52 responses

  1. kathryn
    June 28, 2007

    Thanks for the recipe! What sort of container do you keep the concentrate in when you have it in the fridge?

  2. Jessica
    June 28, 2007

    Hi Kathryn, I actually put it in a portable coffee cup because it’s small and has a pourable spout.

  3. coffee lover
    June 29, 2007

    Hi Jessica — thanks for this, found it on Google after reading the NYT article. As an ex-New Yorker, I can say that’s typical New York — half the article is about author’s pretentious friend but they never tell you how to MAKE the stuff (I was going to try about 1 part whole beans to 2 parts water, just as a guess). Thanks again!

  4. Auston
    June 30, 2007

    Hey thanks,
    I too was sucked in by the NYT article and tried to make it in a French press but lacking the proper proportions, it came out weak. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Marcy
    June 30, 2007

    Another suggestion for iced coffee – freeze some of the concentrate into cubes before adding concentrate and milk. As elsewhere in summer, but especially here in Scottsdale, it’s a race to enjoy an iced drink before melting ice makes it watery. (Personal pet peeve – menus and signs proclaiming “ice coffee.” Isn’t it silly how tiny things can bug you?) I’m off to find a coffee-chicory blend – thanks for the recipe!

  6. Becca
    July 1, 2007

    @coffee lover & Auston

    Say what you will about the NYT but the recipe was there, just in a separate link. This is the way the NYT does its food articles online: description on one page, recipe in another.


  7. radish
    July 1, 2007

    I read your piece and the article – both were great and informative! I am definitely trying the cold brewed method – if not for the taste, then for the acidity factor – I’ll do the first batch tonight and see!

  8. Vermonter
    July 1, 2007

    Thank you Jessica Su and bloggers! I also found you — via Google — due to frustration with the no-proportions NY Times piece. I’ve been planning a special dinner that includes iced coffee. Now I can’t wait to spring this method on friends who will deeply appreciate it. So glad to have found this wonderful blog.

  9. Magpie Ima
    July 2, 2007

    I love my iced coffee as much as the next girl (if not more) so I was intrigued when I first heard the cold-brew buzz. A few of the local coffeehouses are using this technique and it is indeed yummy. Thanks for sharing the method–I’m looking forward to making my own.

  10. Cool Brew
    July 2, 2007

    Thanks for showing the Cool brew bottle…

    We can ship anywhere if anyone wants to give it a try.


  11. lizbeth
    July 3, 2007

    I recently tried cold brewing my coffee and I it is great! You may not need to go out and buy a french press, but if you already have one on hand from your hot brewing days, I highly recommend using it for cold brewing. After leaving it set overnight, I press the plunger and voila! No need to double strain.

  12. Magpie Ima
    July 3, 2007

    So I made my first batch of cold brewed coffee last night: 2 C ground coffee and 4 C water. I poured it through my gold coffee filter which worked perfectly. And it was really, really good. But here’s my question: who can afford this? Two cups of ground coffee for three glasses of iced coffee? Should I be diluting? The strength seemed perfect as it is. Am I missing something?

  13. Jessica “Su Good Eats”
    July 3, 2007

    Magpie, are you kidding? I add 1 cup of milk to 1/4 cup of coffee concentrate. You have a strong stomach to drink it straight up! Um, it’s still cheaper than Starbucks, right?

  14. Becca
    July 3, 2007

    I tried it and have to agree with Magpie. First I did the suggested ratio but it was like flavored water. So I tried a 1 to 1 ratio of water and coffee but it was still really weak. But if I do more coffee it becomes really expensive. I don’t drink Starbucks, I drink home-brewed at 2T per cup. This is like twice that.

  15. Magpie Ima
    July 3, 2007

    Hmmm…maybe the key is to fill it out with lots of milk? Unfortunately I can’t drink straight milk. I used about a tablespoon of half and half, but a cup of milk would be really hard on my stomach–much worse than all that coffee. It was really tasty but I think it will have to be more of a splurge than a habit.

  16. Jessica “Su Good Eats”
    July 3, 2007

    Magpie and Becca, you’re brewing it at room temp, right? If you leave it in the fridge, it won’t be as strong. I don’t like milk either, so I use soy milk.

  17. Becca
    July 4, 2007

    Yes, I just leave it on the counter. Maybe I just like my coffee too strong! This morning I did about 3/4 coffee to 1/4 water/milk and it was about the strength I like. I might try the milk idea although a cup of milk each day would be a lot for me too.

  18. Kelly
    July 4, 2007

    Becca, you can try diluting it with water. I dilute mine with hot water and then add steamed milk to taste. You could also try hazelnut milk…it adds a nice flavor.

  19. Becca
    July 4, 2007

    Kelly, I have the opposite problem, though. I find diluting it makes it too weak and so have to use more of the coffee which ends up costing too much.

  20. Kelly
    July 4, 2007

    Maybe you could add more Chicory? Chicory is less expensive than good quality coffee.

  21. Becca
    July 5, 2007

    That’s a good idea, Kathy, I may do that. Today I had it at full strength with just the amount of milk I usually have in coffee. It was perfect! Which is too bad because that makes it twice as expensive. But I have a new idea which is to steep it longer. I’m going to try 14 hours next time and move up from there.

    Thanks for giving me this forum, Jessica. :)

  22. Linda
    July 9, 2007

    Years ago friends introduced me to a cool-brew coffee extract, which they mixed with hot water to make ‘instant’ coffee. It was great. I recently learned that the Burger King coffee is made with extract, so always ‘fresh brewed’/ My question: my friends had an apparatus for cool brewing–basically a container for pound of coffee and water to sit overnight; the thing had a filter and a stopper at the bottom, so after 12 hours, the stopper could be removed and liquid filtered down to yield extract, which was stored in refrigerator and used to make ‘instant’ coffee. Great flavor, no acid. Anyone know of such an apparatus available now?

  23. Liz
    July 10, 2007

    Linda, that sounds like a Toddy coffee maker—we gave my mom one for Christmas a few years back and she still loves it. Check out toddycafe.com

  24. Linda
    July 11, 2007

    Thanks Liz. The Toddy is it. And I’m still a little amazed that these things have not become more known and popular.

  25. Roberta
    July 12, 2007

    Can cool brew work for those of us who drink our coffee black (either iced or hot I’m a purist)?
    How would you suggest that I amend the recipe?
    Thanks in advance,

  26. Kathie
    July 22, 2007

    OMG!!!! When I was a child back in the 50’s my aunt always had a glass caraffe filled with coffee concentrate. Lately I have developed a craving for “Iced Coffee” and can find none like she made—except for now—I think the trick is going to be the Toddy coffee maker. THANX

  27. Ruth
    July 30, 2007

    Could I prepare one cold brewed cup at a time? Use a couple of tablespoons of ground beans for one mug of coffee, let it sit for 12 hours, strain, drink…? I’m not sure what the benefit of creating the concentrate is since I drink only one cup of iced coffee in the morning. Seems to add more steps.

  28. kelly
    July 30, 2007

    Ruth – I think it would be easier for you to brew a whole batch than to do it cup by cup. The beauty of the cold brew method is that you can store the concentrate in the frig for up to 2 weeks.

  29. Brenda
    August 6, 2007

    I mail ordered the cool brew once and I have to say I was extremely disappointed. Let’s just say you can put the coffee in a pesticide bottle, but you can’t take the pesticide taste out. It didn’t taste natural. Maybe it’s the artificial ingredients. It’s a Toddy maker for me now.

  30. Kelli
    August 12, 2007

    I just stubmled onto this post and can’t wait to try it. Thanks Jessica for sharing the tips to great iced coffee.

  31. Donelle
    August 14, 2007

    For those wondering about the weakness, the type of coffee you’re using could influence the strength. Coffee in the US is often a lighter roast, which may cause the coffee to taste weak if you cold brew. A darker French or Italian roast may have more flavor. Organic and shade grown varieties also tend to grow longer and may have more flavor.

  32. ted
    August 16, 2007

    I am surprised no one asked yet, but how fine do you have to grind the coffee? I use a french press (coarse grind) and a regular flat cone drip (finer grind). When I use the coarse grind in the flat cone drip I get much weaker coffee. I would imagine the same is true for cold brewing. Has anyone experimented with this?

  33. javamama
    August 19, 2007

    I worked in a coffee shop once that made their iced drinks with toddy. If I remember correctly, we used a Hazelnut Espress Roast ground coarsely, added sweet n low and 2% for the cappucino drinks and powdered Nestle for the mochas. (The proportions and directions given above sound about right.) BTW, I have looked everywhere for that special espresso roast and have not been able to find evidence it ever existed :( Those in the know about the toddy would buy the toddy makers for their homes, basically a glass carafe with the strainer/filter on it. This was the best coffee drink ever and I am sad that more coffee shops use powdered mixes instead of going the extra mile for the iced coffee drinks they sell.

  34. Coffee lover
    August 20, 2007


    I tried Cool Brew and loved it…the bottle is great as I get portion control….16 drinks for 6 bucks.


  35. Angeline
    August 27, 2007

    Coffee sometimes gives me a stomach ache, and someone told me its because of the high acid in the coffee. I no longer have this problem, but I’ll definitely have to try this cold brew coffee with less acid.

  36. Amanda
    September 4, 2007

    I have been searching for just the right proportions of water to aribica coffee. I love the iced coffee, but cannot afford to buy it out all of the time. I will experiment with this recipe in my Toddy maker. Thnx!

  37. Julia
    December 26, 2007

    I made this over the summer and became utterly addicted to it. I had a jar of concentrate in my fridge at all times, and a smaller nalgene bottle with an inch of frozen coffee in the water in case of emergency iced coffee action. Thanks for posting this.

  38. Mitch
    June 20, 2008

    Anybody got any ideas on ways to flavor this? And what sort of coffee to use? Because i don’t know, but so far I haven’t found this amazing, despite trying it a multitude of ways. I’m currently using Cafe Bustelo. And experimenting with a little dark cocoa powder.

  39. Kathy
    June 24, 2008

    We tried to make cold coffee, but it was not yummy. Used coarse ground coffee, used ice and cold water, soaked it 12 hours, but had trouble with straining.
    How do you strain a large bowl of coffee grounds, slowly? We had another bowl and tried putting a wire strainer over that and using another cup to pour one in to the the other. THe end result, was lots of Coffee, very thin, bitter. Not syurpy mixture. If you don’t have the Toby at the moment, how do you strain a pound of coffee? I WOULD LOVe to hear ideas
    Many thanks!

    • Jessica “Su Good Sweets”
      June 29, 2008

      Kathy, I line a wire strainer with a coffee filter and put that over a funnel, which goes into a jar. My coffee is so coarse though that I could get by without the filter.

  40. Lilo
    July 27, 2008

    Those of you getting bad-tasting coffee are most-likely using inferior-quality coffee! Evenso, when I’ve used good-tasting coffee for hot brewing, it does NOT necessarily make a good cold brew! So you need to find the best one to your particular taste. Example – there’s an excellent espresso I love hot; but when I tried it cold-brew, it was horrible. I couldn’t believe it was the same coffee.
    And an equally important suggestion: ORGANIC!! :) And fair-trade, if you please :D

  41. CH
    August 29, 2008

    I looked at both Toddy and Filtron cold brew makers and went with the Filtron. 2 REASONS:

    #1 I like the small heavy felt filter pad for yielding the “cleanest” concentrate (filters to 1 micron) and I don’t even use the paper filters included with set.

    #2 The 1 1/2 liter Lexan decanter has a snap lid. Whole thing FULL bounced to the floor from the fridge once and not one drop leaked! A variety of decanter sizes are available too.

    Re: Grind – a fairly course ground is recommended. A finer grind would take DAYS to filter. 3/4 lb coffee is max for the Filtron holder and yields slightly more than 1 qt of concentrate. Concentrate can be stored 4-5 weeks at room temp and more than 6 weeks in the refrig.

    Some folks brew a 2ND batch using the same grounds and less water, then combine the two brews which stretches their $$’s.

    Love the Filtron!

  42. joel (coffee snob)
    September 1, 2008

    i like my coffee hot…but I like the idea of less acidity in my brew…so i’ve been experimenting w/the cold brew method. But for all those who have tried cold brewing and thought that it was ‘thin’ or ‘weak’ i can tell you why. but first, we need to define a term: ‘Full Bodied’ refers to the way a beverage (whether wine or coffee) FEELS in the mouth and really doesn’t have anything to do with the strength of flavor. (whole milk, for example is more ‘full bodied’ than skim).
    Coffee beans are loaded w/natural oils…and guess what? the ‘acid’ in coffee…is the fatty acids found in that oil. so when you cold brew to get less acid, you actually get less oil (the oil is where the acid is).
    Unless you add fat back into the mix (via adding milk instead of water to the final cup), you will have a ‘shallow bodied’ cup of coffee.
    of course, milk is high in LACTIC ACID, so you’re replacing one group of acids for another.
    Soy may be an option to give it some ‘body’ … but now they’re saying that a high intake of soy can be bad for the guys…so…what can you do?
    it comes down to taste and preference…personally, I like a good strong (hot) cup of coffee w/just a touch of sugar…and…heavy cream. mmmmmm.

  43. John
    November 12, 2008

    Check out http://www.hourglasscoffee.com. This is the coolest coffee maker I’ve ever seen and it makes my favorite coffee….cold brew. I can’t wait to take this camping!

  44. Kathleen
    February 17, 2009

    My French Market Coffee doesn’t drain into the glass decanter. I used the thick felt filters that came with the Toddy. I tried stirring, but that didn’t help. How can I get the coffee strained?

  45. katie
    April 26, 2009

    Tip: If you want a sweeter version add a teaspoon or more of sweetened condensed milk! it’s so tasty!

  46. Allie
    May 27, 2009

    I’m so excited to see a post about coffee concentrate! I’m addicted to Cool Brew and it’s so much cheaper than going to starbucks every day. they even have decaf.

  47. jim oliver
    June 7, 2009

    I’ve been purchasing cold brew by the quart at Cash and Carry, a formerly wholesale food outlet, now open to the public in Salem, OR. It tastes great but I think I’ll try my hand at a home cold brew! Thanks for the info!

  48. Paula Willis
    August 5, 2009

    I’ve used the toddy cold brew about every 2-3 weeks for years with Cafe du Monde or CDM coffee with chicory. It makes a wonderful dark brew. Try diluting the concentrate with half water and half almond milk. With a little sweetener, this is Yum. As far as filtering, the only problem I ever had was when hubbie stirred the batch when setting it up. According to the Toddy instructions, this causes the finest grounds to settle and clog the filter. Other than that, make sure you run plenty of water through the filter after use, preferably in the opposite direction that the coffee was filtered through.

  49. Alesha
    August 20, 2010

    Thanks for keeping this post up. I found it trying to figure out how to rework my cafe du monde, which just tasted horrible from my dripmaker. I used my old french press to cold brew all night. This morning, I added raw cream to the bottom of my coffee cup, plunge the FP and poured coffee about half way in the cup. It tasted wonderful for iced coffee! But I added 1 cup warmed water and it tastes perfect for warmed coffee too! Thanks for everyone’s comments… even if I am a little late in finding the post… And using the FP was brilliant! Easy easy easy!

  50. Dude
    September 8, 2010

    The FN did a show in New Orleans and wound up at the Blue Bottle where they showcased their coffee drip apparatus. Basically they dripped water at 88 drops per minute into a container that held the ground beans. The coffee flowed/dripped out the bottom, so no long soak. It was like Walters laboratory from Breaking Bad.

    Over 12 hours that comes to around a gallon of juice. I forget the actual time they used but it was more that 12 and less that 24 hours.

    I just thought I’d point out a different technique.

  51. Calico Cat
    October 8, 2010

    Soooo smooth. I never thought!

Leave a Reply




Back to top
mobile desktop