Sunday, April 26, 2009

Overnight Cold Pressed Iced Coffee

It's a little more than just pouring leftover coffee over ice cubes and pouring in milk, but you can make your own cold brewed, iced coffee right at home and it's super easy!
It's a little more than just pouring leftover coffee over ice cubes and pouring in milk, but you can make your own cold brewed, iced coffee right at home and it's super easy!

Overnight Cold Pressed Iced Coffee

I used to be a coffee addict. I mean seriously. I literally drank the stuff all day long when I worked in the legal office, and in fact, often only coffee all day long - meaning I often worked through lunch and didn't eat all day. {Bad Mary.} I'm sure that has everything to do with my sluggish metabolism now, so gals ... don't do that! Eat. Eat breakfast. Eat lunch. And you won't be like a ravin' maniac starvin' Marvin' when you get home and evening rolls around.

Thank goodness we didn't have a Starbucks back then. Not anywhere here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It's a good thing really, because I'm sure I would have busted my budget for sure on fancy coffee drinks. Initially we had exactly one, inside of Hard Rock casino, but over the past few years, we've had a few more locations pop up here locally, and plenty of mom and pop operations are still around, so don't worry, we are not coffee deprived y'all!

Anyway, the point of all that is, that before you could actually drive through McD's and grab a quick iced coffee, I had to figure out how to make it on my own. It's funny ... I cannot stand the taste of a cup of hot coffee that has gone cold, yet I love iced coffee. Go figure. But let me tell ya, when you want a coffee fix when the temps are on the rise and the humidity feels like a wall of heat when you walk outside, this'll do you fine!

The process of cold brewing significantly reduces the acidity.

I first heard about this method many years back from an article written by Kate Simon over at Imbibe Magazine. I learned that many coffee shops use a cold pressed method to brew their coffee into a coffee concentrate to use both for hot and iced coffee, so you may wonder why. What are the benefits of cold pressed coffee, and well, why bother? Well, for one it makes a concentrate that is just easier to use than trying to have hot and freshly brewed coffee available all the time. Cold pressed coffee has a much longer storage time - generally a jar will last you up to two weeks. But a lot of people prefer cold pressed coffee over hot brewed because the process of cold brewing significantly reduces the acidity in the coffee, making it much easier on the stomach. It also reduce the caffeine levels so that it doesn't have quite the punch that hot brewed coffee does.

Filtered water tastes the best!

These days I have a Keurig - and I'm usually good with one cup and occasionally two cups in the morning. Every once in awhile I'll have an afternoon cup, but that's rare now. Before Keurig, my favorite coffees were Community, Folgers and Maxwell House, mostly whatever was at a good price really. Mama preferred Maxwell House, my former mother in law used CDM. World of difference there y'all! Anyway, I have a few of these empty plastic coffee can buckets hanging around because they are handy for compost buckets to keep under the sink for produce scraps, and they are perfect for overnight refrigeration of this concentrate.  Use a pitcher or any lidded storage container that will hold at least 1/2 gallon of water. Just pour room temperature or cool/cold water in. I only drink filtered or bottled water, so that's what I use for my iced coffee, rather than tap water.

Add the coffee, stir real good, cap and refrigerate overnight so it can "brew."

Making this is super easy if you have one of those French press coffeemakers hanging around - and Bodum has even made a press specifically for cold pressed iced coffee. How about that?

Don't worry though. Even if you don't own one of those presses, you can still make this using a strainer and coffee filters. The press is just a bit faster. Just stack a coffee filter into a strainer and strain the coffee.


If you happen to have one of those French press gadgets, pour the mix into the press...


Cap it...


... push down on the plunger ...


... and pour into your storage container.


The press does all the work. My press is small so I have to do this twice.


Save those grounds to mix in your compost pile! Or to scatter around your acid loving plants - hydrangeas, azaleas; some folks use them right on their roses and even scattered in the yard! Supposedly they are a source of nitrogen.

Whichever way you strain it, once it's filtered it, store it in the fridge and when you want an iced coffee {or three}, grab your pitcher, fill a glass with ice, fill the glass somewhere between halfway and 3/4 full with the coffee...

... add your favorite sweetener, a splash of syrup flavoring if ya like, top off with some milk, half and half, cream, or if you're feeling super decadent, sweetened condensed milk. Stir and enjoy!

I'm the only one in my house that likes iced coffee, so I only make it 1/2 gallon at a time. You can certainly double this easily. This ratio of 1 cup of coffee to 1/2 gallon of water makes an iced coffee that is maybe just slightly more on the stronger side of mild. To adjust to your preference, try it this way the first time and then add or reduce the coffee to adjust the strength to your taste. Hope this satisfies your coffee craving this summer {which seems to arrive earlier and earlier here in the deep south} while keepin' ya cool at the same time!

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Recipe: Overnight Cold Pressed Iced Coffee

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min

Total time: 1 hour 40 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 10 min
Inactive time: 24 hours

Total time: 24 hour 10 min
Yield: About 1/2 gallon

  • 1/2 gallon+ sized container
  • 1 cup of your favorite regular ground coffee
  • 1/2 gallon of filtered cool or room temperature drinking water
  • Large strainer with cheesecloth, coffee filters, a re-usable coffee filter, or an 8-cup French Press

Fill container with water; add coffee and stir in. Cover and store in the refrigerator 6 to 8 hours or overnight. After that, if you happen to have a French press, you'll pour the coffee into the pot and press, then pour the strained coffee into a storage container or pitcher. If you don't have a French press, use a large strainer and a regular coffee filter, or a re-useable coffee filer, over a pot or your storage container, and filter out the coffee grounds, changing out the filter about halfway through for a fresh one. Store the filtered coffee in the fridge.

To make an iced coffee: Fill a glass with ice. Add enough coffee to fill the glass about 3/4th full, add sweetener and/or flavored syrup, top with half and half, milk, cream, sweetened condensed milk, or your favorite non-dairy flavoring, stir, insert straw and enjoy!


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