Decaf Cold Brew Coffee with Vanilla Spice Cream
April 20, 2021
The dandelions are starting to pop up all over the yard, and recently, we’ve even had a few days where we were able to be outside. To me, that means it’s iced coffee season! I love the idea of something that can be prepped in advance, and this decaf cold brew is the perfect choice, especially with a sweet vanilla spice cream.
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I am always trying to experiment with new ways to enjoy my morning coffee, and have been intrigued by cold brew for a long time. Unfortunately, as someone who doesn’t drink caffeine, it’s hard to find decaf cold brew at many coffee shops. I guess that meant I was on my own.
I was excited to discover that I could use my French press to make my own, using my favorite decaf coffee. And while I was waiting for the coffee to brew overnight, why not take advantage of that time to add some infused flavor into my cream? The result was coffee-shop taste but no caffeine!
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this decaf cold brew and cream at your grocery store:
- Pantry: Decaf coffee, Sugar, Vanilla extract
- Fridge: Heavy cream, Milk
- Spice Rack: Whole cloves, Allspice berries
- Equipment: French press, Mesh strainer
Let’s Make Decaf Cold Brew Coffee
This recipe calls for coarsely ground coffee, since it uses a French press. If you buy your coffee pre-ground, it may be too fine for that brewing method. It will still work, but you are more likely to get grounds in your finished coffee.
For best results, I suggest that any serious coffee drinker should own their own grinder, even if it’s just a very simple one. Your coffee will not only always be ground to the exact size that you need for your brewing method, but you’ll also have the freshest coffee every time.
You may also be able to grind your own coffee at your grocery store or when you buy beans at a coffee shop. If you are doing this, be sure to set the machine to coarse or French press.
Whatever method you use to get your coffee ground, add it into your French press with water. I generally make coffee for one, so my press is designed for a single portion, and that’s how I wrote this recipe. If you want to multiply this cold brew, you will need a larger press and more coffee.
Stir the coffee into the water, and then place the lid on top of French press, with the plunger fully extended, and set it aside to infuse overnight. What you want to do here is let the coffee brew for multiple hours at room temperature.
Essentially, you are letting the water pull all that delicious coffee flavor from the beans, but more slowly than if you were to use hot water. This creates a smoother and less bitter coffee. Plus many people claim that it is less acidic than its hot-brewed counterpart.
How to Make Vanilla Spice Cream
While your coffee is infusing, you can also prepare the vanilla spice cream to mix into it. This should also be made in advance to give the spice flavors time to infuse into the milk. Basically, you make everything the night before, and then in the morning, just combine!
To make the cream, combine heavy cream and milk in a small mason jar, or microwave safe bowl. Stir in the sugar, and then give it a quick zap in the microwave. The goal isn’t to heat up the milk to be hot, just to help the sugar dissolve more easily.
Stir in the the whole cloves, allspice berries, and vanilla extract. You can use more of the cloves and allspice if you prefer a spicier coffee. If you’d rather more of the smooth vanilla flavor, go with the minimum amounts listed in the recipe.
Cover the jar or bowl and place it in the fridge overnight. Similar to what is happening with your cold brew coffee, the oils and other flavorful parts of the spices will be pulled out and into the milk and cream. This is a great way to get flavors into your coffee when something doesn’t easily dissolve.
In the morning, grab your French press and slowly push down the plunger. This will capture all the solid coffee grounds at the bottom, underneath the mesh. Then pour the cold brewed coffee into a glass filled partially with ice.
Remove the cream from the fridge and give it a quick stir. Then pour that on top. Add a straw and stir it all together. Or don’t stir it and you’ll get some really fun layers as the cream settles toward the bottom. That’s it — a tasty cup of iced coffee with nearly no work in the morning!
Make ahead morning coffee? Yep, with this cold brew made in a French press and sweet vanilla spice cream, you can sleep soundly knowing your coffee is making itself!
How to Serve Cold Brew Coffee
A round of decaf cold brews would be a wonderful addition to a spring or summer brunch. Try pairing it with a fruit bake, like strawberry rhubarb crumble or skillet plum buckle. Or go really sweet and try serving pecan crusted french toast with caramel.
Since this cold brew coffee is decaf, you can serve it with dessert as well! I love the idea of serving this with something light and simple, like these easy cream puffs with coconut and almond filling. Or go a bit more decadent and serve slices of my favorite no-bake molasses cheesecake, which can also be made in advance.
Decaf Cold Brew Coffee with Vanilla Spice Cream
- 1 ½ Tbsp Decaf Coffee coarsely ground
- 8 oz Water room temperature
Vanilla Spice Cream
- 1 oz Heavy Cream
- 1 oz Milk
- ¼ tsp Sugar
- 2-3 Whole Cloves
- 3-5 Allspice Berries
- ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- Combine coffee ground and water in a French press, and stir to combine. Place the lid on the French press with the plunger extended. Set aside at room temperature for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- In a microwave safe jar or bowl, add the milk, cream and sugar, and stir to combine. Microwave for 20 seconds, and stir again to dissolve the sugar.
- Stir in the cloves, allspice berries, and vanilla. Cover the cream mixture and place it in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, fill a highball glass halfway with ice. Slowly press the plunger of the French press, and then pour the coffee on top of the ice. Remove the cream from the fridge and stir, then pour it through a mesh strained into the coffee. Add a straw, stir, and serve immediately.
- Make ahead tips: Leaving the coffee in the French press or the cream with the cloves and allspice will create a stronger flavor. Instead, refrigerate brewed coffee in a sealed container, without cream, for 1-2 days. Refrigerate strained cream in a sealed container for 1-2 days.
- If you prefer plant-based milk, you can still infuse your milk of choice with the flavor. It will not have the same creamy mouthfeel as using the heavy cream.
- Use your favorite coffee, decaf or not.