Every iced coffee-lover should know this easy method for how to make Cold Brew Coffee for iced coffee! Turning it 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 cold brew 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)
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- 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 in June 2012 and has been updated with more information.
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