Iced cold brew coffee

I had a cold brew from a coffeeshop recently. But if I’m entirely honest I ended up utterly disappointed and grumpy – pretty much the opposite of what I aim for when I’m drinking coffee. The first few sips were exactly what I wanted in my life, but shortly after life interrupted and I had to put it down and do something else. I returned about 10-15 minutes later when some of the ice had melted and I was left with a cup of once-brilliant coffee that had been diluted down to something along the lines of muddy water. Not ideal. There is a simple solution to this problem though, and that is when you make your cold brew coffee you also make cold brew ice cubes alongside it.

Iced cold brew coffee

It’s so simple I almost didn’t write this post, but having spoken to a few people, it turns out this – and I fully acknowledge it is up there with avocado slicing injuries on the ‘first world problems’ scale – is something we all need in our lives this summer.

Now, before we go any further and some sort of proto-hipster Instagram moan breaks out, let’s also remember that there is a difference between cold brew and iced coffee. Unless you’re so far up your backside as to not be seeing daylight there is of course a place for both in this world, so let’s not be a dick about it, but they are very different. If you want a refresher this is it:

Cold brew coffee: a coffee that has never seen hot water in its life. It takes much longer to make and has a much deeper flavour (usually) than stuff that’s made in a hurry and is much less acidic.

Iced coffee: this is your more regular coffee where the grounds are mixed in some way with hot water (americano/long black, etc.), and then filled with ice to reduce the temperature to something that’s more refreshing.

So to avoid disappointment in your life, I highly recommend that you make your own coldbrew ice cubes. It’s not a quick fix and takes even longer than coldbrew coffee itself, but get some extra ice cube moulds and then make a whole stash that you can keep in your freezer for when you want cold brew goodness. It’s not a faff, it’s about being more organised in your life for a better result.

Iced cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee

There is no hard and fast recipe when it comes to making cold brew coffee, but I tend to do mine overnight in the fridge and I speed up the filtering process by using my aeropress coffee maker (seriously, if you don’t own one, click on that link and buy one; it will change your coffee drinking hot or cold very much for the better). The ice I do in batches so that it’s ready when I need it. I tend to make this in ratios as I find it a bit easier, and it’s also much easier to scale. One filtered, you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, although if you’re anything like me I doubt it will last that long.

Ingredients

1 part freshly ground coffee
8 parts cold water

Directions

Get a large, sealable container – I use a 1 litre mason jar – and put your coffee in it. Top up with the water, stir and seal. Give it a little shake for good measure.

Put it in the fridge and leave it for about 12-18 hours, depending on how strong you like it (I often do mine for closer to 20 hours, if I can).

Make the ice with your first batch of cold brew.

Filter your coffee using a normal coffee filter, cafetiere or aeropress and put into ice cube moulds. Freeze.

Make a second batch and pour into a glass full of your cold brew coffee ice cubes. You can dilute, add milk or sugar as you like it (although I would try it black the first time, as it will likely be different to how you take hot brew coffee, since the flavour profile will be different).

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