Iced Coffee, Susan’s Way

I have never been a coffee fan. Even in college, when I needed to stay up all night studying, I just couldn’t force myself to swallow more than a tiny mouthful before tossing the rest and switching back to Coke.

I have always liked the iced coffee sold at coffee houses though, so I did a little investigating and found out that the difference is that iced coffee is cold brewed, which means it’s much, much less acidic than regular brewed coffee.

Enter the Toddy System, a cold brewed coffee maker that we use all the time at the farm. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that nearly everyone who comes to the farm and tries our cold brewed coffee ends up ordering one when they return home.  Even people who like their coffee hot prefer to cold brew it and then heat it by the cup in the microwave.

Although I find the cold brewed coffee much less intense, I still cut mine with a whole lot of milk. Sort of cafe’ con leche but with more leche than cafe’. (When Carrie and I were in Paris a few months ago, I ordered my coffee by saying “Cafe au lait au lait au lait.” which got a lot of laughs from the French baristas.)

After a couple of years of making my coffee this way and playing around with the proportions, I have finally settled on my own perfect recipe. Here’s my method:

Make on carafe of cold brewed coffee following the manufactures instructors, but adding 1 /2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cardamom and ground cloves to the ground coffee before adding the water.

When the coffee has finished brewing, pour the coffee concentrate into two ice cube trays and freeze overnight.

To make a glass of iced coffee, add 6 ounces of skim milk to a glass and top with a splash of cream. Stir in sugar to taste (I use around half a teaspoon per glass.) Add three or four coffee ice cubes. The lightly spiced coffee will melt into the milk, giving each sip a slightly different mx of flavors.


  1. when I was renting a room wwaaayyy back when, the woman I rented from put cinnamon and a very small tad of salt in the grounds. (this was way before the modern day coffee shops) and it was some of the best coffee I ever drank, perfect every day and I have been drinking coffee for close to 50 years and I am just a few years (okay, 3) past the 50 year mark myself. Yes, I snagged it from the table when my mom wasn’t looking…

  2. Oooh, I’m totally adding cinnamon, cardamom and cloves to tomorrow’s pot. Sounds delightful!

  3. Jane from Maryland

    August 10, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Yum, yum, and yum.

  4. I’ve been doing cold brew for a few years and I really love how my at home coffee comes out. You don’t even need the Toddy system (although I love mine) if you don’t want to add more gadgets to your kitchen – you can let the coffee steep in a bowl or a jar overnight just as easily, then pour them through a coffee filter when they’re ready.

    Thanks for the cinnamon, cardamon and clove suggestion! I think I’ll try that on my next batch.

  5. Wow. Must. try. this. Must. Sounds yummy, yummier, yummiest. Thanks for posting.. and Happy Friday to you! :)

  6. I’m super-impressed that you got a lot of French baristas to laugh!

  7. I saw this recently:
    & have been meaning to try it (can’t find my big tupperware bin though)–you just gave me a motivational boost . . .

  8. Sounds totally divine – and a good idea for a gelato flavor!

  9. My preferred version of coffee tends to resemble melted coffee ice cream.
    However – what you describe here is making my mouth water! I’m intrigued and I may have to try it. Thanks for sharing!

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