My husband loves his morning jolt of caffeine - it helps to jump-start his day. But with iced coffee costing anywhere from $2.50-$4.50 a pop in NYC, his daily addiction was adding up. So we decided to start making cold-brewed iced coffee at home.
With cold-brewed iced coffee, the brewing relies on time versus heat to get the flavor from the coffee grinds. Cold brewing makes the coffee taste less sour and bitter. By soaking ground coffee overnight, we're able to make a strong coffee concentrate that makes us enough iced coffee (in regular, Thai, Vietnamese, and Irish form) to last us for the week.
Making the coffee concentrate was really easy. We soaked 1 cup of ground coffee in 9 cups of cold water for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator. We used our Cafe du Monde coffee for the chicory flavor needed to make Vietnamese iced coffee (as seen at Baoguette). The grinds can be soaked in any container, like a French press, glass jar, or large pitcher.
After the overnight soak, I filtered the coffee concentrate with a fine sieve. (Try this one from CIA Masters Collection 6-3/4-Inch Very Fine Mesh Strainer) Now the coffee concentrate is ready to be used in a variety of ways.
#1: Regular Iced Coffee (1 serving)
In a glass, mix together 1 cup coffee concentrate, 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk (depending on your preference), and fill the glass with ice. Even if you like your coffee black (as my hubby enjoys his coffee), the coffee concentrate is too rich to drink on its own.
#2: Vietnamese Iced Coffee or Ca phe sua da (1 serving)
In a glass, mix together 1 cup of coffee concentrate (made with Cafe du Monde coffee for the smokiness from the chicory coffee) with 2-3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk and fill the glass with ice.
#3: Thai Iced Coffee or Oliang (1 serving)
Thai Iced Coffee is similar to Vietnamese Iced Coffee, just a little less sweet and more fragrant from the cardamon. In a glass, mix together 1 cup of coffee concentrate (made with any strong coffee) with half-and-half and sugar to taste, 1/8 teaspoon of cardamon, and fill the glass with ice.
#4: Irish Iced Coffee (2 servings)
This makes a perfect after dinner drink. In a cocktail shaker, mix together 1 cup coffee concentrate, 1/2 cup milk, 2 oz liqueur (e.g. Baileys, Amaretto, Kahlua, or Irish whiskey), and ice. Shake and pour into 2 tumblers. Optional: Add an ice cube, sugar to taste, and a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Four great options from one large container of coffee concentrate...we just need to remember to make our concentrate every Friday night before we go to bed!