On Poetry and Perfect Iced Coffee

Poetry is not an art that can be perfected, but it is an art that I love. I distinctly remember a great piece of advice given to my college poetry class by our wise professor…

Chocolate cake? Noooo......

“Find an artist that you love, then imitate his (or her) work.”

We all thought that was a little strange. We looked at each other, puzzled, wondering, “Well, isn’t that plagiarism or copying or something else we shouldn’t do? Shouldn’t we strive to be original?”

The professor understood our concern.

“The surest way to find your own true voice is to imitate the ones that speak to you the most. Find one, try it on. Then find another, and so on. Yours will emerge.”

Then, in a more serious tone, he said…

“…and don’t worry. NOBODY is going to mistake your work with that of Baudelaire.”

Point taken.

So today, I copy someone I admire: The Pioneer Woman. While perfection in poetry is in the eye of the reader, iced coffee is a totally different story. Perfected, it can be, and The P-Dub has done it. Here’s my recreation of her genius. It is, without a doubt, the best iced coffee I’ve ever had…and you can practically make it blindfolded.

Perfect Iced Coffee

via The Pioneer Woman, adapted from Imbibe Magazine


  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 1/2 pound ground coffee (preferably a dark, rich roast, finely ground)
  • Add-ins, as desired (half & half, milk, coconut milk, flavored syrup, sugar, creamer, etc.)

In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight.

Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Send the grounds to your compost bin, or discard. (Depending on the grind you choose, you may have to strain twice. I used the espresso grind shown above, and some sediment got through every time…but it all settled to the bottom and didn’t bother me at all.)

Place your cold-brewed iced coffee concentrate in your prettiest pitcher in the fridge until icy cold. Try not to drink it all at once.

Note: Servings will vary, but I got 14 large servings out of a batch this size. I add a healthy splash of half & half and Torani hazelnut syrup, along with about 8 frozen coffee ice cubes (so as not to water down this glorious coffee creation.)




  1. Jutta P says

    Hmmm, this looks delicious! I’ve been using leftover morning coffee liberally sweetened poured over ice with a splash of half-and-half.

  2. Joanne Gregory says

    Just what I love on a hot day. Brings back memories of my childhood in FL – no air conditioning and neighbors would sit outside and drink iced coffee.

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