Maybe it was when I was working on a movie. Or was it music for that commercial? I don’t know. But recently, being a creative who doesn’t create anything “real” got to me. I wanted to make something. But I first wanted an iced coffee. Bad.
The conundrum: I kinda wanted to put the dollars I’d spend on my overpriced and all-too-often bungled iced coffee order into my next creation instead.
Crazy enough, I managed to do both at the same time.
You can perfect iced coffee at home with nothing more than eight ounces of fresh roasted coarse ground coffee beans and 45 ounces of cold or room temperature water.
My friend Liam and I had been making music together since college, and when he got interested in roasting coffee, I eventually did too. Brewing my own iced coffee, you see, became my next creation.
If you’ve got patience, making cold-brewed coffee is, in many ways, easier than making hot coffee. Plus, it can last for six weeks unrefrigerated and is 67 percent less acidic and therefore less bitter.
But most people fuck it up. They fuck it up because you can’t make iced coffee from hot coffee, any more than you can un-strike a match. You get what you pay for with McDonald’s any size coffee for $1, and Dunkin Donuts does no better for an even greater cost.
So listen up: You can perfect iced coffee at home with nothing more than eight ounces of fresh roasted coarse ground coffee beans and 45 ounces of cold or room temperature water. Just follow these five steps.
Liam sources his beans from South America, but you can purchase fresh roasted coarse ground coffee beans at your local grocery store. The roast accounts for 80 percent of the coffee’s end flavor. I have a Cuisinart DCG-12BC Grind Central Coffee Grinder and a larger Supreme Grind DBM-8I at home, but I typically just use the grocery store’s machine on the “Coarse Grind” setting.
2. Add cold water and let steep.
Place the grounds in a big half-gallon Mason jar, a bucket or a stainless steel bowl. Add cold water over the grounds, and make sure to submerge them entirely. Any stray grounds will turn the coffee bitter. Then, let it steep for 12 to 18 hours in a cool environment. Go to sleep. Listen to your audiobook of The Martian. It doesn’t matter; just don’t stir the coffee grounds. Don’t even touch them.
I strain mine through a wool Filtron filter pad, which I bought for $12 on Amazon. However, you can also use a cheesecloth or just pour the water through your regular coffee filter. Be sure that the filter is wet and placed evenly. This is where using jars can come in handy, as they make the filtering process smooth and fuss-free.
4. Mix it up.
You now have full-bodied coffee concentrate. For the finishing touch, I like to put two ounces of the coffee in some soymilk. For those who like it black, you can also add it over water. It’s best to add a desired amount of ice with one part coffee concentrate and three parts milk or cold water. It’s dynamite in shakes, too.
5. Bottle the rest.
I save the rest in small bottles with a heat-sealed wrap—a 16-ounce bottle should last one person a week.
If all of that sounds a bit too difficult for you, then, by all means, go blow $4 at your local fussy coffee shop, or give Starbucks more of your money. Or follow me on Instagram for opportunities to taste the new flavors I brew and learn more about my solo project, #RAWPOWER, cold brew and coconut water infused with various flavors, like raw sugar cane juice and cinnamon.
Once you start creating something real, the cold caffeinating possibilities are endless.