Easy Cold Brew Iced Coffee Recipe

I am reposting this recipe from last summer. It is still my favorite way to make iced coffee. There are quicker ways, but I still think this tastes the best!

This summer, I have been enjoying iced coffee.   I never tried iced coffee until this year. I stopped into a Wawa and on a whim picked up an ice coffee.  I loved it.  I did not love the price.  The next day I decided to make iced coffee at home.  Well, lets just say that tasted like dirty mop water.

I asked my friend Chris (a coffee aficionado) how she made her iced coffee. She shared with me this simple, but delicious iced coffee recipe.  There is no brewing involved.. yes silly me thought you could just brew strong coffee and put it over ice.   It just isn’t the same.  The ice melts and it tastes like, said dirty mop water after about 10 minutes.

Also, when you cold brew, the coffee is less acidic and bitter – cold brew gives you a sweeter, richer coffee.

So here is the step by step to making the coffee that is just as good as Wawa and save about $1.50 per glass!

I started with whole beans.   I used a dark, bold coffee for a deep, rich flavor.   You will want to grind your beans coarse.  (Note, you can use pre-ground coffee for this, I just find that I prefer  the taste of freshly ground coffee).  You will need 1 cup of ground coffee per quart of water.   (this can be adjusted to your taste)

For this example, I have two quarts of cold water and two cups of ground coffee.  If you like your coffee a little less strong, just use less coffee.  Put your coffee in a glass or plastic container.  Pour water in.  Cover the container.  Yes, it will look like mud.  I promise it, tastes nothing like it looks.  Let it sit for atleast 10 hours.

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Now, the fun part. You will need to drain all coffee from the grounds. I used a small strainer with a coffee filter in it. You can use cheese cloth as well. You will want to slowly pour the coffee into the strainer.  I put a bowl under the strainer to catch the coffee.

You will want to take your time, because it will take awhile for the liquid to get thru the grounds. (Don’t pour too much in — or you will have a mess on your hands!)  When you get to just grounds, use a spoon to push the liquid thru. Then you have your liquid concentrate. Put it in a pitcher and cover.

Fill a glass up with ice.  Fill the glass halfway with your coffee concentrate. Add your favorite  cream, half and half or sweeteners.  I did not fill it up to the top, as I like to leave a little room for the ice to melt. If you like your coffee black, remember this is a concentrate. You will need to add a little water or let your ice melt so it is not too strong.

This concentrate will last for about 7 days in the fridge.

Total Savings for drinking my own ice coffee vs. buying it at Wawa from June to August :  $138.00



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  • Estelle S.

    I saw somewhere before that you can put in about 1/3 C. Brown Sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon to the mixture while it is “steeping”. I’ve tried it before and OMGOSH, is it wonderful. If you like cinnamon, you must try it. It is absolutely the BEST!!

  • Lindsay in PA

    Hi Shannon!

    I just made this for the first time. I love iced coffee and remembered you posted this a while ago so I looked it up. :)

    I must admit, while I was making it, it looked so gross sitting there on my counter and my hubby (a non-coffee drinker) was totally grossed out since it looked like sludge!

    Once it was done, it tasted pretty good, but tastes kind of burnt (like Starbucks – yuck!). Why does it tastes burnt? Is that the coffee I used (i used Folgers original)? or how long it sat on the counter?

    Thanks for the recipe…I will try it again using different coffee, but if you have an idea on why it tasted burnt, please let me know!

    Lindsay :)


    Has anyone tried to make the coffee concentrate with decaf coffee?

  • Danielle

    I have tried to make mine Hot brewed and it tasted horrible dirty swamp water :(
    then I found a cold brew recipie that was awesome tasting :) and the 1 can of evaperated milk and 1 can of the sweeten condense milk was great flavouring :)..But then I ran into a kind of problem I ran out of flavouring :( before the brew …… (Because I am hooked on Iced coffee now since I tasted Mac Donalds and didnt like the cost of a large )
    so My question is if I make a symple syrop to use as the sweetened part and just cream or 1/2 n 1/2 for the creamy part….. will or could that work as well?

  • Lauren

    My husband says it looks like I have a coffee meth lab going on when I am at the straining part! haha. So worth the process!! I have been making this coffee since the day you posted it last year! Love it!

  • Cathy

    After cold brewing your coffee, make your cream and sweetner mixture by mixing equal parts of half and half and sweetened condenced milk. Use about 3/4 glass coffee to
    1/4 glass of creamer. Adjust to your taste.

  • YES!! ICED COFFEE RULES! I do this more in the summer but it’s great all year round. I make mine by the gallon. I use 1lb of coffee to 1 gal of COLD water and let it steep 8-12 hrs. Then I strain it and enjoy! BEST OF THE BEST!!!

  • Cmat

    Can’t wait to try this. I’ve been addicted to iced coffee since Burger King started selling it. I might just have to get some Seattle’s Best coffee to do this!

  • Missy

    I use a very simple recipe from my mom-in-law who has been making it this way for many years.

    Put 8 tbsp. instant coffee (I use Maxwell House) in a one-cup measuring cup. Pour in 1 cup boiling water and mix. Add to a pitcher with 7 cups of cold water.

    For some reason, this tastes much better than making a pot of hot coffee and letting it cool. Plus, it takes no time at all!

    Happy 4th Everyone!!

  • nicki

    I make iced coffee at home by just cooling my coffe but I also freeze coffee in ice cube trays so when the ice melts it doesn’t get all “dirty mop waterish” it is great and I just put my coffee ice cubes in a glass and pour my ff flavored creamer in..right now I am using Baileys French Vanilla(they dont make it ff. :(…) And than pour in my cooled coffee I do keep some in a pitcher in the fridge. I started doing iced coffee this way b/c my husband saw an article in one of my Martha Stewart mags I get for free:) & I have to have in the morning Hot coffee and I was wasting some by not drinking it all and so this is saving my coffee!! and of course money!! I am going to try cold brewing to see how it tastes tho! Just thought the coffee ice cubes could help!!

    • Shannon

      Nicki.. Coffee ICE CUBES.. Awesome idea!

  • My grandmother used to drink these but her’s also included a scoop of Coffee Ice Cream, so it was like an Iced Coffee Float.

    • Shannon

      ohhh yummo :)

    • nicki

      yummy!!! I am soo going to get coffee ice cream to try this:)

  • Savings Viking

    I learned to love homemade chai lattee (well, almost homemade).

    I buy the lipton Chai bags (or whatever’s on sale) and make a cup of tea that way, filling the cup about 2/3 full. I add in extra sweetener to it, and after the tea is done steeping I fill the rest with 1% milk. Voila! I was paying about $5 each for these at Starbucks, and now it’s well under $1 what I pay for each of them AND I’m getting to drink them every day. Amazing!

  • Most restaurants hot brew and then chill the coffee before putting it over ice, triple strength if you are going to make it into a frappe and about one and a half times to two times if you are going to pour it over ice.

    I’ve never heard of doing it this way, but it sounds yummy.

  • Awesome post! I always just assumed you put brewed coffee over ice! I’ve never made iced coffee at home, but have been thinking about it lately since both myself and my daughters really enjoy it.

    Thanks for saving me from the mop water! ;-)

  • Amy

    Love it, Shan!

    I, too, have made dirty mop water iced coffee, lol. This sounds MUCH tastier! Thanks for the recipe!


  • Kristin M

    We just brew a pot of coffee, let cool, put in a pitcher in the fridge.When nice and cold, pour into glass, add 3-4 cubes of ice, and creamer or milk as needed. Pretty simple!

    • Shannon


      IMHO its not the same. This is much sweeter, richer when you don’t hot brew, the coffee is much less bitter. :)

    • sarah c

      @ Kristin Us too! It’s great and so easy!!