Iced Coffee, the Easy At-Home way!

We love coffee.  Actually, we are kind of snobs about our coffee.  There's  no Folgers up in here.  HAS to be Starbucks, Seattle's Best, Tully's or Peet's coffee...sometimes Gevalia if it's on sale and I have a coupon.  I know, I know, "Dunkin' Donuts won in the blind taste test against Starbucks." BUT I could blind taste test tell you which one was Dunkin' Donuts...not a fan (their donuts...another story).  As soon as it gets warm-ish, which is right now for Phoenicians, we go straight to iced coffee for the duration of the summer.  I just can't drink hot coffee when it's hot out.  But I also can't live without coffee...so it's been a problem.

We have tried so many ways to make iced coffee in bulk so I'm not brewing coffee in the morning and freezing it for an hour so it's cold so I can add ice to it so it isn't watered down.  Because we are picky about our coffee, I can't do the "I made regular coffee yesterday and after several hours put the leftover in the fridge so now I'll make an iced coffee out of it" version.  It doesn't taste right,  and we can't have that.  Then, I found it.  The perfect iced coffee recipe that is: delicious AND can be made frugally AND lasts a long time in the fridge!

Of course, Pioneer Woman led me to the right way of doing things.  Once again.  I thought it couldn't really work and I'd be sad when my coffee flunked, but when my Aunt Michelle came last summer she and my cousin made the first batch...and-- It. Works.  I adapted Pioneer Woman's method ever so slightly just because I'm cheap and didn't want to fork over loads of cash for a food service container and cheese cloth (whatever that is) and a beautiful drink dispenser that would never fit in my normal-sized fridge.  Two gallons of this coffee costs $6 or less, depending on the type of coffee you choose. Add in the cost of your own coffee syrup and half and half, and you just CAN'T beat it.

All you have to do is buy an inexpensive Rubbermaid container that will hold 2 gallons of liquid.  I got mine at Walmart for less than $5.00.  Stir one 12-16 oz bag of strong coffee (sometimes I used espresso blend) into 2 gallons of cold water.  Let it sit 24-48 hours.  The longer, the stronger.  We like it strong!

Then, set a mesh strainer on top of a clean soup pot, layer napkins in both directions and slowly pour the coffee over the strainer.

Iced Coffee
recipe from Pioneer Woman

a 2-gallon container with a lid
2 gallons water
1 12-16 oz bag strong, high-quality coffee (If you like DD, go for it.)
mesh strainer
paper towels

half and half
coffee syrup, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, whatever you like in it

Rinse out your container and fill with 2 gallons of cold water.  Stir in the coffee thoroughly, making sure it is all soaked.  Cover tightly and let sit on your kitchen counter for 24-36 hours.  I usually use a 12 oz bag of coffee so I let it sit 36-48 hours. When you're ready to strain the coffee, place the strainer over a large pot or container and line the strainer with paper towels.  Slowly pour the coffee over the strainer and let the grounds collect.  Discard the coffee grounds and pour the strained coffee into dispensers or pitchers to store in the fridge.  I use a glass iced-tea jar with a spout to store mine.

To make a glass of iced coffee, fill a glass with ice (we buy the ice from the store because it stays cold longer!), pour the coffee over and prepare as you like with half and half, vanilla syrup, sugar...or sweetened condensed milk!  My favorite "Saturday coffee" is a glass of iced coffee with a couple tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, a splash of half and half and cinnamon.

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