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Cold Brew Iced Coffee

A glass of iced coffee with heavy cream swirling throughout.

Cold brewing coffee is one of my favorite ways to make coffee. Because cold brewing doesn’t expose the coffee grounds to heat, the coffee produced from it is smoother, less bitter, and somewhat sweeter than traditionally brewed coffee. Cold brew coffee is also more concentrated, making it the perfect method for creating iced coffee.

Another perk of cold brew coffee is that you can easily make a large batch at once and have it ready to go all week. I like to make a quart at a time to drink throughout the week, but my recipe can be doubled (or tripled) if you need more. Espresso powder is the secret to making amazing cold brew coffee. Combined with your favorite coffee blend, espresso powder gives such a depth to iced coffee that you just can’t get without it.


Making the Cold Brew

To make the cold brew, start by pouring three cups of water into a quart jar. Add your coffee grounds and espresso powder and stir, making sure to wet all the coffee grounds. Cover the jar and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours. The longer you let the coffee grounds steep, the stronger the flavor will be. When the coffee has finished steeping, pour it through a strainer into a pitcher or second jar. This is your cold brew concentrate for your iced coffee. It will keep for up to 10 days in the refrigerator if kept in an airtight container.


Crafting Your Iced Coffee

Everyone drinks their coffee differently, so I’m going to explain making the iced coffee how I take it. Just tweak it to make the iced coffee how you like it. I like to use flavored syrup in mine; usually vanilla or coconut. My favorite brand of syrup is Monin. It’s what we used when I worked in a coffee shop in college; and I’ve used it ever since.

Fill a large glass with ice. Add two pumps of flavored syrup, then fill the glass 3/4 of the way with cold brew concentrate. Top with a heavy pour of cream, and stir!

Customize your iced coffee any way you’d like. Add more syrup if you like it sweeter, or use simple syrup if you don’t want any additional flavoring. If you’re dairy-free, swap out the cream for coconut milk or almond milk.

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Cold Brew Iced Coffee


  • ¼ cup ground coffee
  • cup espresso powder like Cafe Bustelo
  • 3 cups cold water
  • cream coconut milk or almond milk are great dairy-free substitutes
  • liquid sweetener or flavored syrup of your choice


  1. Pour 3 cups of cold water into a glass quart-sized jar or other container.

  2. Add your favorite ground coffee and the espresso powder.

  3. Stir to combine, making sure all the coffee grounds become wet.

  4. Cover the jar or container and allow the coffee to steep in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. The longer you allow it to steep, the stronger the flavor will be.

  5. After the coffee has steeped, line a mesh strainer with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and set the strainer on top of a pitcher or another glass jar.

  6. Pour the brewed coffee into the mesh strainer to remove the grounds.

  7. Fill a large glass with ice and pour 3/4 full with the cold brewed coffee. Top with a heavy pour of cream (coconut or almond milk are great if you're dairy-free), and 2 pumps of liquid sweetener.

  8. Stir and enjoy!

  9. The cold brewed coffee will keep about a week if stored in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes enough cold brewed coffee to serve 3-4 iced coffees. It can easily be doubled (or tripled!), if needed. Just be sure to use it within a week-10 days.

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