There’s a lot to like about summer. Vacations, time off work, and the return of mindless (yet insanely addicting) reality TV shows like Big Brother. But if there is one thing about summer that is a bit of a drag, it’s that the heat makes it just a bit more difficult to enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee. That steaming cup that got you through the day during the fall, winter, and spring now only serves to overheat you during the, at times, excruciatingly hot summer months. So what can you do to solve this problem? Sure, you can always go out and buy iced coffee…but that’s not very economical. Instead, you should make it yourself. If you want to know a cheap and easy way to provide yourself with a continuous refreshing supply of ice cold java, read on!
What You Will Need
- 1 French Press
- 1 Coffee Grinder
- 6 Tablespoons Of Whole Bean Coffee
- Milk or Half And Half
If you don’t own a grinder or french press, you can easily get both for a combined cost of under $35. The secret to this iced coffee recipe is that it is cold-brewed, meaning it’s not just hot coffee that you plop a few ice cubes into. I personally don’t suggest that method because it only serves to water down your brew, plus, the end result tastes nothing like the kind of iced coffee you would get at an establishment like Starbucks.
Not only is this coffee brewed cold (more on that below), but it is brewed overnight. This gives the beverage that strong flavor and intense aroma that you’ve come to expect from your iced coffees. If this sounds like a daunting prospect, don’t worry. It really isn’t any more difficult to brew than your standard drip coffee!
1. Using your coffee grinder, grind your beans.
When using a french press, it’s important to grind your beans to the right consistency. Usually, 3-4 seconds is enough when using a manual button-press grinder. If you have a fancy grinder with settings you can choose from, any option above “fine” should work. The reason why you don’t want fine grounds in a french press is because they don’t work as well with the metal mesh filters in them, leading to a suboptimal brew.
2. Place the beans in your french press, and pour cold water over them.
It doesn’t have to be ice cold water, just put your tap to the coldest setting and use that. This recipe makes around 1 liter of iced coffee, which is about the amount of liquid that a standard french press will hold.
3. Mix the beans and water, and close the french press.
Using a spoon (preferably a small wooden one), mix the beans and water for about 5 seconds. Make sure there aren’t too many clumps. Then, put the lid of the french press on so that it is completely sealed.
4. Put the french press in your refrigerator.
Find some room in your fridge, and put the french press in. It might be a bit hard to find room since most french presses are so tall, especially with their plungers extended. Usually I’m able to make room by moving things around.
5. Steep overnight
Usually, steeping your grounds for around 12 hours is optimal, but you can go longer if you want a stronger brew.
6. Use your french press’ plunger to separate the liquid from the grounds.
Remove your french press from the fridge. Place it on the counter, and carefully press down on its plunger. This will separate the grounds from the iced coffee, leaving you with a smooth, caramel colored liquid.
You can drink your iced coffee in a number of ways. Some like it black. Some like it black, but over ice. I like mine over ice and with a bit of half and half added. This gives your beverage that trademark coffee shop taste that would normally cost you a pretty penny were you to pay for it on a daily basis. If you want to give your iced coffee a dessert-y twist, feel free to add a bit of sugar.
That’s really all there is to it. Using this method, you can save yourself loads of cash, and best of all it’s extremely easy to do. One french press’ worth of iced coffee should last you an entire day, if not more (additionally, you can keep it in your fridge and it will maintain its flavor for several days).
With this simple recipe, coffee lovers can continue enjoying their favorite beverage even during the hot summer months. Please try this out, and let me know how it worked for you in the comments below!
Featured photo credit: Sightglass Iced/Jeremy Brooks via flic.kr