Today, let’s learn how to make iced coffee, shall we?
With the summer heat beating down upon us, we all need an excellent cup of iced coffee. It makes the perfect summer drink for a caffeine lover.
Imagine the sweet cold beverage trickling down your throat after spending hours in the scorching sun; its mere thought is enough to make you forget about the heat waves and send the chills down your spine that you so desperately crave.
The recipe for an iced coffee isn’t a definite one, as there are various ways to make homemade iced coffee; you need not stick to it to create the perfect drink. You can always play around and throw in some chocolate, cinnamon, coconut milk, butterscotch, or vanilla syrup according to your taste.
The following recipes will give you a basic idea of making iced coffee, simple yet thoroughly refreshing. Pre-packaged iced coffee is also available as a grocery item, but it comes without the ice.
It is generally brewed at a higher concentration as it will get diluted once the ice cubes melt.
Iced coffee can be served chilled or be poured hot over ice, and as sugar granules don’t dissolve in cold beverages, they are supposed to be added to the hot base before the cooling or at the end of the syrup.
What is Iced Coffee & How to Make Iced Coffee
It is a beverage that consists of hot brewed coffee served over ice or by brewing the coffee cold, with added sweeteners like sugar, milk, or flavoured syrup before cooling. These ingredients help in balancing the bitter flavour of the coffee.
- Instant Coffee
- Freshly grounded coffee beans
- Distilled Water
- flavoured syrups
- A glass jar
- Milk; creamer; half and a half or sweetened condensed milk
Instant Iced Coffee
Steps for creating the perfect cup of instant iced coffee recipe
Add instant coffee powder in a glass; the amount of coffee depends on how strong you want your coffee to be. Now, add sugar granules or powdered sugar according to your liking.
Add two tablespoons of warm water and stir the mixture firmly until the sugar crystals dissolve. Fill your glass with 1/3rd of cold water; fill it with milk until your glass is 2/3rd full. To finish it off, add some ice cubes as per your requirement.
You can add cocoa powder to your base mixture to create Mocha Coffee. It is quite a simple and easy recipe indeed.
Iced Coffee with sweetened condensed milk
This is easily one of the best-iced coffee recipes to make when serving guests at a house party or reading alone on a warm summer day. Follow these simple steps to create the perfect iced coffee ever!
Firstly pour ground coffee beans into a heat-proof bowl and add 6 cups of boiling water; stir and let it sit for five minutes. Now put this mixture through the press in a couple of batches. After straining the coffee, add 6 more cups of chilled water to the coffee and refrigerate it.
This will last up to a month if kept in the fridge. To serve your coffee, take a tall glass filled with ice cubes, pour the coffee concentrate over the ice and add a few tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk; the amount depends on how sweet you prefer your coffee. Stir it well, add a straw and enjoy your perfect cup of iced coffee at home.
If you want to upgrade your homemade iced coffee, you must dig a little deeper into the styles that one can employ to make even a bit better coffee. Instant coffee is refreshing, but the best-iced coffee starts with real coffee brewed with espresso, filter coffee, or cold brew.
Cold Brew Iced Coffee
Let’s start with a cold brew that involves the stepping of ground coffee beans anywhere from 5 to 24 hours. This style results in a smooth and flavorful iced coffee.
It can be consumed with or without milk and mixed with other ingredients owing to its versatility. The only downside is that preparations must be done in advance as this brew cannot be prepared instantly.
Once your cold brew is prepared, sweeten it with sugar and let it cool down; take a tall glass full of ice and fill it with the brew.
Add cold milk as required. You can also add vanilla, caramel, or chocolate syrup. To finish, whip some heavy cream and pour this cold foam over the cup of coffee. Voila! Your perfect cup of iced coffee is ready to be served.
Espresso Iced Coffee
Making iced coffee with espresso will produce different results than making one with a cold brew. Espresso is stronger and is sharper than cold brew, but the taste of espresso-styled chilled Ice coffee is immaculate.
The simplest way to make one is by adding a shot or two of espresso to a glass of milk full of ice. This is also known as an iced vanilla latte. This drink is sharper and is less sweet when consumed cold.
Iced filter coffee
It is best when served black as it helps maintain the delicate acidity of the coffee compared to cold brew or espresso.
For making a perfect iced filter coffee, you shouldn’t just chill the everyday batch of filter coffee, as it will taste bitter and sharp.
Instead, one needs to renew the filter with the same amount of coffee normally used, but the amount of water used should be cut in half. In this way, when the hot coffee melts the ice, the concentration will become the same as the standard cup of filter coffee.
This is ideal for serving black filter coffee, but since it is such a delicate recipe, its chances of working with ingredients like whole milk are pretty low.
For an instant, easy iced coffee recipe, you don’t need any equipment, but the trick to making the perfect iced coffee is using a cold press or a french press and then serving over ice with some syrup and mil or cream.
Using flavoured syrup is way better than adding sugar granules, as the sweetness of the syrup will complement the coffee well since it is already a liquid. Still, the sugar granules might remain undissolved in your cold coffee, thus ruining its smoothness.
Here is another iced coffee recipe for which you will need a french press.
The French press method:
You require a french press and a bag of ground coffee. You will also need hot water, not boiled water. Pour water into the French Press and add your coffee grounds.
Stir the mixture with a spoon but avoid using a metal spoon as it will ruin the bottom of the machine.
Take a tall glass full of ice and pour the coffee into this glass. Allow it to sit fr 4 minutes, then close the lid. Add some syrup and coffee creamer or sweetened condensed milk and enjoy your delicious glass of well-made iced coffee.
The Cold Press method:
Here is another iced coffee recipe for you to try. You will require a measuring cup, a packet of ground beans, and a coffee filter.
Measure 8 cups of water and pour 12 ounces of coffee grounds into the water. Stir this well and let it sit for a day. After 24 hours, strain the coffee through the coffee filter into another container.
This iced coffee recipe will result in a strong coffee, so if you wish to make a weaker coffee, then add more water. Use sugar syrup or creamer as per your wish. Let this be chilled in the refrigerator for around 6 to 8 hours, and enjoy your iced coffee.
Choosing the right type of coffee bean
Since our body does not perceive sweetness well at low temperatures as it does at higher temperatures, some coffee might taste bitter when chilled. Therefore it is recommended to use a light or medium roasted coffee with a lot of natural wetness while making chilled drinks.
Natual or honey processed coffee is the best way to go when making a cold brew or iced filter drinks. To make a sweet, creamy, or chocolaty iced coffee, one should use Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, or Honduras with a medium roast.
Fresh ground coffee beans- the ideal choice for Iced coffee
Fresh ground beans are considered better than pre-ground beans, and here are the reasons why,
- Oxidation- The longer one grinds beans, the longer time they will be exposed to the air, and hence more oxidation will occur, which will result in loss of flavour. Oxidation results in less aromatic and flavourful beans.
- Moisture – With the oxygen in the air also comes moisture which tends to react with the oil in the beans. The longer the beans are ground greater the loss of flavour.
- Co2- Carbon dioxide helps transfer the oil from beans to your cup of coffee. Grinding results in the loss of this compound and eventually loss of the delicious aromas from the beans into the air. Buying fresh ground beans allows you to use them as per your liberty. You can use whatever amount of beans you like and store the rest for later use. Thus they will remain fresh and won’t lose any flavour or aromas.
Things to Remember:
- When the percentage of water and coffee is 2:1, it is considered ideal and can be used with other cold brew coffee recipes. Another alternative to making this recipe is to use a ratio of 1 part ground coffee to 4 parts water. To bring out the finest taste of coffee, one should use fresh coffee beans. As iced coffee tends to taste stronger and bitter, using a medium to dark roast is preferable as they impart the best flavour.
- Using fresh coffee beans stored in a cool, dry place is preferable as they will result in the best-tasting coffee. Grinding coffee beans right before brewing is the ideal way to prepare coffee.
- Avoid pouring hot coffee over ice to make iced coffee. As the ice melts, the drink will dilute, resulting in a tasteless homemade coffee. Using coffee ice cubes is the answer to this problem.
- You can use different flavoured syrups or flavoured ice, and all taste great with iced coffee. Use the chocolate syrup to turn your iced coffee into an Iced mocha.
- One can add Creamer, half or half, or evaporated milk instead of boiled milk. One can also consume it without milk but in that case, add more ice to dilute your coffee.
- Iced coffee requires no blending, so it better add sugar at room temperature to allow it to dissolve completely, or your coffee won’t taste sweet enough and will leave you with a bitter taste. Sugar granules dissolve best at high temperatures, so stir the sugar well before allowing the coffee to chill in the refrigerator.
- While making iced coffee at home, it is preferable to brew a strong coffee than the usual cup of hot coffee as the ice cubes will dilute the coffee. Using a french press is ideal as it extracts the flavourful compounds of the beans and produces a more rich coffee that the melting of the ice cubes won’t dilute.
- Since sugar granules are hard to dissolve in cold beverages, making simple syrup is advisable. It can be stored for later use, and you don’t need to worry about undissolved sugar in your coffee.
Making coffee ice cubes
Ice cubes might dilute the coffee once they melt; therefore, to prevent the dilution of the iced coffee, some people prefer using coffee ice cubes which will keep the drink chill while simultaneously maintaining the concentration of the drink. Here is how one can make coffee ice cubes easily;
While brewing your coffee, save and keep aside some leftover coffee brew. Pour this brew into ice cube trays and let them freeze overnight.
Once done, use these coffee cubes instead of the regular ice cubes, which will prevent the watering down of your coffee.
Making sugar syrup
Sugar syrup is a much better option while making iced coffee than using granulated sugar, as it can easily dissolve with the coffee even at low temperatures. You can also use brown sugar to create this simple syrup. It can be stored in the fridge for later use too.
follow these steps to create a simple syrup out of sugar;
- In a pan over a low flame, add water and sugar together. Bring it to a boil while stirring until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Remove the pan from the flame and let this syrup come to room temperature.
- Pour the sugar syrup into a container and refrigerate it for further use. The syrup will last for about a month in the freezer if stored properly.
Why the French press?
If you ask a coffee drinker the best way to make coffee at home, the answer undoubtedly would be, ”Use a french press”. This stands true, but one may wonder why?
For one, coffee filters take out the flavour and oils from the beans and leave them unflavourful. The paper filter absorbs the oils while nothing as such happens in the french press.
It doesn’t soak up any oil or flavours from the coffee beans, and the coffee that one gets by using a french press is thus rich in taste.
The french press also maintains just the right water temperature during the whole brewing process while in drip machines and percolators, the right temperature is only maintained for a short period of time and doesn’t last for the whole brewing cycle.
The biggest advantage to a french press is that the person can make coffee according to his taste.
One has the liberty to choose and decide upon the time for steeping the beans, the type and size of beans used, the water temperature, and other variables.
Therefore the french press gives the user more control over the result.
Iced drinks act as a respite against the harsh summer weather, and iced coffee recipes are delicious and quite simple to prepare.
Since iced coffee is less acidic than hot coffee, it tends to have a calmer effect on your digestive system, so having an upset stomach after drinking a cup of joe is next to none.
Now that you have acquired a fair share of knowledge about making iced coffee, including the different methods, and the several recipes, You can be your barista. Starbucks got nothing on you, so put on your apron and brew!