Make Ahead

Magical Coffee

December  2, 2009
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Magical Coffee
  • Prep time 5 hours
  • Serves 2-4
  • Coffee Base
  • 2/3 cup coarsely ground coffee
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • The Finished Drink
  • milk, half and half, or cream
  • ice
In This Recipe
  1. Coffee Base
  2. Put ingredients in a quart jar and stir.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  1. The Finished Drink
  2. Pour the coffee base through a sieve or strainer into a bowl, then strain back into jar for easy storage.
  3. 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.
  4. Die of happiness.
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