How to Make Iced Coffee in a French Press – Doing it the Barista Way

Being a true coffee addict, you would know how a cup of iced coffee can brighten up your day. Even though summers are almost over in most parts of the world, iced coffee is still a common choice for a lot of coffee lovers out there.

However, as far as home coffee brewing is concerned, knowing how to make iced coffee in a French press can save you a lot of time and money, as you would not have to spend your bucks on those fancy and expensive coffee makers for iced drinks.

Iced coffee, as the name suggests, is served cold. It is usually a cold brew, but can be served using hot coffee as well, that is poured over ice.

Historical Background of Iced Coffee

The original iced coffee made its first appearance in Algeria back in 1840 during the battle of Mazagran. Coffee syrup and cold water were the key ingredients to make this type of coffee. 

It is said that the battle of Mazagran lasted for more than a decade and the soldiers ran out of milk. So, they started adding water to the coffee instead of milk. Since coffee is an energetic drink, it used to serve as a refreshing cold beverage on hot days for the soldiers during the battle. 

Finally, in the late 19th century, iced coffee gained recognition and began to be a part of coffee menus in cafes and restaurants. Publicity campaigns for iced coffee initiated in the US back in 1920. Later on, renowned franchises such as Starbucks, Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts promoted it even more. 

Iced coffee is, without a doubt, one of the ‘loved drinks’ in the United States. It is available everywhere from convenience stores, online marketplaces – to popular food franchises and restaurants.

Iced Coffee and Its Variants

Iced coffee is often made with hot brewed coffee. For example, Starbucks brews coffee hot using twice the amount of coffee grounds – also known as their ‘double-strength’ method.

Here are some more iced coffee variants around the world:

Cold Brew using French Press

Cold brew using a French Press makes an absolutely flavorful cup of iced coffee. French Press is a coffee machine, also known as caffettiera a stantuffo, cafetière, cafetière à piston or a coffee press. 

French Press has two main types.

The Old French Press

The old French press was invented by two French natives, Delforge and Mayer. Its design has evolved with time. The first machine was made with a metal that was attached to a rod that would be pressed into a pot of coffee grounds and hot water.

The Modern French Press

The modern French press is designed with a cylindrical beaker made of plastic or glass that has a plunger and it fits firmly in the cylinder. Nylon mesh and fine stainless steel are used to make its filter. French press machine is a great option if you are an iced coffee lover.

When making cold brew in French press, you will be using cold water. The coffee grounds are soaked and require time for extraction, which is why this process takes more time. It is recommended to soak the coffee grounds one night in advance to enjoy a better flavor and aroma.

A lot of franchises and restaurants all around the world use this technique to enhance the flavor of the coffee. 

The Sweetened Flavors

Frappuccino is sweet in taste and usually the flavor is prepared and stored at room temperature in advance. Iced coffee comes with so many customizable options these days. For instance, if someone is vegan, they can add oat milk or almond milk in their coffee instead of regular milk.

A Quick Cold Brew Recipe

Following ingredients are required to make a perfect cup of iced coffee. 

  • One-third cup of whole coffee beans
  • One and a half cups of cold filtered water
  • Ice
  • Milk
  • Sweeteners (flavored syrups like caramel chocolate, melted chocolate or honey)

As far as the equipment is concerned, you will need:

  • French press
  • Coffee grinder

Method to prepare Cold Brew with French Press

Here is how you do it:

Grind Your Favorite Coffee Beans

The process starts by grinding one-third cup of your favorite coffee beans for cold brew until they are properly granulated. The grinding should be carefully done to ensure the beans are fine enough for the infusion part later on.

Add and Stir

Pour the ground coffee and one and a half cups of water into the French press. Stir the mixture for some time.

Don’t Forget to Put the Lid

An important thing to keep in mind is to ensure the plunger is in an upright position and the lid is properly closed.

Allow Overnight Coffee Steeping in the Refrigerator

The plunger should be left upwards so that the coffee grounds are infused well in the water and better flavor is extracted. You can use the mixture after 8 – 10 hours, however, the longer you allow the steeping process, the better flavor you get.

Plunge the French Press

Once the steeping is done, plunge the French press the next morning to separate the coffee from grounds. A mesh strainer can be used to filter any coffee grains that pour out during this process. If you do like these grains, you can let them pass through. 

The Final Step

Add the iced coffee into a glass that is filled with half milk and ice cubes. Stir and enjoy your perfect cup of refreshing iced coffee. 

Can you make Iced Coffee in a Large Batch

Yes, you can. Making a large batch of iced coffee is no rocket science. You will use the same method as explained above with the same ratio of water and coffee grounds. 

The cold brew concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.

Variety of Iced Coffee 

If you have a sweet tooth, you can add cajeta caramel or chocolate fudge to your iced coffee. Cinnamon and sea salt can be added too to give a smooth flavor profile to your beverage. 

Additionally, Lavender syrups, pumpkin spice cashew creamer or cardamom vanilla syrup can be used if you have a knack of trying different iced coffee variations.

Some people are quite experimental with their coffee so if you are one of those, do give these variations a try.

Our Final Word on Making Iced Coffee Using a French Press

Iced coffee is a refreshing and flavorful beverage that makes it a perfect choice during the summers. Now that the weather will get colder in the next couple of months, you might want to have a hot cup of coffee instead of a cold brew.

Nevertheless, regardless of what season it is, an iced coffee can always give you the same refreshing and soothing effect. Having said that, if you know how to make iced coffee in a French Press, this makes your life a whole lot easier.

You can make this beverage in large batches and store in the refrigerator which takes away the  hassle to prepare the mixture every day. Just like any other coffee beverage, making iced coffee is an art that requires some practice. 

Just follow our aforementioned guidelines and enjoy a perfect cup of iced coffee!