I’m that girl, y’all. I cannot even BEGIN to explain the satisfaction I get from the swirl of chocolatey-rich brown iced coffee and smooth cream all blending together on a mountain of ice and hazelnut. Summer, spring, Antartica winter, doesn’t matter – I need it.
I will also admit that I think it is the most entertaining thing to create this entire coffee shop experience in my own kitchen – to pour each layer over the other like it’s therapy all it’s own. The entertainment level is so high that one of my “hosting angles” is to offer to make my friends a coffee, because why not? Everyone could use a good morning or mid-day iced coffee. Or two. Or five.
But if you WON’T be at my house any time soon (we should fix that), I want to share with you how to make your own. You don’t need much and it’s way simpler than everyone thinks.
First, you need good coffee.
- For espresso: my favorite affordable roasts are Cafe Pilão (a Brazilian coffee that is honestly the best — do not sleep on this), Gevalia Espresso Beans because you can get them anywhere, or just go with classic Starbucks Espresso Roast Coffee if you want just a tried and true (and to rack up some star rewards at the same time)
- For cold brew: you can really use anything you’d like, so grab your favorite! PJ’s Coffee from my home state of Louisiana is hands down my favorite and that’ll probably never change. I’m in this coffee shop about twice a day when I have a visit back home, so if that doesn’t tell you something… Remember to get it coarsely ground for this method.
For my iced coffee, I’ve tried two different approaches and I actually love them both. This will probably be based on the equipment you have or what you are willing to acquire, but nothing is over the top.
If you would like to use true espresso, you do not have to buy the $500 machine you may not use in a month (I would however use it all day, errday, so if you get sick of yours I will happily send you my address. Pass it on down, homegirl). Until that day, this is the machine I use to make pretty quality espresso for an affordable price. PLUS it doesn’t take up the entire counter, you feel? They have newer models available now, but this one honestly does the job just great!
If you are not wanting to buy an espresso machine, cold brewing is a perfect alternative. I have done this with my Toddy for a larger batch (I recommend the bundle deal. I did this so I would have a spare filter and rubber stopper just in case I lost one or it needed to be replaced) and a French press for a smaller batch in a pinch. The methods for making cold brew are extremely simple and you really can find them anywhere.
- For a Toddy: I pour a small amount of water in the bottom (it helps it drain better in my experience) followed by one entire bag of coarsely-ground coffee (dark/espresso roast is great for this too), then I pour filtered room temperature water just until all the grounds are covered – and no more. This is because I personally want it to be as concentrated as possible. Let this sit for 12-24 hours before pulling the plug to drain.
- For the French press: do everything that is normal for making French press coffee but use room temperature water (instead of boiling) and let it sit for 12-24 hours before plunging. (I suggest 10oz water for every .5oz coffee)
Cold brew is perfect for doing overnight to have ready when you wake up! My kind of meal prep.
The last time I made my coffee, I did it Toddy-style with PJ’s Coffee to have a whole batch of cold-brew in the fridge, ready to go. I bought the Hazelnut roast but I also love their Southern Pecan and Pralines & Cream. I just alternate between the three because I can’t settle on one with how good they are.
First, plug the bottom of the white chamber to close it off, then saturate your filter with water and place it in the circle cut-out spot inside the chamber. Next, pour a thin layer of water in the bottom followed by one complete bag of coarsely-ground coffee. Pour in filtered water to cover all the grounds, only using the minimum amount of water to do so.
Let this sit 12-24 hours (I always go longer rather than shorter but 12 has come out amazingly as well) and then pull the plug to let the cold brew concentrate fill your Toddy glass jar! Magical.
This will create a 1:2 ratio of concentrate, meaning for every 1 fluid ounce of coffee, you’ll want to add 2 fluid ounces of water or milk, whichever you prefer (so just double). In this case, I am doing it iced latte style, so I used milk.
This is my favorite part because I’m a nerd. And you’re going to realize how simple this is so I will officially be discovered. But promise me you will still see me as a magical coffee-making wizard. Deal.
Grab the cup, add 2-3 pumps of your favorite flavor (mine will always be hazelnut but if I’m using a really rich coffee like the Cafe Pilão or flavored PJ’s Coffee, I don’t feel the need for syrup – I just want the coffee), fill to the top with ice, add about 2/3 of the cup with your milk of choice (which should be Oatly), and top with your espresso/cold brew. *For reference, each shot of espresso is about .75 to 1 fluid ounce so just add as many ounces of espresso as you would like shots. For cold brew, I use half as much coffee as I used milk.
Most times, I like to put it in a go-cup (Louisiana) so I can just take it with me if need be. And that’s it!