DIY Coffee Concentrate + Speedy Almond Milk Iced Coffee

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 24, 2013


In my mind, the arrival of summer necessitates iced coffee. Add homemade almond milk into the mix and it’s just about one of the best drinks to come out of my kitchen! And of course, cheaper than what the high-end coffee shops charge. I don’t drink much coffee year round (I’ve always been a tea drinker), but when the weather gets hot and steamy iced coffee just seems so right. Mind you, iced tea is great too and I’ll be experimenting more with that this summer.

The problem is, I’ve always been a bit lazy when it comes to coffee making. I don’t like to drag out our big coffee maker just for myself (Eric doesn’t like coffee) and I find using the grinder and single serving French press a drag in the clean up department. [Why do the damn coffee grinds have to get everywhere?] If I wasn’t washing 6 billion dishes everyday it might be a different story, mind you. This method I’m sharing today will forever change the way that I enjoy my iced coffee, not to mention save me time and dish washing. I really can’t argue with that!


DIY Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Cold Brew Coffee has been around for a very, very long time and it seems to have made a recent comeback, at least from what I’ve seen popping up online in recent years. A recent Kitchn post reignited my interest in making it at long last.

Thankfully, making coffee concentrate couldn’t be easier. All you do is soak freshly ground coffee beans in water for 12 hours or so. The coffee concentrate develops overnight – sans heat! – and after straining, you can use this concentrate to make iced coffee or even mix it with boiling water to make hot coffee. Since there is no heat used in the process, it produces a smoother and less acidic coffee. Some argue that the end result is less complex tasting (or even bland) compared to traditionally brewed coffee, but I personally find it perfect for iced coffee.

When I first heard about this idea, I thought it was genius because I could make a big batch of concentrate on the weekend and enjoy coffee during the week without the daily clean up! Brilliant if you ask me. The concentrate will keep in the fridge for around 1.5 weeks too, so you don’t have to make it that often.

What’s the perfect ratio?

The coffee beans to water ratio depends on how concentrated you want it and how much you want to make. I looked at NYT and The Kitchn for inspiration and I ended up using an amount somewhere in the middle. I didn’t want just a single serving nor did I want a huge batch for a crowd. Depending on how strong you like your coffee, feel free to play around with the ratios to suit your own needs. I found a 1 cup coffee to 4-4.5 cups water ratio produced great results for iced coffee.

As for using the concentrate to make hot coffee, I’m still experimenting with it. I found that I needed a 1:3 ratio of coffee concentrate to boiling water for it to be hot enough (when adding a splash of almond milk), but that was using the chilled concentrate. Some people suggest using room temp concentrate, but I can’t see myself waiting in the morning for it to warm up. Others suggest a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of concentrate to boiling water, but I didn’t find that produced a piping hot cup. However, if you drink your coffee black a 1:2 ratio is probably perfectly hot enough. Further experimentation is required! Have fun fiddling around with your perfect cup.

Yield: Around 4 cups concentrate

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  • 1 cup coffee beans, ground (medium-coarse grind) *use decaf if desired
  • 4-4.5 cups water


1. In a large pitcher or jar, stir together the ground coffee and water. Place in the fridge for 12 hours, or overnight. I actually left mine for about 24 hours by mistake, and that worked fine too.

2. Strain out the ground coffee using a fine mesh sieve and a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. You might have to strain it a couple times.

3. Use this coffee concentrate to make iced coffee (dilute with milk, see my drink below) or hot coffee (dilute with boiling water). If drinking black coffee, a 1:2 ratio of concentrate to boiling water is probably sufficient, but play around with the amounts to suit your needs.

Other uses for coffee concentrate:

Freeze it into ice cubes and add it to smoothies or iced coffee. Or just pour some concentrate straight into a smoothie.

Use it for baking – I can see myself using some of this in my chocolate cupcakes, for starters. Oh yea!



Speedy Almond Milk Iced Coffee

This is my go-to homemade almond milk iced coffee. I find a 1:1 ratio of coffee concentrate and almond milk is really tasty. Feel free to adjust this to your own taste buds depending on how strong you like it!

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Yield: 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup coffee concentrate (from above)
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought almond milk
  • Liquid sweetener, to taste (I use a drizzle of maple syrup)
  • 3-4 large ice cubes


1. Stir together the coffee concentrate and almond milk. Add sweetener to taste if desired. Add ice cubes and enjoy.

Tip: You can also make coffee ice cubes to use in your iced coffee so it doesn’t get watered down by regular ice. I personally drink it so fast the ice cubes don’t really have a chance to melt, so I don’t bother with the coffee cubes! Coffee ice cubes would be ideal if serving to a large crowd in a pitcher though.


I didn’t want to end this post without mentioning the horrible flooding in the Calgary region (and beyond) over the past several days. I have a lot of family in the area and I’m so thankful that they are ok, however there are tens of thousands of people who are still evacuated from their homes or are going back to find their house (or business) completely destroyed by water damage. If you’d like to help out, here is a big list of ways you can do so. Items like clothing, shoes, basic toiletries, food, dog or cat food, blankets, among other things are in high demand, and of course financial donations and volunteering. A Facebook group has been set up to help pet owners reunite with their pets in the Calgary area. Stay safe everyone.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kelly @ Vegan Iowan June 25, 2013 at 10:45 am

Thank you so much for this great idea! I always thought I had to shell out a few bucks at Starbucks for iced coffee.


McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN | Nutrition Stripped June 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

All I have to say is GENIUS! I love this idea of making your own coffee concentrate, this is great I can’t wait to try this!


MacKenzie June 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

Cold Brew coffee concentrate is the best. You can even freeze it in an ice cube tray and then add them to hot water or your almond milk – super convenient!


Lotte June 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm

What a great idea! I tried this today, and it was superb. I usually drink tea rather than coffee, but I do love iced coffee during summer. This is so much easier than my usual method and I can definitely see myself making this a lot as it doesn’t even require ice cubes (my freezer always seem to run out of them when I need them!).


Kristi June 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I’ve never heard of making iced coffee this way. I can’t wait to try it!


Patty June 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I use Folgers instant crystals! They’re dissolvable in water — either hot or cold! One tablespoon in a glass, fill it 3/4 of the way with cold filtered water and the rest with definitely almond milk and ice cubes.


Lauren June 25, 2013 at 11:21 pm

This was delicious–thank you! Although I may be up all night now, since I couldn’t resist having a cup after making the concentrate. ;)


Mel June 26, 2013 at 12:35 am

I love this idea. My husband also doesn’t like coffee, but for some reason likes coffee ice cream??? Anyway, this plus homemade almond milk sounds like just the thing. Going to try it this week so that I have some ready for my 4th party.

Mostly I’m a tea drinker, and more specifically a green tea snob. I’ve finally landed on my favorite summer green tea, which I’ve been drinking for the last couple years. It’s called Kukicha tea, or twig tea, and one of the few green teas that’s alkaline not to mention also macrobiotic friendly. I buy it in bulk from Arbor Tea. In the past I’ve only purchased my green teas from Japan, and was nervous after the radiation issues, but after enough research I discovered that this one was grown in a safe prefecture of Japan, which was very important for me considering I drink so much of this tea every day. For fun I add sprigs of fresh mint that I harvest in my garden and steep it with my Kukicha, but you could grab any number of fresh herbs and steep them with it! Then if I’m really daring I make a lemon syrup and sometimes mix that into it!


DRAMA June 26, 2013 at 1:16 am

I love iced coffee sooo much!


Sonal June 26, 2013 at 6:51 am

Iced coffee is so delicious and refreshing especially on a hot summers day! :) Thanks for the recipe Angela!


Tony June 26, 2013 at 8:53 am

This page is fantastic. I have been looking for a way to make good coffee or iced coffee with almond milk; I can’t wait to try this one!


Lauren June 26, 2013 at 10:59 am

Question for you–I left my nut milk bag soaking overnight to get rid of the coffee stains/smell but it didn’t do much. Do you have any tips on how to clean nut milk bags? I don’t want all of my future batches of almond milk to taste like coffee! The bag came with my Vitamix.


Geneane June 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I looooove ice-coffee and i’m thinking you could probably freeze the concentrate in ice cube blocks for later too right?


Shareba June 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I’m going to make your homemade almond milk and then try out this recipe. I need to stop drinking ice capps from Tim Horton’s!


Jessica June 27, 2013 at 6:40 am

What a great idea!!


Susie June 27, 2013 at 10:11 am

Looks very refreshing and I love the addition of the almond milk. I can see this being an after dinner drink for us.


Stacey June 29, 2013 at 7:19 pm

This looks fantastic, thanks for the idea!
Also, thank you for the shout out to Calgary and the rest of Southern Alberta. I’m a born and raised Calgarian (my husband is also a police officer here so it’s been a very busy week) and I can tell you that although these floods have damaged our homes and cities, they have not damaged our hearts. Thank you for the support!!


Court Star @ StarSystemz June 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I SWEAR every time I stop by your blog I learn something new! I had no idea that soaking coffee beans could create such a sweet treat ;) Thanks for sharing Angela! Love + Shine COURTSTAR


Philippa June 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm

This is such an interesting idea – perfect for iced coffee for the summer. I love iced coffee, especially with almond milk!

Have you heard of the Aeropress though, by any chance? I had never heard of it until after having a moan on Facebook about my espresso machine dying and then my French press cracking, all in the space of a few weeks…a coffee snob (I say that with great affection!) friend of mine recommended the Aeropress. I was very sceptical at first but now i’ve used it I am 100% converted. It looks like something from Austin Powers’ goody drawer but it makes amazing coffee!! And perfect if you just want one cup, it filters through the grounds over your mug. I would thoroughly recommend it. It is awesome and will fill the void until I can afford a proper rocket fuel espresso machine :)


Emily - It comes naturally July 1, 2013 at 2:29 am

Happy Canada Day!!!


Ksenija @ Health Ninja July 1, 2013 at 4:57 am

How funny! I just posted an article regarding the same topic yesterday. Cold Brewing your coffee rocks – it tastes that much smoother. You should try using coconut milk instead of almond milk. Creamy deliciousness!


Michelle July 1, 2013 at 10:00 am

Hi Angela! I was wanted to say a huge thank you for inspiring me to start my own food blog! I was first introduced to online food blogging about 2 years ago when I came across your blog while looking for some vegan baking recipes. Since then I am constantly checking your blog for some yummy recipes. Although my blog is still very new, I hope I can become a fantastic food blogger like yourself!


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 1, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hi Michelle, I just checked out your blog and it looks great! I tried to leave a comment but for some reason Facebook doesn’t seem to be logging in. Have fun with it!


Elisa @ I Must-ache you, Mama July 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm

That is really cool I never knew you could brew coffee in a different way.. i think i am going to try this.. because i do prefer iced coffee more then i do hot.

I loved this post.


Belinda July 3, 2013 at 11:10 am

Thank you, thank you!!! This recipe is so simple. I’ve been drinking iced coffee this past week. I had no idea iced coffee could be so delicious and easy to make. Thanks again!


Richele July 4, 2013 at 11:59 am

Mmm! I love love iced coffee! I keep hearing about swapping regular milk to almond milk. I am for sure going to try this yummy recipe :)


Dolalee July 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I have never liked cold coffee drinks – until now! As my husband, who doesn’t like almond milk, put it, “the coffee makes the almond milk taste better, and the almond milk makes the cold coffee taste better!” It’s like chocolate and peanut butter – these flavors just belong together. I live in the Deep South where the summers are H.O.T. This is my new favorite afternoon pick-me-up!


Carolyn July 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Hey Angela!
As a huge iced coffee lover I thought I would share this awesome tip.
Instead of using ice cubes to chill your drink, make ice cubes out of your coffee concentrate/leftover brewed coffee. Then when you make your drink you get the chill and coffee boost without watering down your drink. Enjoy!


Christine @ July 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Thanks so much for tips on making cold pressed coffee. I never thought of actually using the grounds to make the iced coffee overnight. I have just always brewed coffee and chill it overnight in the fridge. I am trying this as soon as I get home this evening!


Jessi (The House of Healthy) July 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

This is perfect! Thank you so so much for posting. I also crave iced coffee in the summer, but prefer tea the rest of the year. And I love using a french press, but they are so efficient at holding in heat – usually a good thing, until you want your coffee ice cold. This rocks! I am going to try it as soon as I get home from vacation – I will definitely need some coffee to get me back in the swing of things :)


Char July 18, 2013 at 12:16 am

I use my french press coffee maker to make the concentrate and it does the straining for me!


Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ July 18, 2013 at 9:37 am

For a coffee lover like me DIY coffee concentrate sounds like heaven! It’s also good to know that I can mix coffee with almond milk (with soy milk never works).


Kate S July 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I have cut way back on purchasing iced lattes this summer, thanks to this recipe. I love it! I have been doing 1:1 coffee concentrate & chocolate almond milk for the perfect iced mocha- and it only takes me a couple minutes to assemble it in the morning. Thanks for sharing!


Ashley S. August 11, 2013 at 7:01 am

This was super easy and tastes great. I don’t know if you’ve specified this in another recipe perhaps, but do you have a preferred brand of maple syrup?


Hallett Luscombe October 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Just today, read your blog for the first time and appreciate it ahd you. Thanks.


Tricia November 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Love this! Almond milk is the way to go for iced coffee, loooovveee the taste.

Just wanted to comment that my inlaws keep their coffee at room temp. MIL makes a pot on the stove, and there it sits until it finishes (4 days ish?). I have never been sick from drinking it, so…. Just in case people wNted to try that for making hot coffee from concentrate, that way it wont take long to warm up. She keeps in a pot with a loose fitting lid.


KJaye January 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm

This idea is so attractive to me — I’ve done all the research but have yet to do it. The truth is, I envision myself pouring the concentrate into a mug and it dripping everywhere and making a mess and being annoying. I also see it dripping on my clothes and staining them irreparably. This is not an idle fear — I am a klutz. How does this work in real life? How do you take a small amount out of the concentrate batch to create a cup each morning, or a pot for friends? I don’t see that mason jar working very well for storing and pouring, although it is very cute. I guess the ice cube idea might work.


Agnes July 19, 2015 at 9:58 am

@Angela-Love this idea!!!
Which coffee brand do you use?


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