I won't lie, it's messy and inconvenient (particularly if your dumb glass bowl decides to leak for no reason and you wind up with an inch of coffee all over your refrigerator shelf), but the results are worth it. I am an iced coffee fanatic in the summer, and cold-brew methods really do give you better, stronger coffee -- which has to be stronger since you need ice cubes, and unless you're super smart and make coffee ice cubes, the coffee gets diluted, and then even if you do have coffee ice cubes, it throws off your milk/coffee balance, which is problematic, and clearly I have thought about this an awful lot.
PW recommends steeping this for at least 8 hours; I accidentally steeped mine for almost 24. It is strong, my friends. My current ratio is half coffee and half milk, plus a splash of delicious chemical-laden caramel macchiato fake cream. MMMM.
Last thing: I went to three stores and couldn't find cheesecloth, so I used regular coffee filters clipped to a glass pitcher instead. Annoying, since I had to keep changing out the filters... but effective and (again) worth it.
I tweaked and halved her recipe, since I couldn't find a bowl or pitcher big enough to hold two gallons of liquid. This makes just under a gallon of coffee.
- 1 pound ground coffee (I love Cafe Bustelo)
- 1 gallon (4 quarts) cold water
Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. [Or use coffee filters, switching out frequently.] Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Discard grounds.
Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. Use as needed.
Here are her notes for drinking. Hefk and I both want to try it with condensed milk...
To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid. Add healthy splash of half-and-half. Add 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (can use plain sugar instead) and stir to combine. Taste and adjust half-and-half and/or sweetened condensed milk as needed.