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How to make great iced coffee at home

Filed Under: food, Kitchen & Bath, Know-How

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who drink coffee and those who drink tea. I drink coffee, and lots of it.

What? It's summer. Yes, but that doesn't mean you have to abandon the dark side -- in fact -- it's time to embrace it. It's the perfect time to try an iced coffee. You still get the great kick of a coffee (hello caffeine) but is far more refreshing. Like a regular cup of coffee, iced coffee is incredibly diverse. If you've ever stepped foot into a Starbucks, you already know that there are numerous ways to create a number of iced coffee beverages that will suit the particular tastes of anybody ... unless, of course you are a tea drinker!

These drinks are simple to make and even simpler to drink ... the problem however; I can't find a good iced coffee recipe online, which is extremely surprising considering it's popularity. So here's how I make mine:

  1. Make strong coffee. Ice will significantly dilute the final cup, so you need to start with strong coffee to get a good flavor. A rule of thumb that I use is to double the normal amount of grounds. Example: If you are brewing 4 cups of coffee, put in enough grounds for 8 cups. If you don't do this your iced coffee will taste like bad water.
  2. Add sugar. I don't use sugar, but if you do, this is the time to add it -- while it's still hot -- stir in your desired sugar amount. Sweeten slightly more than usual. The main reason you add the sugar now is simply because sugar won't dissolve in cold water. You don't want sips full of crunchy sugar granules and otherwise unsweetened coffee do you?

  1. Chill. Don't add ice! Just put it in the fridge and leave it there overnight preferably. If the coffee is still warm, it will melt the ice, making it too watery. Try to plan ahead, it will be worth it.
  2. Pour over ice. Serve over a lot of ice. I suggest a bit of cream too. Milk and skim milk are fine, but cream will give you the best flavor and if you're going through this much trouble to get a good cup of iced coffee, go for the cream. Stir very well.
  3. Flavor. Instead of using sugar, you can sweeten and flavor each cup with flavor syrups such as hazelnut or vanilla. Unlike sugar, they mix perfectly in cold liquids so you don't need to add it when it's hot. However, I don't suggest doing both (adding sugar and syrup), as it will be too sweet ... not to mention it will be loaded with calories.
  4. Enjoy! Let it sit for a minute to allow the ice to chill the coffee further and melt slightly. Then give it a final stir, and enjoy.

As mentioned, there are many versions of iced coffee ... mine is for basic good iced coffee with no frills. For a different version, check out Bob Sassone's post over at Slashfood.

Source

  • stephen

    make coffee ice cubes to chill the coffee and you can mitigate the dilution factor.

    Reply
  • Bill

    I've been tinkering with some home brew methods this week and discovered the following:

    1) Coffee ice cubes (as stephen said) work great and if you make a whole tray, you'll have enough for a few glasses.
    2) Unless you like really strong coffee, a simple way to make iced coffee is to brew a cup, let it cool on the counter, then refrigerate for a few hours at least. Add your coffee ice cubes to a cup, pour the coffee to fill the cup half way, then pour the other half with milk. Add straw, stir and enjoy.
    3) Coolbrew makes a concentrate you can refrigerate for iced coffee anytime (http://www.coolbrew.com/)
    4) Some people prefer cold brewing coffee for iced coffee making. You can use a cold brew system like Toddy (http://www.toddycafe.com/) or DIY (in the spirit of this website). Search google for directions. No fancy hardware needed.

    Reply
  • Bill

    Forgot to mention in #2 above - add cream and sweetener while the coffee is hot, especially if you use powered cream and sugar, Splenda or Equal.

    Reply
  • Eliah Hecht

    If you want to be able to sweeten the coffee at the table, you can always make some simple syrup (boil sugar with water, stick it in a jar, keeps forever) -- good for if you want to make a lot of coffee and different people want it sweetened different amounts. Also good for sorbet and any other cold-item-sweetening needs.

    Reply
  • Eliah

    If you want to be able to sweeten the iced coffee at the table, you can always make some simple syrup (boil sugar with water, stick it in a jar, keeps forever) -- good for if you want to make a lot of coffee and different people want it sweetened different amounts. Also good for sorbet and any other cold-item-sweetening needs.

    Reply
  • Stuart

    Brewing coffee strong and then diluting it results in something less than ideal. Cold-brewing is the way to go.

    Reply
  • GW

    The coffee shop I work at does this to make a gallon of cold-press coffee:
    Take .53 lbs whole beans and grind on the coarsest setting of the grinder.
    Put grounds in a 1-gallon pitcher and pour ice water over the grounds, turning the pitcher as you go so the ground coffee gets uniformly wet. Let this steep at room temperature for 12-16 hours. Drain with metal filter into a clean 1-gallon container. Seal and refrigerate for up to two days. Some roasts are better for this than others; I like a medium roast myself.

    Reply
  • GW

    The coffee shop I work at does this to make a gallon of cold-press
    coffee:Take .53 lbs whole beans and grind on the coarsest setting of
    the grinder. Put grounds in a 1-gallon pitcher and pour ice water
    over the grounds, turning the pitcher as you go so the ground coffee
    gets uniformly wet. Let this steep at room temperature for 12-16
    hours. Drain with metal filter into a clean 1-gallon container. Seal
    and refrigerate for up to two days. Some roasts are better for this
    than others; I like a medium roast myself.

    Reply
  • GW

    The coffee shop I work at does this to make a gallon of cold-press coffee: Take .53 lbs whole beans and grind on the coarsest setting of the grinder. Put grounds in a 1-gallon pitcher and pour ice water over the grounds, turning the pitcher as you go so the ground coffee gets uniformly wet. Let this steep at room temperature for 12-16hours. Drain with metal filter into a clean 1-gallon container. Seal and refrigerate for up to two days. Some roasts are better for this than others; I like a medium roast myself.

    Reply
  • GW

    The coffee shop I work at does this to make a gallon of cold-press
    coffee: Take 8oz whole coffee beans and grind on the coarsest setting of
    the grinder. Put grounds in a 1-gallon pitcher and pour ice water over
    the grounds, turning the pitcher as you go so the ground coffee gets
    uniformly wet. Let this steep at room temperature for 12-16 hours.
    Drain with metal filter into a clean 1-gallon container. Seal and
    refrigerate for up to two days. Some roasts are better for this than
    others; I like a medium roast myself.

    Reply
  • GeeLee

    You have to try Cool Brew for iced coffee. I haven't used my coffee maker since for hot or cold. It is a world of difference. I can't imagine making coffee double strength and having it taste anything but bitter.

    Reply
  • 11 Comments / 1 Pages
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