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It’s that time of year again — the plants are lush and full of life, there are occasional tornado sirens in the distance, and the temperatures are close to peak for the region.  All of this is to say that it’s a perfect time to stop and talk about a popular way to enjoy coffee in the summertime — iced coffee!

There are a few different ways to make iced coffee, depending on what you’re looking for in the end product. In the next few days, I’ll give tutorials on our favorite methods here in the Kickapoo Lab. Let’s start by looking at the most common way of making iced coffee:

Cold brew iced coffee is typically made using coarsely-ground coffee, room temperature or ice water and extended contact times (like 12-24 hours).  It’s often, but not always, brewed to produce a concentrate that’s later diluted in ice water in order to approximate the strength of a regular cup of coffee.

Cold brew coffee is a very different beast from a hot cup of coffee — it’s typically very body-forward, and it doesn’t retain the lovely aromas or acidity that you find in a cup of hot coffee.  Cold brew drinkers often describe coffee made with this method as nutty, chocolatey, and oily.  These characteristics make it an appropriate brew to pair with a dash of cream and some maple syrup!

One of the clear advantages to this method is how easy it is to pull off.  You grind some coffee, get it wet, and then filter it half a day later — there’s really no technique to master. The equipment isn’t very complicated either. We love the Toddy Cold Brew system for it’s easy clean up and wool filter that results in a cleaner final product, but you can also use a jam jar or a french press.

Here’s a method that will work in a 36oz french press.  If you want to make a smaller or larger batch, you can adjust the recipe, just try to stay at a 5:1 (water:coffee) ratio.

What you’ll need:

36oz french press or similar vessel
Burr Grinder
Cold filtered water
Digital Scale

Here we go:

180g Coffee
900g Water

-Grind the coffee coarsely, as you would to make a french press.
-Put your clean empty french press on the scale and tare it.
-Add the coffee and tare.
-Start your timer for 12 hours and add the water slowly while stirring to ensure even saturation.
-After 5 minutes, use a spoon to break the crust of grounds that has formed on top.
-Put a lid on the press and place in the fridge.
-After 12 hours has passed, filter and serve.

This recipe yields a concentrate, so try diluting it with a 2:1 (water : concentrate) ratio and adjust based on preference.