Summer is approaching, and it will be hot. It’s the kind of hot where you don’t want to go outside. It’s the kind of hot that makes you think a mesh top is appropriate for the office.
But it’s all right. I received your sedative. It’s a cold brew French press recipe for the best iced coffee you’ve ever had, and it could be your new morning breeze.
I’m here to help you kick the coffee shop habit and make your own cold brew iced coffee at home, flavored exactly how you like it, strong and heady, and above all, cold.
The Best Iced Coffee Is Cold-Brewed
Let’s get one thing straight: great iced coffee does not come from putting ice cubes in a glass of hot coffee. Not in the least. If you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know that the coffee is quickly diluted by the ice, and it never reaches true icy nirvana.
Rather, the best iced coffee is made by altering the coffee brewing process. Instead of using hot coffee straight from the pot or the French press, I make cold-brewed coffee in a French press that has been steeped and chilled overnight. It comes out of the fridge extra-cold and extra-strong, just waiting to be diluted a little with ice and milk. So if you want to get the best result from your coffee, it means you have to use the best coffee as well.
Start Your Iced Coffee the Night Before
As you might expect, making a cold-brew French press necessitates the use of cold water. It also takes longer because the coffee grounds take longer to steep. It’s best to let it sit overnight. However, because of the extra time and cold-brew process, the flavor is more delicate and the finish is less bitter.
This is how a lot of coffee shops make iced coffee, the kind you crave this time of year. They make a cold-steeped, extra-strong, extra-smooth brew that is just as good as hot coffee, but in its own unique way.
How To Make Iced Coffee
- 1/3 cup whole coffee beans
- 1 1/2 cups cold water, preferably filtered
- Sweeteners, such as flavored syrups, caramel, or melted chocolate (optional)
- Coffee grinder
- French press
- Grind the coffee beans. Grind 1/3 cup of coffee beans until they are coarse enough to be filtered by the French press, yet fine enough to infuse well. On my burr grinder, I grind right in between middle and fine.
- Combine the ground coffee and water in the French press. Pour the ground coffee into a French press and top with 1 1/2 cups of water.
- Stir to incorporate. Gently stir the coffee with the water until well-blended.
- Put on French press lid. Make sure the plunger is in the up position.
- Steep the coffee overnight in the fridge. Leave the plunger in the up position so the grounds infuse the water overnight.
- Plunge to separate the coffee from the grounds. The next morning, plunge the French press to separate the coffee from the grounds.
- Make your iced coffee. Fill a glass with ice cubes and fill partway with milk. Fill the rest of the glass with iced coffee. Stir to combine and enjoy!
Large-batch iced coffee: If you have a larger French press, you can make a larger batch of iced coffee using the same ratio of ground coffee to water. Plunge and transfer any unused coffee to a new container. Iced coffee can be kept refrigerated for about 1 week.
Iced coffee variations: If you have a sweet tooth like me, you may want to stir in a spoonful of cajeta caramel or chocolate fudge. Sea salt or cinnamon also make a nice touch.
Hi there! I’m a food enthusiast and journalist, and I have a real passion for food that goes beyond the kitchen. I love my dream job and I’m lucky enough to be able to share my knowledge with readers of several large media outlets. My specialty is writing engaging food-related content, and I take pride in being able to connect with my audience. I’m known for my creativity in the kitchen, and I’m confident that I can be the perfect guide for anyone looking to take their culinary journey to the next level.