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Posted by on Aug 11, 2013 in Basics, Breakfast/Brunch, Drinks, Easy, Featured | 23 comments

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate

I need coffee.  I mean I really NEED coffee most days.  I know that need is a strong word and no…I wouldn’t die without it but it really brightens my day.  Therefore…I NEED COFFEE.  So what.  This Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate is my new best friend.  I’ve been making it for weeks now and I’m sorry that I’m just now getting around to sharing it with you.  I promise, if you NEED coffee like I do or even if you kind of like coffee you’ll thank me for it.

cold brewed iced coffee concentrate

It’s so simple and makes my mornings even more simple.  You see the theory behind “cold brewing” which isn’t really “cold” as much as it is room temperature (but that just doesn’t sound right…room temperature brewed iced coffee would never work) is that without the heat from conventional brewing the coffee stays super smooth and doesn’t turn bitter or acidic.  It’s even a tiny bit sweet from what I understand.  I say that because I’m a sugar addict like probably no one you’ve ever known so sweet to me is very different than sweet to you.  When you make this though go ahead and try it before doctoring it any just to be sure.  You will probably need less sweetener than normal.

So, let’s talk about sweeteners while we’re on the subject.  I use simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar brought to a simmer to dissolve…I actually use more sugar than water because of that sugar addict thing) to sweeten mine and also Bailey’s creamer.  I’m in love with the Browned Butter Pecan.  No.  They did not ask me to say that.  I’ve heard of people using sweetened condensed milk also or you could use some fun chocolate milk even.  If you’re in the mood for a treat try this Spiked Frozen Coffee Cooler.  You could easily use this Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate in it, too.  I shared it not long ago and it was also featured on the uber cool Nosh On It web site as well.

Since this is a concentrate it makes it so easy to control the strength.  I like my coffee brutally strong and equally sweet so I don’t cut it completely in half but it does need something.  I’ve seen it recommended that you use half water or milk and half coffee concentrate.  I probably mix mine 70%-30% but it’s easy enough to play around with.  I also use Harmless Harvest Coconut Water in mine when I can.  Again…no…they did not ask me to say that.  I genuinely love that product.  The beauty with this is you can do so many things with it and change it up every day.  What I love most about it?  It’s summer and super hot.  My iced coffee is ready for me in seconds when I wake up, has a really nice pick me up (really nice…like throw-me-across-room kind of pick me up…I LOVE it) and I don’t have to wait for hot brewed coffee to cool.

This is what I use.  One pound of coffee.  Any kind you like.  Since I like strong coffee I get a dark roast and have the barista ( 🙂 ) grind the beans so that they’re coarse.  I’ve tried it both coarse and fine and on the fine setting I get lots of sludge in the bottom third of my container.  Lots and lots.  Definitely coarse is the way to go.

ground coffee for iced coffee concentrate

I use a really large Ball jar that I got from WalMart.  (Not asked to say that.)  If you don’t have a local store then I’m sure you can order them online.  The big jar cost less than $10 and works beautifully.  Use whatever you like but just make sure it has a good lid and preferably is glass.  The second, medium sized jar is what I store my concentrate in the fridge in when it’s done.  It lasts a good week for me.  I’m usually out by then anyway.

ball jars for iced coffee concentrate Once the coffee has cold-brewed, I strain it through two mesh strainers.  First through the larger one to remove the bulk of the grounds.  (I save my grounds and sprinkle them around my rose’s good for ’em.)  Then I pour it a time or even two through the finer mesh to get most of the sludge out.  You could use a coffee filter or paper towel but I think it would take longer than I want to spend on it with the drip…drip…drip and I’m totally fine with the way this works.

mesh strainers for iced coffee concentrate

Let me just tell you how simple this is since I haven’t mentioned it already.  Take you pound of coffee and pour it into a large, glass container.  Pour 10 cups of filtered water over the top, give it a stir and put the lid on.  Let it sit on the counter at room temperature for 24 hours.  Strain through mesh strainers and pour into a medium sized container with tightly fitting lid.  Refrigerate up to a week.  THIS is what you get!  It’s amazing.


cold brewed iced coffee


What’s will you put in your iced coffee?



NOTE:  I was just working on my cold brewed coffee concentrate for the week and and as I mentioned, when I get to the bottom there is a good bit of sludge sitting there.  This is because I am not using a coffee filter or napkin when I filter out the grounds.  In the middle of straining I had to stop for a while.  When I went back, I had strained through the large sieve but not the small and the concentrate had been sitting for about 30 minutes.  I poured it through the fine sieve and there was all the sludge sitting in the bottom of the bowl!  The sludge really doesn’t bother me.  I just know when I get to the very bottom that I’ll throw out the last couple ounces but if I just have a holding period in between I can eliminate that all together.  Cool!

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate


  • 1 pound coarsely ground coffee
  • 10 cups filtered or spring water


  1. Pour coffee into a large glass container.
  2. Top with 10 cups fresh water.
  3. Stir.
  4. Allow to sit, covered for 24 hours.
  5. Strain through a large mesh strainer. Set liquid aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Without disturbing too much, strain through the fine strainer into a large glass jar.
  7. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  8. To serve, mix half concentrate with equal amounts water, coconut water, milk, etc and sweetener of choice and serve over ice.





  1. It was our pleasure to feature you Christy! We love cold brew over here. A small tip for getting that extra sludge out. When we strain it, we put a coffee filter over a mesh strainer and let it drip through. It takes a little while longer but you’ll be sludge free!

    • Hey Vijay!! Thanks for the comment. I knew about the coffee filter…I’m just terribly impatient!

      • I hear ya! Sometimes that cup of coffee can never come soon enough in the morning….

    • I am, too! It’s the BEST. I mean how can something be this easy and be this good? I love waking up in the morning and just pouring it in my glass and I’m done. No brewing for hot coffee or definitely no brewing and then waiting for iced. Thanks for the comment and the awesome compliments. 😀

  2. I have never had iced coffee but this looks and sounds so delicious and easy I may have to try it.

  3. Hi Christy. I am just getting ready to strain my first batch of decaf (yeah, I know. What’s the point) cold brewed coffee concentrate. I will be mixing it with coconut water and a tiny hit of cocoa. I am looking forward to my first sip! Thanks for this. Also, I mentioned this recipe on my latest blog post about things I’m loving right now. Hope you get a few clicks. All best.
    kellie@foodtoglow recently posted..10 Things I’m Liking Right NowMy Profile

    • First I don’t think the decaf version is silly at all. Sometimes I want the taste of really strong coffee without the caffeine. I actually need to do it myself! Really cool you’re getting to share it with you daughter. Second, I’m so happy you decided to try it and like it. How was the coconut water? I’ve tried several options and haven’t found anything I DON’T like! Lastly, thank you so much for sharing! I love “meeting” other southern bloggers. (Sorry for the delay…I am just now getting back to the US after a really nice, long vacation 😀 )

  4. I do similar, but I use a fench press. that way, no sludge, no straining.

    • Hi! I go through it so quickly I couldn’t use my french press but that’s a great idea and seems much easier. 😀

  5. Hey there! Can you tell me how many ounces your small and large jars are? Thanks!

    • Hi Maggie! Neither of the jars say so I measured and the largest, the one that I cold brew the coffee in is approximately 4 liters. The smaller one, the one that I store the cold brewed coffee concentrate in in the refrigerator is about half that size so 2 liters. Are you making a batch for yourself? 😀

      • I’m sure going to give it a whirl! I’ve been needing to find a replacement for my beloved Starbucks for a while now (darn budget!) and this method seems the easiest. Can’t wait to try it!

        • Oh you’ll give it more than a whirl. It’s so easy. If you follow the steps you really can’t mess it up and I can’t dream of anyone not liking it!! Please stop back by and let me know what you think once you’ve had a chance to try it a few different ways?

  6. I think that is a great recipe, I’m going to add some pure vanilla extract,it brings out the real coffee flavour.

  7. Light roast has more caffeine 😉

    Thanks for the recipe; I’m trying to stop buying coffee in the mornings and this is going to be great.

    • Please stop back and let me know how you liked it? 🙂

  8. I’ve been cold brewingcoffee for about a year now and have worked out a way to make it even easier! Just make or buy some cotton/muslin bags — amazon has some great 5×7″ ones at 25 for ~ $10 — and put in 1.5 to 2 cups cheapie store brand ground coffee. I fasten the top with a rubber band (’cause I hate trying to untie wet drawstrings later) and plunk it in my covered 2quart pitcher filled with fresh water. In 24 hours, I’ve got nirvana waiting for me without having to filter anything!

    • OH WOW!!! That is an amazing hack. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing with us! I’ll be doing this for sure the next batch I make.

    • It’s perfect for summer. I drink it all the time. It has a good kick, too!


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