Category Archives: stinking hot

Cold-brewed iced coffee

Thank goodness for ice cubes. It’s been in the 40s here (C, not F–oh, how I wish it were the other way around), with high humidity, and it’s made for a rough week.

Even Australians seem to be having a tough time with it.  I came in to work on Wednesday after yet another sleepless night and found that people either couldn’t sleep, or had the courage to move their entire family into the living room, where most people have the only air conditioner in the house.  At least we’re not suffering alone.

The only thing that’s getting me through is copious amounts of cold-brewed iced coffee.  It’s magic in two ingredients. Three if you count the milk.

Don’t forget the ice.

Cold-brewed iced coffee

This recipe is the equivalent of sun tea for coffee drinkers. The main benefit to making iced coffee this way is that the end product lacks the bitterness you usually get from hot-brewed and then chilled iced coffee.

You need a french press (plunger pot, I think they’re called here?) or a coffee filter+large jug, and decent coffee beans. I make this in bulk, because it just makes more sense.  This recipe is imprecise; you will need to vary the amount of ground coffee to taste.

First, find out how much water your jug or french press holds.  You want a ratio of coffee to water of about 1:5.  Add the appropriate amount of ground* coffee.

Fill the jug with coffee grounds up with water. Cover, refrigerate, and let sit overnight, or all day.  Make sure your ice cube tray is full of ice.

If you are using a french press, plunge down the grounds. If you are using a coffee filter, then it’s best to filter the grounds from the coffee on a cup-by-cup basis.

Serve over ice, black or with milk.


  • Make simple syrup (recipe in the ingredients list here) and use that to sweeten your drink. You can even get fancy with this and make flavored simple syrup. Vanilla is a great thing to add, particularly if you want a creamy taste without the milk. Mint simple syrup is also a nice idea for summer.
  • Stir in sweetened condensed milk to taste. You have now successfully made a bastardized version of Thai iced coffee.

*I use the usual grind for my french press.


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