Magical Coffee

By • December 2, 2009 • 89 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&MThe Editors

Serves 2-4

Coffee Base

  • 2/3 cup 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.

Tags: Easy

  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
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Comments (89) Questions (2)


26 days ago cupcakemuffin

This is fantastic! I make cold brew at home quite a bit in the warmer months, but never considered steeping the grounds with other flavors. I tried the cinnamon-brown sugar this time and it was so delicious -- excited to branch out with some of the other suggestions next time!


about 1 month ago kay

A French Press, if you have one, should work on finishing


about 1 month ago Eileen W.

Just needs to be strained sufficiently -- I used a coffee filter.


4 months ago Gary Hughes

I'm going to try this with my new espresso maker tomorrow by putting the coffee in with the cinnamon and a cardomom pod so it heats through and up into the pot together.... I like the idea of it hot instead of cold... add some palmyra jaggery - - for sweetness... YUM!


5 months ago beejay45

I just bought some cinnamon oil, and as soon as I have it I'm going to try this recipe with it. Good Earth Tea uses (used?) cinnamon oil in their proprietary blend. It gave regular black tea a really sweet taste, and I loved it. I'm eager to see what it does for cold brewed coffee. Thanks to Jennifer for her comment which reminded me of this recipe. ;)


5 months ago Jennifer

Super yummy! Even in the middle of winter!


7 months ago TheLearningCook

Hmmm. No wonder my iced coffee is always the buzz of the century. I usually do 1 cup grounds per 2 cups water. I think this recipe really sounds worth trying so it is in the pitcher now.

I actually bought a pitcher that is designed for iced coffee. It if don't work at all but it works gret to strain it! Lol.


7 months ago TheLearningCook

Ugh. Auto correct. It doesn't work at all.


8 months ago Lisa Reese

LOVE LOVE LOVE! This makes me so happy


9 months 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 !!!!!


10 months 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!


10 months 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.


10 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.


over 1 year ago tastysweet

If you go to 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.


over 1 year ago twinjadojo

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


over 1 year 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!


over 1 year ago Katelinlee

Should probably give Graze some love here, yes?


over 1 year 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!)


over 1 year 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!


over 1 year 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.


over 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.


almost 2 years ago Trena Heinrich

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


almost 2 years 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.