I usually brew a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and then we are off to school, to run errands, to activities… whatever that day brings. I do tend to drink a few cups of coffee a day and I have found that making my own at home not only tastes better but saves us time and also saves a ton of money. I used to wind up at Starbucks a few times and week and well… that can really add up fast.
So here is what I do step by step to make my own iced coffee at home.
I start by brewing the coffee. I only do this once a month or so since we have fridge space to hold 2 large pitchers of coffee. If you are tight on space you probably want to scale this recipe back.
I like a rich coffee, so I prefer Cafe Bustelo. It is a Cuban coffee I found several years ago in Miami and it is sold at CVS, Target or you can buy it on Amazon.
You need a really big bowl, container- whatever you have available. You could even use a huge pot. I have these big containers that I use from Amazon.
Start by adding 16oz of coffee to 8 quarts of cold water in your container. Give it a good stir so all those grounds are nice and moist.
Now cover up your container and leave it alone for several hours. Typically I will make this up the night before and let it sit overnight and sometime the next day I get back to it. I have left it for a few days and that tends to make a super sludgey mess so I would recommend no more than a day.
Step 2 is to get rid of the sludgey part and get that concentrated goodness out. So you just want to use a fine mesh strainer here and either cheesecloth or paper towels. Now this is a very important step so don’t skip this part or you will have a mouthful of coffee grounds. Put the cheesecloth or a paper towel over your strainer and it will get rid of all those fine grounds as you pour the coffee through. If you just use the strainer, there will be tons of yucky grounds in your coffee so make sure to use the cheesecloth or paper towels.
This recipe makes 2 pitchers of coffee- so I just put one pitcher in the sink and use a measuring cup to start pouring the coffee into the strainer. This can take a little bit of time so I do this while I am making dinner, or packing lunches or folding laundry or I hide in the kitchen with a book.
Use a spoon to push the liquid through the grounds every so often.
You are almost done now- once all that straining is done you should have a nice big pitcher of delicious coffee. This is my backup pitcher (it was $2 at Walmart) and it works perfectly. This recipe will make two of these pitchers and it lasts me about 4-5 weeks total.
And I like things very simple around here so I just eyeball the coffee when I am making a drink. I do about 1/4 or 1/2 of the way full.
Fill the rest of the way up with milk and I add a squeeze of chocolate syrup. This little lock and lock bottle works perfectly to take these guys to go. I actually make these up the night before when I am making lunches for the kids and then it is all set for me in the morning to grab on the way out the door.
In the winter, I usually don’t bother with ice cubes but as as the weather gets warmer you might consider taking a bit of that coffee and pouring it in ice cube trays. The cubes can go in a ziploc once frozen and that will prevent that gross watered down coffee flavor.
I find this not as sweet as an iced mocha but with a little more kick than an iced latte and I actually prefer these to a Starbucks drink.
- Ground Coffee 16oz
- Cold Water 2 gallons (8 qt)
- Chocolate Syrup (optional)
- Start by mixing 8 quarts of cold water with 16 oz of ground coffee. Stir it all together so all the grounds are moist.
- Let this mixture sit for 8-24 hours.
- Place a paper towel or cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer and place on top of a large pitcher.
- Begin pouring the coffee through the strainer. (I use a measuring cup to pour a few cups at a time.)
- You will have thick grounds of coffee left so use a spoon to push the liquid through.
- Once all the coffee has been strained, you should be left with two large pitchers of coffee.
- I fill a large cup about ¼-1/2 of the way up with coffee and fill the rest with milk. I add a squeeze of chocolate syrup and mix or shake well.
This recipe was adapted from Pioneer Woman and if you want something a little richer in the morning, Ree’s recipe involves condensed milk and half and half.