One of the things I love most when the weather warms up is a good iced coffee. Until about 2 years ago I always just made regular coffee, maybe a little stronger (but HOT) and poured it over ice. Not a good plan! This gives you a bitter taste and it is usually watered down. I tried everything - making it stronger (too bitter) to making coffee ice cubes (MESSY!) but I wasn't really happy.
Then I discovered cold-brewed coffee. Life changing! Where has this been all my life!
And it couldn't be easier, if not a bit messy.
First, get the biggest container you can find. It doesn't have to be a pitcher, but it does need to be something you can pour out of. I have 1.5 gallon pitcher. I think this tastes better when you make it in all glass vessels, but my biggest container is a plastic giant pitcher so I make due. More = better!
Add about 10-15 oz of coffee grounds. I like a dark roast, coarse ground coffee best. Espresso roast, Folgers Black Silk, any of the darkest roast you can find. You can of course choose flavored grounds (hazlenut, caramel, Dunkin Donuts coffee comes in lots of flavors) but most of these are mild or light roasts and don't really work for me. I have done half flavored (coconut) and half dark roast with success.
Cover with COLD water. Fill the pitcher to the very top. Cover and put it in the fridge - about 6-8 hours (mine is usually overnight). Stir with a big wooden spoon to make sure all the coffee grounds have gotten wet.
Second - the filtering process. Now, there are lots of ways to do this. Cheesecloth, paper coffee filters - you have to figure out what works best for you. I think the cheesecloth would be better, but it is super messy. I am a fan of the easy cleanup. With paper filters I am able to switch them out a few times as I filter the whole pitcher.
I also found that if I put the glass pitcher in my sink, put the metal strainer on top of it and double paper filters in the metal strainer it works best for me. I can balance the handle of the metal strainer on a coffee cup and let it drain. Filtering takes a while and I am sooo not patient. I pour a bit, do a little something around the house, check on it and pour a little more. When the filter seems to be clogged with the wet grounds, squeeze them out and throw the paper filter and wet grounds away. Replace the filters and start pouring more. Be sure to scrape the coffee "mud" at the bottom of your pitcher into the filters and squeeze every drop of this delicious coffee out of it.
This process takes a while - probably 20-30 minutes total if you really stay there and pour constantly. Typically I pour and walk away, so it usually takes me closer to 45 minutes to strain but I get more done that way! :)
Finally, pour over ice and enjoy!
I love a tall glass of this in the morning. Sometimes I use this as a liquid in my morning shakes (iced coffee, almond butter, and a banana).
Store in a glass container, covered in the fridge for about 3 or 4 days.