In with the cold brew; out with the iced coffee. Cold brew is not a new thing though; it has been a tradition for the Japanese since the 15th century and familiar to the Dutch even before that. Koffie Zetten (Dutch Coffee) and Japanese “iced coffee” – also known as Kyoto-style coffee – are made by drip method which looks like something from a chemistry lab – complicated and time-consuming. Hence, cold brew coffee tend to be more expensive.

Perfect gift for a chemist who is also a coffee lover. Source: Pinterest

This method is often interchangeable by mistake with a simple cold brew method. Cold brew method is essentially “marinating” room temperature water with ground coffee in the fridge for a long time. It sounds tedious but the recipe is actually straightforward and much cheaper.

If you’re lazy and trying to be frugal  – like moi –  then making your own is the only way you can avoid disappointment. If you end up with cardboard-flavoured coffee, there’s no one to blame but yourself; sit in the corner and reflect on why you can’t make something good for once in your life. (JK.)

But I assure you this is not one of the recipes that will make you re-evaluate your life decisions. I know for sure because I’ve tried it myself and I can generally say that cold brew tastes better and stronger than a regular one.

Let’s get on with it then!

What You Need:

  • Medium grind coffee
  • French Press
  • Room temperature (filtered) water
  • Coffee creamer OR milk and sweetened condensed milk
  • Your favourite syrup (optional)
  • Ice tray + leftover coffee (optional)

How to Prepare

Active duration time: 5-10 mins

  • Put in some ground coffee into your French Press. The amount should depend on how many cups your French Press can brew. Standard rule: 7g/2.5oz per cup
  • Pour the room temperature water into the French Press until considerably full and let them brew in the fridge. For at least 12 hours. Note: Don’t press it yet.

Pro-tip: If you have leftover coffee in the morning from the coffee maker, pour it into an ice tray. You can use them in the morning with the cold brew or reserve it for any emergency any other day.

  • Pour into a cup of cold coffee into a clear tall glass, if you’re looking for an aesthetic vibe- although it is not as important as the taste itself.
  • If you are using coffee creamer, pour a considerable amount of that into the cold brew coffee according to how ‘milky’ you want your coffee to be.
  • Otherwise, put 1 tsp (depending on your preference) of sweetened condensed milk and then stir until it is mixed enough (impossible to dissolve at this point) with the coffee. Then, add milk into the glass as much (or as little) as you like. Add 1 tbsp of your favourite syrup if you want.
  • Optional: Get your coffee ice cubes and add them into your cold brew.
  • If the coffee is too strong for you, you can dilute with plain ice cubes.
  • You’re done! Enjoy your cold brew in the unbearably hot weather.

The Verdict

I mean, just look at that!

One word: YUM!

I couldn’t get enough of it. The bitterness is delicate which ends with a pleasant, sweet caramel-like aftertaste. You don’t even have to add any sugar or condensed milk if you are on a sugar diet. The aroma is not as strong as one would get from the hot brew, though – hardly an offense to coffee lovers. This is by far – hands down – one of my most favourite coffee recipes. It’s unlikely that you will make any mistake because it’s that easy.

The only downside to it is that brewing the coffee is time-consuming; not ideal for those who likes coffee on-the-go. Then again, that’s what the night time is for.

Would I do this regularly? Definitely! This is a must-try during the summer or for those who are living in a hot, tropical country.


Syaza is a freelance writer whose life revolves around coffee, cats and heartwarming stories.