20-Hour Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

August 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

cold brewed iced coffeeThis is likely not the first you are hearing of making cold-brewed iced coffee at home. The New York Times published this recipe in 2007, Deb from Smitten Kitchen shared her version in 2008, and about a year ago The Kitchn posted a recipe designed specifically for a French press.whole coffee beans coffee grinder and jar of beansI have been making cold-brewed iced coffee in my French press for a few summers now, and I love it. I get to make my coffee ahead of time, use my Weck juice jars to store it, and my morning cup is ready in seconds. Plus, its too damn hot in DC to drink anything but iced coffee in the summer.french press iced coffeeMy typical routine was to mix up the coffee the night before, let it steep, and then have it the next morning. In total, the coffee probably steeped for about 10 hours. But the other day, I didn’t have time to press the coffee in the morning, and it ended up sitting another 10 hours or so, until I got home from work. When I tried it the next morning, the coffee had a much deeper caramel flavor than usual–it was delicious! So, I decided to try it again. Another test run produced the same results, and now I’m hooked on brewing it overnight, plus a day.




coffee steeping in french press

weckThis extra brew time means you have to plan ahead a bit to make sure you always have some iced coffee chilling in your fridge, but once you get the hang of it, I think you’ll appreciate the results! I am pretty regularly brewing some in my French press so my stash doesn’t dwindle. This coffee pairs nicely with some yogurt, granola, and acai.

iced coffee and acai bowl

20-Hour Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

  • Servings: about 3 cups
  • Print

I like my coffee fairly strong, so play around with the exact ratios of coffee to water until you find your perfect cup. My favorite beans are Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend. If you don’t have a French press, you can mix up the coffee and water in a liquid measuring cup, and then strain through a coffee filter or sieve, as Deb does. I don’t bother measuring the water when brewing it in my French press, I just pour the water over the grinds up to the top metal part of the French press.


3/4 cup or 11 heaping tablespoons whole coffee beans (I use the .75 g scoop that comes with my French press)

2 1/2 cups water (see note above and directions below)

  1. Grind coffee beans in a coffee grinder to a coarse grind and transfer to a French press.
  2. Fill French press with cold water, up to the top (I stop right below the metal piece on the top).
  3. Stir the water and coffee together until the coffee is well distributed throughout the water.
  4. Put the lid on the French press and leave on the counter to steep for 20 hours.
  5. After the coffee has steeped for 20 hours, plunge the French press.
  6. Fill a tall glass up with ice cubes, and pour the coffee over the ice, leaving room for the amount of milk you prefer.
  7. Add milk and stir.
  8. Pour the remainder of the coffee into a jar or pitcher and store in the fridge.
  9. Repeat, so you never, ever run out!



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