Cold brew iced coffee is all the rage these days; and for good reason! Cold brew gives you bold flavor, without the high acidity of hot brewed iced coffee. I’m currently loving the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks. But since I try to be cautious of my sugar intake, I thought I would try to make my own spin-off at home.
Hot brewed iced coffee is brewed hot in a typical flat bottom brewer. It’s brewed with more grounds for stronger coffee and then chilled immediately with ice. Since it’s hot, the ice melts a bit to balance out the flavor.
On the other hand, cold brew iced coffee is brewed at room temperature for an extended period. The higher proportion of grounds to water gives cold brew a bolder flavor. But since cold brew is brewed without heat, the acidity levels are lower. With fresh beans, you’re sure to get smooth, flavorful, bold cold brew.
I fully admit that I used some older beans though. I went for a dark roast that I already have on hand. Since I don’t have a cold brew “system” at home, I put together a make-shift version. After grinding the beans, I combined the coffee grounds and water in a tea pot. Once steeped, I poured the mixture over a mesh filter (lined with coffee filters) into my French press. I didn’t necessarily want to use the French press to actually “press” the coffee, but as an additional filter to prevent extra grounds from entering my precious cold brew.
Now the cold brew itself is potent. So I added a little bit of cold, filtered water. This was just enough to take off some of the edge and balance out the acidity and flavor. Plus it helps the cold brew last longer since you’re essentially using it as a concentrate.
For the sweet cream, I used a bit of my homemade vanilla syrup with half and half. Pouring just a splash of this over the coffee was absolutely perfect. This cold brew turned out just the way I like it! Smooth, creamy, with a hint of sweetness. If you prefer more sweetener, I suggest adding more vanilla syrup to the coffee before you add the sweet cream.
I love personalizing my coffee. This homemade sweet cream cold brew is perfect for a little extra buzz buzz on a hot summer day. Pair it with a croissant or a scone and I’m in paradise!
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 1 tbsp Homemade Vanilla Syrup
- Combine ingredients in a small container.
- Store in fridge.
- 2 cups coarsely ground coffee beans
- 6 cups filtered water
- Splash of Homemade Sweet Cream
- In a large container, combine ground coffee and water.
- Let steep for 24 hours at room temperature.
- After 24 hours, pour cold brew through filter into storage container.
- Fill a glass with ice.
- Pour 1/2 cup cold brew and 1/2 cup filtered water (adjust proportions to taste).
- Add a splash of Homemade Sweet Cream on top.
- Stir and enjoy!
- For sweeter coffee: add Homemade Vanilla Syrup to the cold brew before adding the Homemade Sweet Cream.
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