This easy recipe is for anyone trying to ditch an expensive coffee chain iced coffee habit. I can’t promise you free wi-fi and a comfy seat, but I can promise a beautiful taste and pennies in your pocket.
For the best, smoothest flavour, use a coarse setting. Or as I do with my old coffee grinder, just letting it whirr for a short while, shaking the whole thing! The normal grind used for cafetières or coffee pots is too fine and will result in a bitter brew. You can use pre-ground from the shop, but it’s difficult to get them so coarsely ground. Most coffee shops will grind beans to your preference.
Pop the grounds into the French press (or large jug) and cover with the water. Give it a gentle stir then cover with some cling film and set aside in a cool room - out of direct sunlight (which would ‘cook’ the brew) - and let it infuse for about 12 hours. You can get away with as little as six hours and as long as 24, but 12 seems best.
If using the French press (highly recommended – less fuss), secure the plunger on top and gently, gently depress until the grounds are wedged underneath. Put a fine sieve over a jug or pan, line with muslin cloth - or use a coffee filter/jelly bag - and pour the coffee slowly into the sieve. You can skip this if you don’t mind a little sediment. If you are using a jug, two sievings is recommended. Pour into a sealable glass or ceramic container and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
This is where you can customize to your heart’s content. Whether you have it straight or add flavours, I would recommend diluting the concentrate at least 1:1 with water or something milky. I do the coffee concentrate as decaf so this isn’t so necessary, but is definitely needed for a caffeinated drink. See below for easy ways to jazz it up.
Optional: dairy or non-dairy milk; evaporated milk; coconut milk; flavoured simple syrup (to sweeten like coffee shops); extracts/powders/drops such as vanilla, cardamom, hazelnut, chocolate, cinnamon, Christmas spice; liqueurs such as Kahlua. You can also infuse roughly ground cocoa nibs with the coffee to impart a chocolatey taste.
Some of you will prefer 2:1 - water to coffee. Also, some people find that, due to lower acidity compared to hot-brewed coffee, cold-brewed coffee is sweet enough as is.
Fripperies On-the-rocks is fab, but here are a few ideas to try:
Coffee Addict. Pour some coffee over coffee ice cubes (made from either an earlier batch of concentrate or any leftover coffee you have) and top up with a little water or milk.
Vanilla Frappe. Add a few drops of vanilla extract (or vanilla powder), ice cubes and 1-2 stoned dates and whiz coffee in a high-speed blender (I used my Froothie). If you don’t have a powerful blender do use a liquid sweetener as the dates will be ‘bitty’.
Chocolate-Mint. Add one drop each of peppermint extract and chocolate extract (or a chocolate syrup) and any liquid sweetener. Blend with ice, or pour over ice.
Silk Road. Add a pinch of ground cardamom or cinnamon and any liquid sweetener to the cold brew concentrate, along with some ice. Blend until completely smooth. As silk.
Some Like It Hot. Cold-brewed coffee concentrate actually makes a fabulous hot drink too! Dilute with hot water – a super mellow but rich drink. The best instant coffee I can think of.
Simple Stuff. I like mine diluted 1:1 with skimmed evaporated milk and a drop of pure liquid stevia. On the rocks.