Friday, July 2, 2010

Black Gold, aka Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Iced Coffee. So good. I'm glad we all agree. Cold brewed ice coffee is the best that there is. It's smoother, less bitter and just delightful. If a place cold brews their iced coffee, they'll likely advertise it; it takes a bit more work but it's worth the effort. Most places brew hot coffee double strength. Ugh (coffee snob).

It's easy enough to cold brew at home, too. You can buy the Toddy system here, but I like to find ways to not acquire more kitchen appliances than I need to. For one, my kitchen is 5.5' by 6.5' and secondly, on principal, if I can do something with things I already own then that's how I'll do it.

The science is simple:

1 lb course ground coffee + 10 cups cold water

Soak over night, filter and voila, cold brew iced coffee. Here is the system I've got going.

I happen to have a very large beaker, perfect for this and hopefully punches at parties, too, one day. I mix a pound of ground coffee to 10 cups of water, stir until the grounds are moistened and cover your container with plastic wrap. I've also used a large mixing bowl to do this.

Let your coffee soak over night (I usually do 8p - 8a). After the grounds have soaked, you'll need a way to filter them. I've done this before by transferring from one bowl to another pouring through a metal mesh strainer with cheese cloth. But now I have a Chemex (coffee snob) and I pour my coffee into it and through a muslin filter (I made this to save from having to trash paper filters all of the time). You'd be surprised how much liquid sticks to the grinds so the longer you have to sit and let it it filter out the more coffee you'll get in return.

When you're done filtering you're left with a strong concentrate (And a lot of grinds. Compost? Potted plants?). Bottle up your gold in an air tight container and it will keep for a while (refrigerated). Typically you just need to mix 1/3 coffee to 2/3 water (or 1/3 water, 1/3 milk or 2/3 milk) but if you prefer stronger than you can up change up the ratio.



  1. that Chemex looks pretty great. How does it compare to a french press? You must have a fairly large chemex to fit all the grinds?

  2. I should have also mentioned it takes a couple of rounds with the Chemex. I fill it up, let it drain a while, then get rid of the grounds and pour in some more.

    And as for how it compares to the French press; it's pretty great. It makes more than my french press does and it's a lot easier to clean up - and a lot more impressive!

  3. YES! I love this-- the toddy system is not so cheap, so I will probably try this instead. Also, I hate my french press. Hate. No matter what I do, the coffee always tastes like grounds. Cold brew rules. Having coffee around is great for lots of chocolate recipes too...

  4. that Chemex looks pretty great. How does it compare to a french press? You must have a fairly large chemex to fit all the grinds?