. Hannah

    LOVE cold brew! I used to live in Long Island City and went to a spot called sweet leaf. They made the best stuff called rocket fuel (it has chicory and maple). When i left NYC i pumped them for their recipe and make it at home all the time now.

  248. It took an archived post to finally disagree with you one something. At least it was music and not the recipes ;) The John Cale version is my favorite one.

    I love cold brewed iced coffee. Will give this a shot, assuming warm weather ever arrives in New England. Maybe July?

  249. Betsy

    Can’t wait to try this!!! Retirement fund dwindling!! ha ha And oh yes agree with everything you said about Starbucks!!! The overcrowded barn smelling bathroom is the WORST!!!

  250. Naomi

    I’ve been lazy over the years and only bought bottled cold brew from my favourite local coffee roaster (Dispatch in Montreal — try their affogato on your next visit!). Anyway, they temporarily stopped selling their small format takeaway bottles, so I figure I’ll take a stab at making cold brew at home! Do you think I could use a plastic pour-over brew cone* lined with a coffee filter for step 2 of this recipe? I wasn’t sure if it would work, or if the coffee needs to be passed through a sieve lined with a filter.
    *I have this one:

  251. Because we’re having such a blazing hot start to summer where I am, cold brew coffee makes great no churn ice cream and coffee pops!

    Watch the kids around ’em though… ;)

  252. Naomi

    Hi! It’s Naomi again. Just wanted to let you know that this super easy recipe has changed our lives and our coffee budget forever! And for those of you who are intimidated by Step 2 like I was, using a plastic pour-over brew cone lined with a coffee filter works great. In fact, we only pass it through the filter once, not twice. Thanks for this! :)

  253. Tera

    This is revolutionary for decaf drinkers like my husband and I. Very few coffee shops sell decaf iced coffee – they’ll offer you an iced Americano, which is pricier and less tasty. Now we can buy top notch decaf beans (Bow Truss shout out, if you have one in your area!), and make our own AMAZING iced coffee. Add a little whole milk and I swear it tastes like melted coffee ice cream.

    1. Mel

      YES, can’t agree more, no one (not even most of the very expensive coffee shops) makes good decaf! Most taste like badly burned caramel and not much else, and I am guessing their beans are a million years old. I buy locally roasted beans here in Chicago from Bru, and they are fabulous. I can’t drink regular coffee, the caffeine sends me into orbit. ;)

  254. Lavinia

    I have been doing this recipe for years. Now I freeze my coffee then put it in the blender with dry whole milk…the result is a real frozen coffee with a hint of creaminess. I am planing to do gelatin coffee cubes to make my frozen coffee even more interesting! Thanks Deb for this recipe.

      1. sparkgrrl658

        not the original poster, but i’m 99% sure dried whole milk is simply powdered milk aka evaporated milk, which you can find in any grocery store :) likely in the baking aisle, but as there are different brands they may be scattered around a bit. (my store keeps some there, some with the soy and other shelf stable milks, and has some in the “ethnic” food aisle with the mexican stuff.) hope this helps :)

  255. Amy

    I am heartbroken that my cold brew source has changed their recipe. The caramel notes are gone. AND they raised the price. It’s been a dark summer and I’m driven to make my own as well!

  256. Hi Deb,
    From the coffee shops you mention, I guess we live in the same nabe and the cost of iced coffee is onerous. Here’s an super easy way to cold brew. In your French press pot, put 1/3 cup of medium-coarse ground coffee, 1-1/2 cups of water. Leave to brew overnight. Insert French press and “press.” Grounds go to bottom, coffee is ready to serve.

  257. Mindy

    I love iced coffee! I make mine in a French press, which removes one or both straining steps. Love the French press because I can also make hot coffee in it when I want.

  258. Mel

    Love coffee and have started trying cold brew. Curious, what if you have beans? How much makes 1/3 C. ground? Could someone share the weight of the beans/coffee? I buy high quality (read: spendy, but oh so tasty) coffee and only grind what I am going to use, so would love to know how much to start with.

    1. sparkgrrl658

      i personally don’t drink coffee (i am here because i plan to make this recipe for my partner who has recently gotten into cold brew) but my father is very serious about his, and has been since…forever. he makes a special trip to a fancy shop and pays $$ for the fancy beans. he keeps the bags of beans in the freezer, but grinds for the week not the day. he keeps the unused portion of grinds in a very small designated coffee tupperware container in the cheese drawer of the fridge. he brews a single fresh cup daily, or makes concentrate in the summer for iced.

      my point is (sorry, i’m a rambler!) that you won’t ruin your spendy coffee if you grind a bit too much as long as you store it properly and use it in a reasonable amount of time. keep track of your measurements the first time around and you’ll know how much will be just right for all the “next times” :) (for such a small quantity i would start with an equal amount, but if you’re really concerned of course you could start with 1/4c instead. different coffee beans will produce different results, so even if someone here gave you a more definitive answer, unless they use the exact coffee you do, it would still vary somewhat.)

  259. LisaMarie Jenssen

    I love cold press coffee. I have made this for years now. I have bought nothing extra to make it. Although now that I make my morning hot coffee in a coffee press, I do buy coffee filters for straining my cold press coffee. The flavor is SO good, and whoever it was that mentioned adding boba (tapioca pearls) to iced coffee knows whereof they speak, a yummy favorite of mine as well. Mind you, I like to buy the pastel colored boba as the black pearls are a little off putting to me. Love your blog, and your writing style, and I keep coming back for more! Thanks, Deb!

  260. Roberta Eicher

    It’s called STOK (pronounced stoke). I buy it by the quart at Publix in Florida, sweetened or unsweetened. I open the top, pour it over ice, add milk or half&half. No grounds, no cleaning. $4.99. Love.

  261. Stephanie

    Not sure the double filtration is necessary. I love the suggestions to use a french press. Thanks y’all!

    I made a double batch (so 3 c water) and experienced 1/3 reduction in liquid by the end! Is this typical? Ok full disclosure there was a splash here or there, and the filters soaked up a bunch of liquid too. But still, 1 whole cup?

  262. I’ve used this recipe for years, occasionally increasing the quantity of coffee grounds as needed to accommodate my caffeine requirements.
    I also go ahead and make a double recipe, because, who are we kidding?

  263. Jaaser

    Coldbrew ice tea is a similar revelation. Clean, refreshing and fullbodied flavour with no bitterness. Pour 1 liter of cold water over 7 tbsp of whole leaf black tea. Steep covered for 30 min, then strain into a bottle or jug and serve over ice. I sometimes serve with a simple syrup on the side for the folks of the sweet tea school.

    1. Lana

      What if you have tea bags (white tea)? Can you still cold brew? How many bags to 1 liter of water? Thirty minutes doesn’t seem like it’s long enough…

      1. Julie

        I do 2 teabags for 16oz of water and let steep in the fridge for 12 to 24hrs. It takes foresight but is amazing and the perfect afternoon drink in the southern summer! I typically make a new one when I am taking the old one out of the fridge.

    1. witloof

      I make two pounds at a time. I use eight half gallon Mason Jars, which produces six jars of coffee. It lasts perfectly until I use it all up, which takes about a month.

  264. Lauren

    Do you ever increase the quantity you make at one time? If so how long does it stay good good?

    Trying to improve my food prep game one favorite at a time.

    1. Lindsay

      I know you were asking Deb, but thought I’d chime in…

      I usually double or triple this recipe for our weekly coffee, and it is great in the frig all week. I’ve made much larger amounts for brunches/wedding showers/office breakfasts with great success (it just takes longer to strain the coffee grounds, so plan accordingly). I’m ashamed to admit this, but things tend to disappear in the back of my frig and I’ve occasionally found a jar of cold brew hiding in the back that I made two weeks prior – still tastes great and maybe a bit stronger (but that could be my imagination), so I call that a win.

    2. deb

      I haven’t but see no reason it wouldn’t work. I think you can try it for more time and if the taste seems fine, you’re good to go.

  265. Dani

    Instead of straining through a sieve or other filter, could this be made in a French press and just pressed after 12 hours or overnight?

  266. Holly Keyes

    This is a great recipe for cold brewed coffee – others I tried used a lot of coffee which was a waste, plus then you need to deal with all the grinds at the end. This is easy and I have a mason jar on the counter and the filtered stuff in the fridge ready to go in this heatwave.

  267. wordable

    I put the coffee in a coffee filter then wrap an elastic around it making a ball of grounds to skip the filtering step. Works fine and a little less mess.

    1. deb

      “In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste.” So, you can use it as written or you can adjust it to taste.

  268. zennajandali

    I’m having a hard time finding the best beans for cold brew! I love the Starbucks cold brew but can’t seem to find beans to match the flavor…I’ve tried Trader Joe’s dark and medium roasts, Pete’s Major Dickinson as well as several from Sprouts. Any suggestions?? Thank you!

  269. Craig

    Best way to make coffee. We cut out the straining and make a large batch with a nut milk bag from amazon(the one with elastic)…link was unwieldy. 7 oz ground coffee to a gallon water. Good for 10 days or so.

    Search “organic cotton nut milk bag”

    Also For down the shore or camping we use disposable large tea bags for half batches. Link is equally ugly.

  270. Looks like a great recipe! Can’t wait to try it. Another way I have heard of is simply making a batch of pour over coffee and then cooling it overnight in the fridge. Have you heard of that? Do you think there would be much difference in flavour?

  271. Thanks for sharing this. There’s definitely something about cold brew coffee that makes me dance around the house, too! I use a similar over night cold brew method, but I use my AeroPress to filter it. Works like a charm – highly recommend it :)

  272. Jessica

    “For now on, every time I drink this at home I am putting $2 to $3 in a jar”

    did a cold brew only cost $2-3 in 2008?! my god!


    My daily companion is my gifted Frieling French Press for cold or hot brew: beautifully constructed of high quality, 100% stainless steel – no cracking or breaking parts, requires only one strain, Occasionally, my ratio gives me long term buzzing. Here in RI, I just love getting up to coffee ready to pour over ice or not after easy prep the night before.