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.
I was just trying to find an easy way to make iced coffee at home this past weekend. Can’t wait to try this!
Trader Joe’s has a Columbian Instant Coffee for $3 and everyone that swares they hate instant coffee (Seattlites are very particular about their coffee) loves this. Nothing beats the smell of a just brewed cup of coffee but for iced coffee or a quick cup of coffee, company stopping over or road trips this is great. Its now used at the Mechanics, Dr.’s office, gym, and P.T. offices I go to. You don’t waste brewing a pot that no one drinks and hot water gives it that fresh brewed taste and smell. Also dissolves in cold liquid well. I have actually done something similar to the above recipe and its really really good, esp for friends that don’t do dairy fresh almond and coconut milk go so well as they curdle in hot coffee and it takes away the commerodery if having coffee with friends if only a few can participate. Doing it this way I have a choice of other beans not just Columbian. Looking forward to making this for Brunch tomorrow.
This looks like a perfect pantry staple for summer time. I’m not sure how much I would drink iced coffee (unless it was decaf) but I have been making almond milk more often so maybe I’ll try this. I would definitely use it in baking. I love how quick it is!
Mmmm…iced coffee is the best! Love this recipe!
Wow that is such a good idea! And perfect for making coffee cakes too! Mmm. xxx
I have been a complete coldbrew coffee convert ever since coming across the NYT article (although I now use my own ratio of water to coffee grounds). It is such a revelation – I actually prefer the taste of the coffee that way, definitely less acidic and smoother! And yes, it is so convenient to have iced coffee on standby – making my morning cup of coffee is now a question of seconds, all I need to do is grab a large glass, put in some ice cubes, pour in some coldbrew, add a splash of rice or almond milk, maybe a little maple syrup and bam, the day can start!
Isn’t it life changing? I don’t know what took me so long!
It is! I resigned myself from really enjoying a frap or iced latte from Starbucks. This is really good!! Thank you, Angela!! Can’t wait for your book to come out! I didn’t miss that, did I? Would love if you could come back soon to the Chicagoland area!
This might just convert me to a coffee drinker! Seems like the perfect pick-me-up for a hot and humid summer day like today. I also love the coffee ice cube idea to avoid a watered down drink…one of my favorite tips for flavorful iced drinks!
I love Ice Coffee, I am doing cold tea as well. I deiced that since it has been 108 degrees for the past few weeks, I should stop drinking hot coffee and tea.
This makes me really excited! Although I don’t drink coffee too often, I LOVE ice coffee and I just brought home a ton of fresh coffee from the Philippines! I am definitely reserving some of it to make this!
Great idea. I love iced coffee but I don’t like when I have to ice hot coffee because it gets too watery. And it takes too much time to wait for a hot coffee to cool down in the fridge/freezer. This is perfect and quick for when I am running out the door in the morning!
I feel the same way about making coffee. My go-to drink is green tea because its easier for me to steep tea rather than worry about dragging out the coffeemaker. Even in the summer, I just drink iced green tea. I’l have to try this method, it sounds like a great way to make iced coffee!
This is exactly how I make my coffee! :) Sometimes I put it all in a blender with some ice and a bit of cinnamon and I get a frappucino type drink.
I’m not usually a coffee drinker either but this sounds really good! Cold brew sounds interesting. I am a huge iced green tea lover and drink it everyday so I’m curious to see what you come up with next! Sorry to hear about the flood, that is awful so many people have lost their homes.
I absolutely love iced coffee, year round. In college, even on snowy days, you could find me with an iced mocha and mittens. This is perfect!
This is amazing! The only coffee maker I have is a Keurig, which only makes 1 cup at a time. Not ideal for iced coffee (or even hot coffee for that matter)! Now I can make it without crowding up my countertops with yet another small appliance. Thank you :)
Aww man I wish I had this recipe when my girlfriend was here the other day. I’m not a coffee drinker but she is. I’ll bookmark it for next time! But I’ll definitely use the concentrate for my batch of Jeni’s Dark Chocolate ice cream I need to make! :-)
oh man, i am definitely trying this out! it looks so simple but so good!
Rebecca @ tr[i]b[e]cca
I love iced coffee! I drink it all the time. Been trying to drink less coffee (but that’s not really working too well…haha) and in the meantime, I love my iced coffees! Gorgeous images. And the concentrate is a good idea. And with the homemade almond milk, mmmm, I would even call this healthy that way :)
Can you make a recipe for vegan Thai iced coffee? This is close I think, but misses the absurdly creamy dessert-like texture. Here’s a nonvegan version:
PUHLEASE make a vegan version! everything you make is so delicious and ever since I got back from SE Asia I’ve been craving a vegan version of this!!
Yes I’ve heard about this! People rave about this coffee…I must try it. I do have a vegan condensed milk on my blog made from coconut milk so it sounds like the perfect pairing…
Yummmm. I’ve been all about the iced coffee lately! Perfect for summer!
I love ice coffee, but never can make it good at home. Thanks for this post. Definitely going to try it!
Toddy makes a marvelous cold brew filtering system. The concentrate is so rich and delicious, it reminds me of delectable dark chocolate. I can’t drink anything else anymore. http://toddycafe.com/
I read about that Toddy and it looks fun! so glad to hear you enjoy it so much.
Are you hip to the Canadian company David’s Tea? They have fantastic loose leaf teas, and many of them make outstanding iced teas. Also, I use whatever’s left in the pot for smoothies instead of almond milk or other liquids. My smoothies usually consist of a banana, some frozen fruit (cherries, blueberries, peaches – I live in BC and fill the freezer every summer just for future smoothies!), and enough of a David’s Tea to blend it. I usually use Creme Caramel because that’s my daily driver, but Dreamsicle or Three Lemon or African Mint make excellent smoothies too. I’ve even used Chocolate Orange tea in the smoothie…yum!
My husband is the coffee drinker and uses a French press. I’ve watched him clean it a million times, and he does have it down to a science. Once you’ve drunk it and you have the pot with the grounds in it, fill it 2/3 of the way with water, take it outside, swirl it around to get the grounds moving, and hurl the contents into the yard (preferably at an acidic loving plant, like a rhododendron or azalea). Then just rinse, and rinse the plunger and you’re done. Easy peasy!
Thanks for the recipe, I may try it, although my husband’s ALWAYS happy to make me some coffee because I never want more than one cup and he gets the rest!
Ooh I love this idea! I know it seemingly defeats the purpose but I only drink decaf – I’m super sensitive to caffeine so I start bouncing off the walls haha. And even though decaf coffee has less caffeine than a cup of black tea, I feel so awake still when I drink it – I think it’s the smell of coffee that wakes you right up! And I love the taste so I appreciate fun recipes to make a good iced coffee at home. I’m not a huge almond milk fan in the sense of tasting it. I use it in smoothies etc but can’t stand the taste of it plain. Is the coffee and sweetener strong enough to mask it in this recipe or should I try a different milk? I generally avoid soy and lactose but I can play around with coconut milk, maybe…
I know what you mean about caffeine – I’m super sensitive too and often drink decaf!
I think you can taste the almond milk in the iced coffee…if I didn’t drink it down so fast I’d probably be more certain. :) I’m sure coconut milk would be nice too!
You know, this just looks so tasty, but I’ve never been a fan of coffee or anything that even remotely tastes like coffee. I love the smell of it, but my tastebuds just revolt when I try to drink it. I wonder if one could make some kind of home-made chai concentrate using tea & spices? Hmmmmmm……
I make a fantastic chai tea latte using very strong pumpkin chai, almond milk and maple syrup. I think you could make the tea like you do sun tea…a bunch of tea (or tea bags (in a jar of water) and then set out in the sunshine for 12 hours. And then drink it iced. Yum.
I think you could! I’ve heard about cold brewing tea as well, so I’m sure there’s a way.
This sounds really good!
I very rarely have iced coffee, as I drink my coffee at work, in an air-conditioned office. As such, I find no matter how hot it is outside, I’m cold while sitting at my desk and want hot coffee. I might have to switch it up to try this recipe though.
Ummm, I’m doing this TODAY!!!!!! I’m more of a tea person too, but I always get iced coffees from Starbucks in this summer so this is a great alternative to my addiction brewing there (<— did you see what I did?! ;) haha)
I seriously cannot wait to wake up tomorrow morning now! haha
LOL…I always see your iced coffee on Instagram and it makes me smile! I’ll be looking forward to your pic tomorrow? ;)
I love making cold brew for the week! I often put a splash in vanilla protein powder and it is so delicious!
yummy. Where is the recipe for the Apple Cinnamon Date Voo?
This is the coffee of my dreams! I actually have a mason jar of cold-brew in my fridge right now, but no almond milk…I guess I know what’s next on the list of things to make, right? :)
LOVE THIS!!!! Especially for summer. :)
I wonder if I could strain this with a coffee filter? Would that work? Might be easier than straining multiple times through cheese cloth or fine sieve.
Ok, it’s very obvious that I’m not a coffee drinker because the idea of this has never even crossed my mind before! I’ma tea drinker, so I’ve been steeping loose leaf ones from David’s Tea like crazy!! They have some delicious fruity herbal ones right now that taste fantastic iced, and I’ve baked with lots of the others (including Forever Nuts, my forever-fave!) with great success. I like this idea of coffee cupcakes…. can’t wait to see you give it a go!
I love, love, love this idea! I make coffee all day long with the traditional coffee pot. Therefore I am cleaning the nasty thing many times a day. Why have I never thought of coffee concentrate? I guess because you had not blogged about it yet. lol
Instead of making the concentrate, I use the same ratio of grounds to water as with regular hot brew. I fill up the coffee pot with water, add the grounds, let it soak, and strain it. Coffee is all set to go and no need to add extra water later. Tastes great every time!
Perfect way to enjoy cold coffee, any time of the day :)
I am greatful that you shared this! I’m excited to give it a go!
I am VERY enthused by this concept! Like you, I find a French Press too difficult (or I’m just too hopeless at using them…always ends up messy!) and I don’t own a coffee machine. I tend to use instant coffee but always feel hugely unsophisticated when doing so. I will definitely be trying this :)
Yay! This is awesome. I have been just saving leftover coffee from the morning and putting them in ice cube trays. I think I will try this method out soon!
I make a regular iced coffee with almond milk, every single day!
I’ve never made the cold brew before, I gotta try it!
Thank you so much for this great idea! I always thought I had to shell out a few bucks at Starbucks for iced coffee.
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!
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!
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!).
I’ve never heard of making iced coffee this way. I can’t wait to try it!
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.
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. ;)
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!
I love iced coffee sooo much!
Iced coffee is so delicious and refreshing especially on a hot summers day! :) Thanks for the recipe Angela!