5 Ingredients or Fewer

"Black Gold": New Orleans Iced Coffee Concentrate Inspired by Cafe Du Monde Cold Brew

June 28, 2021
1 Ratings
  • Serves about 8 cups
Author Notes

I’m kind of obsessed with Iced Coffee. To me, other than a well-made Manhattan, it’s quite possibly the perfect drink. And now withwarm-weather finally (please merciful God) approaching…it’s iced coffee time.

But so often, it’s weak, bitter and tastes like what my brother Dave and I call, “brackish dirt water.” Not to mention, who the heck really knows how long it’s been sitting there.

I tried for many years to re-create the iced coffee I had in New Orleans, particularly at Royal Blend, a lovely little spot just off Royal Street. But I always came up short. Weak, watery…ugh. Then I noticed in a NOLA friend’s refrigerator, a plastic bottle that read “Coffee Concentrate.” I was intrigued, confused, bewildered (I hadn’t had my coffee yet). Then she explained to me, “Oh mon cher,” she said (in my memory she was much more Cajun than in reality), “this is the only way to have iced coffee.”

Now there’s another way: New Orleans Cold Drip Coffee Concentrate.

I know, I know….Steve, you’re saying, gosh that sounds complicated. And we don’t even live in New Orleans! Well relax, turns out that most quality grocery stores carry cans of New Orleans coffee with chicory… either Community, French Market or Café du Monde… it’s all good.

And then all you need is water, coffee and a little bit of time. —saenyc

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound New Orleans coffee with chicory (medium ground)
  • 10 cups water
  1. That’s it. I told you it was easy. Put coffee in a large bowl or stainless steel stockpot. Add 2 cups water, stirring gently to moisten the grounds, then add the other 8 cups water, mixing as lightly as possible. Cover and let steep at room temperature for 12 hours.
  2. Strain coffee concentrate through a medium or fine sieve, then strain it again. And you know what, maybe even again. (Invariably, you’ll end up with some sediment)
  3. To make iced coffee, just fill a glass with ice, add coffee concentrate and milk, then stir and enjoy. Remember, this is concentrate: strong stuff… you don’t need all that much. Try a 25% coffee ratio.
  4. Also, every home should have agave syrup or simple syrup… it saves that awkward non-dissolving sugar issue. Note: You can make this recipe with any pound of coffee you’d like. It certainly doesn’t need to be New Orleans coffee with chicory. But having made it with other brands, I can say simply… it’s better this way. Richer, smoother, and more delicious. Trust me.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Way
  • Midge
  • drbabs
  • monkeymom
  • dymnyno

13 Reviews

Way May 3, 2020
Very simple, very convenient, very tasty. 10/10
Midge April 18, 2011
Can't wait for iced-coffee weather to give this a try.
saenyc April 18, 2011
i can't wait either! this seems like a never-ending stretch of cold and rain!
hazeddazed April 15, 2011
very authentic! very delicious!
drbabs April 15, 2011
I'm going to look for my coffeepot this weekend and I'll post a photo of it if I can find it.
saenyc April 15, 2011
love to see it!
drbabs April 19, 2011
Here you go--2 photos--one of the pot taken apart, and one of it all together.
monkeymom July 14, 2010
Hi saenyc, I'm assuming you can store the concentrate in the fridge. How long can you store it? Thanks!
drbabs July 14, 2010
Monkeymom, I think it will keep about a week in the refrigerator.
monkeymom July 17, 2010
Thanks drbabs!
drbabs May 14, 2010
saenyc, I have a drip pot that we use to make New Orleans coffee--it has a chamber for the coffee with strainers at the top and bottom. You very gradually pour boiling water through the coffee--it takes about an hour to make a pot and it's like syrup. We served it with scalded milk. Cafe au lait was one of the first things I learned to make as a child--for my father, who drinks it after dinner every night. Makes excellent iced coffee. With milk and simple syrup....mmmm...like liquid ice cream.
saenyc May 14, 2010
sounds great drbabs. nothing quite like that taste... puts all other iced coffee to shame!
dymnyno May 6, 2010
A french press works too.