Magical Coffee

By • December 2, 2009 • 80 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by a drink I love at a local cafe. (Theirs is "magic coffee.") After my first taste, I went home and immediately started tweaking a recipe. They brew the coffee hot, but since it was summer and I am lazy, I wanted to use a cold-brewed coffee base, and I started with a recipe from the Times. There's lots of room for variation depending on what flavors you like--I did a Scandinavian version with white sugar, almond extract, and crushed fennel seeds too.ErinH

Food52 Review: One of those recipes that's a great concept rather than a precise formula, ErinH's iced coffee takes inspiration from both her local coffee house and the New York Times. Adding a teaspoon of cinnamon and a few spoonfuls of dark brown sugar to the coffee as it cold-brews gives it a lush sweetness and a hit of warmth. After a night in the fridge, you strain the coffee and pour it over ice cubes. Then comes the cream. (Or milk, depending on your mood.) And then, as ErinH says, you "die of happiness." We loved this iteration and think her "Scandinavian version" (using almond extract and fennel) sounds like a winner too. - A&MA&M

Serves 2-4

Coffee Base

  • 2/3 cups coarsely ground coffee
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  1. Put ingredients in a quart jar and stir.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The Finished Drink

  • milk, half and half, or cream
  • ice
  1. Pour the coffee base through a sieve or strainer into a bowl, then strain back into jar for easy storage.
  2. For each drink: Fill a tall glass halfway with ice. Pour in coffee until glass is about 3/4 full, and add milk/half and half/cream to taste.
  3. Die of happiness.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
Jump to Comments (80)

Tags: Easy

Comments (80) Questions (2)

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about 1 month ago rick maynard

WOW........I've been making iced coffee by the gallon for a couple years now.
Tried many different sweeteners from sugar to coffee creamer flavorings and was told by a friend to try sweetened canned condensed milk. BINGO but a half a can per gallon is plenty. NOW I can't wait to try the brown sugar. It sounds awesome !!!!!

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about 1 month ago Nicole

Drinking this now it's yummy! I have no fancy coffee press but I use a keurig I brew dark roast into mason jars then leave in fridge overnight, I also make iced coffee cubes as I don't like to water down my drinks. In the morning I put all ingredient into my vitamix add a few iced coffee cubes and blend it's also really good to blend in a few pecans for flavor too! Thanks for the recipe I never thought to use brown sugar in my coffee!

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about 1 month ago Kevin French

Made this last night to pair with a warm day today. Very nice recipe that even the wife likes (she usually dislikes iced coffee). Thank you for the recipe. Will def make this again.

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2 months ago chefbonandee

The 'Scandinavian version' you mention in the intro has been our GO TO recipe for some time now! It's tastier than any of the bottled stuff we've come across. I make large batches to last us all week: 2.5 cups of freshly ground coffee, 9 cups water, 1 tablespoon ground fennel seed, 1 teaspoon almond extract (sometimes I divide this and do a bit of vanilla as well), 2 tablespoons sugar (whatever we have on hand). Yum and yum.

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8 months ago tastysweet

If you go to TheYummylife.com blog, you will see a similar receipe. Difference is putting the grounds in the large strainer(from Amazon). Go to site and look up non alcholic beverages. Then you will see recipe and on the right side of page you will
see the Amazon ad for the filter. I use one for Iced tea and one for the coffee. Use a wide mouth quart jar with a lid for when storing the iced coffee. Pour filtered water on to the grounds slowly. It will take a while. I use a chop stick to stir the grounds while the water is seeping in. Cover with the strainer cover(comes with it) and store on counter for 12 hours. Take strainer out and viola. Best iced coffee EVER. I put in cinnamin and some dark chocolate unsweetned cocoa.

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8 months ago twinjadojo

This technique will give purpose to my large French press at least 6 months of the year. It is so choice.

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11 months ago Annie

This is an AMAZING recipe! Thank you so much! I have really been wanting a good, easy recipe for iced coffee that doesn't require all these ingredients that I wouldn't normally have on hand! I made this "Magical Coffee" tonight and both my husband and I think that it really is like the name says ... Magic! I will definitely be making this again!

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11 months ago Katelinlee

Should probably give Graze some love here, yes?

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11 months ago ErinH

Graze didn't exist at this point--I originally had the drink I modeled it after at Cafe Soleil. There's a nod in the intro! :) (And nowadays, yes, let's give Graze a nod!)

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11 months ago Katelinlee

Oh, I miss Soleil. As soon as I saw this recipe, I guessed you might be a Madisonian. I will have to give your version a try! Looks delicious!

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12 months ago jmjdubai

That was really good. Actually i didn't like coffee for a long time. But now I started liking coffee because of its health benefits. I read some articles about coffee and your health benefits from a website. The site also offers a lot of coffee recipes.

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about 1 year ago Peggy

Just tried this and had to comment for those wondering if it's worth the effort - give it a try, you won't be disappointed. Excellent, smooth, tasty iced coffee! I used light brown sugar (it's all I had on hand) and it was still wonderful.

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about 1 year ago Trena

Now I know why this recipe is called Magical coffee. I just made a batch and it tastes delicious! Summer just got better.

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about 1 year ago Janneke Verheij

With the ground seeds of two cardamom pods and a teaspoon of rose water. In the second cup I plunged a scoop of very dark chocolate sorbet. I think it will be a good base to make Greek Frappe as well. Thank you for the inspiration.

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over 1 year ago MarkO

An addition to our daily routine now, thank you!!

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over 1 year ago beejay45

To make filtering less of an issue, I make cold brewed coffee in a French press. I put in a half pound of grounds, fill it with water (it's the litre size), and let it rest for a few hours. I do the press thing, bottling the very strong coffee base and putting it in the fridge. Then I refill the carafe and repeat. Of course the second "pressing" isn't as strong, but it's still plenty strong. This makes a base to be diluted with water or milk, for my tastes about 1 part base to 10 parts milk, but ymmv. If I'm making big pitchers of the iced coffee/latte, I'll "brew" the same grounds a third time and not dilute so much.

Depending on the grind you use, you may need to either let the base settle and pour off the clear part, or pour it through a coffee filter to get any sludge that might have made it past the press.

I have a sensitivity to the coffee oils, and this cold brewing is the only thing that's let me have anything coffee since my teens. For me, the first flush is best, as after that the oils start to come out even in cold water. But, as someone who used to love coffee, I appreciate the whole process and wish I'd heard/thought of it years ago.

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over 1 year ago gotham gourmand

Simply put: I'm addicted! I've had to resort to hiding the jar in the back of the fridge so the rest of the house doesn't drink it. Can't wait to try some of the other variations! I can tell I'll be brewing this up all summer!

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over 1 year ago Grainy

for real decadence on a hot afternoon by the pool,substitute milk/half and half/cream with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve with a cinnamon stir-stick.

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over 1 year ago rjfk926

This is absolutely fantastic I make 3 jars a day and it is gone by the end of the day!!! Coffee junkie!!! :)

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over 1 year ago Mitch Fagans

I used Baileys instead of cream,and also threw in a shot of crown royal for an excellent after dinner cafe.

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over 1 year ago maeveoh

How deliciously I started my morning today!! Inspired by a cup of coffee I had repeatedly on a 2010 SF trip at Philz Coffee (Philosopher's blend), I added 5 cardamom pods (crushed slightly) to my doubled recipe. Extra magical!

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over 1 year ago ErinH

So glad many people are enjoying this! Pureun, I dont know the Food52 policy on putting things on your blog, but you'd probablybe okay if you share with an attribution and link. Thanks!

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over 1 year ago Pureun

Yes, of course!I'll put the source of this recipe. Thank you :)