Many iced coffee recipes use cold brew coffee concentrate as the coffee source for a number of reasons. First off cold brew coffee can be stored as a concentrate in the refrigerator and used for weeks after it’s made without any affects on the taste of the coffee. Cold brew coffee is less acidic than regularly brewed coffee and also tastes much richer and smoother than when making iced coffee using hot brewed coffee. The cold brew coffee in its concentrate form can be used to make many more cups of cups than hot brew coffee because the hot brew coffee has already been diluted to a higher degree when using a regular American coffee maker.
Furthermore, you would have to wait for the hot brewed coffee to cool off some before adding ice so that the ice doesn’t melt and water down the overall taste of the coffee. Many times hot brewed coffee has to be cooled down a significant amount so that when you add ice, you actually end up with cold iced coffee instead of lukewarm coffee. Usually when hot brew coffee is used to make iced coffee it can only be stored in the refrigerator for one or two days before becoming too bitter to drink. This happens because using a regular coffee pot actually extracts too much of the alkaloids from the grounds on the bottom of the filter and not enough flavor is extracted from the grounds at the top. When coffee turns bitter you would end up having to add more sugar to the coffee just to cover the taste and make it palatable.
So how do you make cold brew coffee concentrate for your iced coffee recipes?
Well cold brew coffee concentrate can be made in a number of ways or even purchased in a gallon container online. You can buy a number of American, Japanese or French Press styled cold brew coffee makers, or simply use a Mason jar and muslin bag or nut milk bag at home to get the same results.
- Buy coarse ground coffee beans and place 1/3 cup of grounds in a small muslin bag or nut milk bag, secure it, and then place the bag in a Mason jar or glass pitcher.
- Put 1 cup of water in the Mason jar and make sure the grounds are fully immersed in the water.
- To make several cups of coffee concentrate at once increase the ratio by adding 1/3 cup coffee grounds to 1 cup water.
- Place the Mason jar in the refrigerator and let the grounds steep for 12 hours to 24 hours, depending on how concentrated you want the coffee.
- Then simply remove the bag and you will have coffee concentrate in the Mason jar that that you can keep refrigerated for weeks.
- Discard the used coffee grounds, turn the bag inside out, rinse it and then wash it with liquid soap.
- When you are ready to make a cup of iced coffee take 1 part of the coffee concentrate and dilute it with 1 part cold water, milk or nut milk. Sweeten the coffee to your tastes and add ice. To make a coffee milkshake add chocolate or caramel syrup and ice cream.
The coffee concentrate can be used to make hot or cold coffee drinks. If you want cold brew coffee concentrate stored at home without having to brew it yourself, you can also purchase a liter of cold brew coffee concentrate online or at a whole foods store.