Every iced coffee-lover should know this easy method for how to make Cold Brew Coffee for iced coffee! Turning cold brew into Affogato (which means “drowned” in Italian) by adding a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream is just icing on the cake.
When I first moved to Florida for law school, I became a little bit of an iced coffee junkie. I developed a Starbucks-almost-every-morning ritual without realizing how easy (and cheap!) it is to make cold-brewed coffee at home.
Let’s briefly talk about coffee ice cubes. I think they’re a cute and clever idea, but with cold-brewed coffee, there really isn’t any need for them. This is because cold-brewed coffee is pretty concentrated stuff. Therefore, all you have to do is use a little less water to account for the ice melting.
Pro Tip: To serve cold brew, most people dilute it at about a 1:1 ratio with water.
Cold Brew Coffee FAQ
Why do I need to cold-brew my coffee for iced coffee?, you ask. Can’t I just brew up a pot the regular way and let the coffee cool down? You can indeed. But hear me out…even though it takes a little bit of planning ahead since you’ll need to brew the coffee the night before, it is ridiculously easy to make.
Making cold brew coffee is actually less work than brewing a regular pot of coffee. And if you just use regular coffee that’s been chilled, it won’t be nearly as good as if you use cold-brewed. Here’s why…
What is the Difference Between Regular Coffee and Cold Brew?
Regular iced coffee is simply brewed coffee that’s served over ice.
Cold brew coffee uses a completely different brewing method, in which the coffee is never heated. Coffee grounds basically steep in room temperature water for about 12 hours, and then the liquid is double strained to remove the grounds. The result is a coffee concentrate that’s much less bitter than normal, has low acidity (so it seems naturally sweeter), and is nuanced with all those flavor notes that coffee connoisseurs love.
Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Regular Coffee?
Yes, cold brew is stronger than regular coffee. It is concentrated, which is why I like to dilute it with water before drinking.
Cold Brew Coffee Benefits
I’ve read conflicting articles; some say that cold brew is lower in caffeine than regular coffee, and some say it’s higher. Likewise, some studies show that cold brew is less acidic on the pH scale, and other studies show the opposite. Because of this, I won’t really talk about the health benefits, but I will mention the taste benefits!
To me, cold brew tastes less bitter and less acidic than regular iced coffee. It lacks a burned flavor that regular coffee can sometimes have, and also doesn’t taste diluted. Additionally, I find that its subtle flavor notes and nuances are preserved because the brewing process doesn’t involve heating the grounds.
How to Make Cold Brew Concentrate
You can make your concentrate in a mason jar, in a French press, or even in a gallon jug! The method is simple; combine coffee grounds and water. My favorite method is the French press method.
Cold Brew Coffee Grounds to Water Ratio
I use 2/3 cup coffee grounds for every 3 cups of water.
Cold Brew Concentrate Ratio – Cold Brew Coffee Ratio
Once your concentrate is made, I like to dilute it with water before I drink it. I usually use a 1:1 ratio of cold brew to water. However, if I’m adding ice I will use a little less water.
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee French Press
Step 1: Combine Coffee Grounds and Water
Stir together 3 cups cold filtered water and 2/3 cup medium to coarse-ground good quality coffee in a large measuring cup with a pour spout. Cover the measuring cup with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature overnight or up to 24 hours.
Step 2: Double Strain the Liquid
Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve (or a regular sieve lined with cheesecloth) into a French press. Insert the French press plunger and slowly press down; this is the second part of the double straining. The French press makes it easy!
Step 3: Store it in the Fridge
Your cold-brewed coffee is ready! Store it refrigerated until using.
So, what is Affogato? It’s just a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of espresso. And it is soooo good! In warmer months I like to use cold-brewed coffee concentrate instead of espresso when I make Affogato, but of course the trick is to find a good ice cream too.
- A scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream
- 1 or 2 shots of espresso, or a generous splash of cold brew coffee
- About 1 teaspoon dark chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)
How to Make Affogato
To make this Affogato recipe, scoop the ice cream into a glass or small dish, and then pour the coffee on top. Enjoy!
More Cold Drinks to Cool Down With:
- Probiotic Arnold Palmer (aka Lemonade Iced Tea)
- Healthy Mocha Frappuccino Recipe (Starbucks Copycat)
- Iced Strawberry Lemon Tea
- Limonana (Middle Eastern Frozen Mint Lemonade)
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith
- 3 cups filtered water
- 2/3 cup medium to coarse-ground coffee
- Stir together the water and coffee in a large measuring cup with a pour spout. Cover and let it sit at room temperature overnight (about 12 hours, or up to 24 hours for a stronger concentrate).
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve (or a regular sieve lined with cheeseclotinto a French press. Insert the French press plunger and slowly press down (this is the second part of the double straining).
- Store your cold brew concentrate in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- For iced coffee, fill a tall glass with ice and add equal parts of coffee concentrate and water (or to taste). If desired, cream/milk and/or sweetener to taste.
- Adapted slightly from The New York Times’ recipe for Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee.
- This recipe yields 3 cups of cold-brewed coffee concentrate. To serve, I use 1/2 cup cold brew + 1/2 cup water + a handful of ice. If desired, you can add your favorite sweetener to taste.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on June 26, 201. I updated it with more information on May 20, 2019.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items. Thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!
Murad Hossen says
Hi, I am a coffee lover and me also a weakness for iced coffee. I don’t make iced coffee at home. But now I see your prosses to iced coffee making. It helps me and others. Thanks
Thanks for the recipe, I love iced coffee. To clarify, the ratio is different for the french press version? You have 1/3 c coffee to 3 cups of water in those instructions. Thanks again.
Wendy, Thank you so much for leaving a comment! That was a typo, I’m sorry about that! I fixed it in the post above. 2/3 cup coffee grounds for 3 cups water is the correct ratio. I love iced coffee too! :)
Magic of Spice says
Oh wow, I need this right about now! When I was a teen, a friends grandmother taught us to cold brew coffee, it was strong but I loved it :)
Lovely photos! I too love Affogato but I must admit, I had no idea it had a name! lol I so want a French press just for my cold brewed coffee-it’s the only way I make it now but I still am using a colander with a double layer of paper towels lining it to strain it. Such a hassle! Lovely post, Faith, I’m certainly glad I have some cold brewed coffee in the fridge waiting till morning b/c you’ve made me crave it!
[email protected] says
I love affogato but have never thought to make it with cold-brewed coffee. I usually do it with cooled expresso with still a little warmth so it forms a crust on the ice cream (and because I am too impatient to cool it properly). Affogato is a terrific instant dinner party dessert that everyone always loves and with your cold-brewed method it will be even tastier.
I’m not a huge coffee person, but I do like coffee with dessert. Coffee IN dessert sounds like a great idea, too!
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
Great tutorial Faith!! I love cold brewed coffee :)
[email protected] says
Big fan of cold brewed coffee but always did in the fridge. Will have to try at room temp. And after my cold iced coffee I will have a hot Affogato :-D
Those photos are so clear and crisp, they look immensely refreshing! Affogato is probably one of my top two favorite desserts, by the way. Seriously craving one now!
Tracy Wood says
Nice method! I will try it today – I hear it’s going to be hot here tomorrow! I usually use my coffee from the day before for my ice coffee, but your explanation about this method being less bitter makes perfect sense to me! Love it!
[email protected]'s Recipes says
Delectable! Thanks, Faith, for sharing it.
Michele | Napoli says
I’ve cold-brewed tea but never coffee. I’ll certainly try this.
[email protected] says
I m not a fan of coffee but somehow love it in desserts especially when its paired with choco. Your idea of vanilla ice cream + coffee sounds yum!
Pretty lightning in pictures!
I love cold brew iced coffee. I haven’t made it often enough yet this year…
Jessie C. says
Love this idea, thank you for sharing.
I guess I learned something new today! I had no idea cold-brewing coffee had its own set of benefits (besides starting out cold). The Affogato looks absolutely amazing and you made it look so beautiful, much unlike the image I have in my head of pouring coffee on top of ice cream! ;)
Nutmeg Nanny says
Mmmmm I love iced coffee! I just wrote an iced coffee/cold brew article too. Good minds think alike :)
I don’t even like coffee, but I LOVE it in ice cream! This looks delicious, thanks for sharing.
Fantastic idea, I had not realised that iced coffee had a special technique. Looking forward to trying it! :)
That coffee looks so wonderful, Faith!!
I have a weakness for iced coffee. But if it has ice cream then there’s no telling what I will do. Love this post Faith. It’s amazing how much money you can save making your own.
I generally have to be in the mood for iced coffee, but top it with ice cream…and I’m pretty much always in the mood. All the time.
Heavenly! I’ve never cold-brewed coffee, but I’ll try soon. Thanks for the tips.