Monday, September 10, 2012

DIY Iced Coffee

Friday I posted some of my favorite pumpkin spiced treats. If you haven't checked those out yet, definitely head over there and pin a couple things for later. Because lemme tell ya, they are pretty dang good. 

Now, I also clarified that it's going to be pretty warm around here in Texas for quite a while. This fantastic DIY iced coffee has been part of my morning routine since school started and I love it. It's very inexpensive and depending on your coffee intake, can last a while! My first batch (which was not a full pound) lasted me two weeks, drinking a glass of iced coffee every day. That means each serving cost me about $0.57 (before half and half and syrup). If I bought a plain iced coffee at Starbucks, it's $2.65.  Made at home= $8 total. Bought at Starbucks= $37 total. That difference adds up pretty quick! 

This cold brewed coffee also is much less acidic than your regular ol' drip coffee which is definitely easier on my stomach!

Now I realize that everyone and their mother has seen the Pioneer Woman's recipe from whence this came but I wanted to show anyone wavering on whether or not to try this out that it's well worth it. 

What You'll Need:
1 lb ground coffee (darker and richer is better)
2 gallons water
2 large containers to hold water and coffee
cheesecloth/paper towels 

What To Do:
First, take your ground coffee and pour it into a large container. I used a gigantic mixing bowl. I've also used a soup pot to do this. I believe Ree uses a large plastic container.

Then pour the water over it and mix together so that all of the grounds are wet.

(It bubbled up and reminded me of the movie The Labyrinth. 10 Points if you can tell me why!)

Cover this mixture and let it sit for at least eight hours. I left mine overnight. 
Whenever you're ready to move on, get ready to strain your mixture!  Prepare another large container and place your strainer over it with a cheesecloth in it. I don't actually have a fine mesh strainer or a cheesecloth so I took my giant soup pot and placed it in the sink. Then I set my colander over it and covered it with two paper towels (side by side). I used Brawny paper towels and they never ripped, they allowed the liquid to strain through and did not allow coffee grounds to leak out. Perfect.

If your strainer/colander is large enough, pour your entire mixture into it and let it strain. It will take a while.

If you're like me and it is not big enough, use a cup to start scooping liquid into the colander to strain.

Since the container I was straining the liquid into wasn't large enough to hold all the liquid, I stopped halfway through to pour it into my quart size mason jars. Once you've completed the reminder of the straining process, discard the coffee grounds and refrigerate your iced coffee concentrate!

Store airtight and refrigerated in Mason jars, pitchers with lids, storage containers, etc. Unfortunately none of my pitchers have lids, so this is how I store mine! 

[Please note my ridiculously tiny counter space. Also note the yellow splatter painted microwave. Yeah, that's the work of my sister. Does anyone know anything about removing paint from appliances? ]

Ice, add cream and sweeteners, and enjoy! 

Stay tuned for instructions on making a delicious caramel syrup to add as a flavored sweetener to your iced coffee! 


  1. I do this all the time! I actually have a toddy canister that you put a filter and cork in the bottom, layer the coffee and water and let it sit overnight. It's awesome. I actually make my coffee this way year round, because 1. it's cheaper and 2. it takes out a lot of the acidity when you cold brew. If I want hot coffee I just mix some of the concentrate and water and microwave it.

  2. This is WONDERFUL! Thank you for sharing it, Chelsea! I have been wanting to learn how to really make iced coffee like this - can't wait to try it. Love saving money, as Starbucks is way too expensive!

  3. Thank you for sharing these very helpful instructions in making iced coffee! It seems to be an easy procedure to follow after reading the instructions and seeing the pictures as well. Can you suggest where I could get high quality and freshly roasted coffee?

    Robert Mahan

    1. I would recommend finding a local business which roasts and grinds its own coffee for the freshest flavor!


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