Sipping in the Sun
Summer is a great time to enjoy iced coffee, one of my favorite drinks. It is so refreshing, especially with weeks like these, where temperatures will be well into the 90s. But, there is more to making iced coffee than just pouring the coffee over ice. Of course, it could be done that way and often is; but if I get a drink like that at a coffee shop I’d get pretty upset. When coffee is simply poured over ice, you get less coffee and more ice. In the end, you pay more to get a drink that tastes and looks like iced tea. If you want to avoid diluted-coffee syndrome, read the rest of my blog for some tips and tricks of the trade.
Preparation Techniques & Choosing your Coffee
I like to brew my coffee for iced coffee stronger than I would normally prepare a regular, hot coffee. I tend to increase my drop weight by about 25 to 30% to make sure the coffee tastes like coffee when it is poured over ice. I also believe that certain coffees make a better iced coffee, due to their composition. Brighter coffees, such as certain Brazilian, Kenyan or Tanzanian Peaberry coffees tend to stand out better in iced beverages. These coffees will also taste just a little more refreshing, because they are naturally a little sweeter than their peers.
Choose a Dark Roast
The darker the better. Even if you do not like this type of roast normally, it will make your iced coffee much better. Since ice will dilute the flavor, a robust coffee can help balance the beverage. If you like a lighter roast and I can’t persuade you to change that preference, make coffee ice cubes for your drinks!
Serving Iced Coffee & Recipes
The trick to serving ice coffee is to ensure that it retains its full flavor and aroma. I like to take some coffee and freeze it in ice cube trays. When it is time to serve the iced coffee, I will fill the glass with the frozen coffee cubes. It is a nice touch to serve guests or customers and always gets noticed.
You may also want to try adding a variety of ingredients to your iced coffee. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Add an espresso to your coffee to make a “Red Eye” for that little extra zing.
- Add a scoop of ice cream to make a delicious coffee float. I like to sweeten mine by adding simple syrup made of sugar in the raw and water. Simple syrup is actually very easy to make. Just heat 2 cups of boiling water and add one cup of sugar in the raw. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and allow the mixture to cool before adding it to your beverage.
- Fill ¼ to ½ half of your glass with sweetened condensed milk then add filtered coffee to taste; this will make an authentic Vietnamese Iced Coffee.
- Prepare a Vietnamese Iced coffee (see above); top it off with cinnamon and add cayenne pepper to create a Thai coffee.
- Add a syrup, my favorites are vanilla and caramel. I use a shot of espresso then add coffee until the glass is about ¾ full. The rest of the glass gets filled with whole milk or light cream to complete the beverage.
Sit back; relax and enjoy one of these great beverages. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them on my Spot!
If iced coffee isnt your style watch our How-To on cold brew!