What is Cold Brew Ice Cream?

A relatively recent invention, cold brew ice cream is starting to appear on specialty coffee shop menus around the world. Major ice cream brands are also starting to offer their own takes on this product.

The market for cold brew is continuing to grow, and so is its potential audience. This makes it a perfect time for coffee businesses to experiment by adding other cold brew-derived products to their menus – such as cold brew ice cream.

Cold Brew

What is cold brew?

Cold brew is created by steeping medium-to-coarse ground coffee in room temperature water for 12 hours or longer and then filtering out the grounds for a clean cup without sediment. Unlike regular coffee, cold brew is never exposed to heat. Cold brew uses time, rather than heat to extract the coffee’s oils, sugars, and caffeine.

Cold brew coffee is for those who like to plan ahead. It’s a long, gradual process, that can take up to 24 hours. The result is a very smooth, rich infusion, with low levels of acidity, which is easier on the stomach. 

What is cold brew ice cream and how does it differ from coffee ice cream?

Cold brew ice cream is essentially coarse ground coffee steeped in milk overnight. 

It technically isn’t really cold brew, as it contains no water. However, the general principle is the same, and the long steep time results in a similar kind of extraction.

Cold brew ice cream lends itself to more of a coffee flavour and takes on the flavour of the bean that is used.  Store-bought coffee ice cream is made with syrups and coffee powder and has a more artificial flavour.

He says: “Coffee ice cream is steeped in boiling milk for 8 to 10 minutes. Cold brew ice cream is steeped for 12 to 24 hours. 

The caffeine content differs as well. Coffee ice cream won’t give you as much caffeine as cold brew ice cream will. Cold brew ice cream is more rich and full flavoured.

Cold Brew Ice Cream

How to make cold brew ice cream


  • 300 ml double cream
  • 150 ml milk
  • 45 g ground coffee
  • 6 free range egg yolks
  • 110 g sugar


Mix the milk and cream, and stir in the ground coffee. Let steep overnight. Filter out the milk and cream mixture, discarding the used coffee grounds. Pour the mixture into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer.

Meanwhile using an electric whisk mix the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until they are pale and the sugar has dissolved.

Slowly pour the hot cream and milk over the egg and sugar mixture, whisking as you do.

Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and gently cook, stirring all the time and taking care to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan, until the mixture is glossy and has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Allow to cool, then churn in an ice cream machine until thick. Pack into a plastic tub and freeze for a few hours to firm it up.

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