Iced coffee is a popular beverage, particularly during the summer. And not without reason! It's a refreshing delight enjoyed by coffee drinkers all across the world.
Learning to perfect the art of iced coffee is a good first step in your coffee making adventure, as it will help you boost your at-home-barista game. Pouring hot coffee over ice, on the other hand, results in diluted, weak coffee water. Instead, learn how to prepare creamy, delicious iced coffee that is rich in flavor and scent and is ideal for any time of day.
I'll show you how to create fantastic iced coffee, as well as how to take your iced coffees to the next level by using different milks and syrups to suit every flavor palette. Learn how to amaze your guests with gold leaf ice cubes and drizzled chocolate iced coffees served in a lovely mason jar.
How to Make Iced Coffee
The Japanese Approach
If you want a powerful and flavorful drink, brewing iced coffee with cold water isn't going to cut it. However, brewing coffee with hot water presents its own set of challenges, the most notable of which being the melting of your ice cubes.
Pouring hot coffee over ice results in a diluted, watery mess that's just weak and unattractive. Enter the Japanese approach, which takes the volume of water in your ice cubes into consideration. Because the ice is meant to melt and dilute the coffee, less piping hot coffee is utilized.
The strength of the coffee in the Japanese method is a significant difference. The method is to make a super-concentrated, strong coffee to be poured over the ice cubes and then dampened down by the melting ice. This produces an aromatic coffee with no loss of flavor!
The Japanese method calls for one-third of the liquid to be ice and the other two-thirds to be coffee from a pour-over. With this in mind, consider the following ratio:
- 1 ounce (30 g)
- Coffee Beans — I prefer light roasts for iced coffee.
- 5 ounces (150 g) 13 oz. ice (350g) Hot water at 205oF (96oC) - make sure you have enough to rinse the filter and avoid using boiling water!
- Steps for making it with a Hario V60, but you may use any drip coffee equipment, such as a Chemex.
- To filter coffee, grind the beans.
- Rinse the filter and jug, then drain any extra water.
- Pour the ice into the jug and place the Hario v60 on top.
- Bloom the coffee by pouring 1 oz (30 g) of hot water (205oF/96oC) over the beans and allowing it to rest for 30 seconds.
- Slowly pour the remaining water around the coffee in a circular motion.
- Serve with ice in a glass.
Try the Japanese way the next time you prepare iced coffee, just using as many ice cubes as parts water in the finished cup.
Make Use of Filtered Water
Unless you live in Scotland, where the water is amazing, it's no secret that filtered water tastes better. Using filtered water instead of tap water while creating a delicious iced coffee is a quick and easy technique to improve the flavor and feel of the beverage without spending much more money.
If you want to recreate the barista experience at home and brew the best coffee you can in your kitchen, utilizing filtered water is a great place to start.
Fill your next batch of iced coffee with new filtered water that has been sitting in the jug for at least 2 hours. If there is still fresh water filtering through into the jug, do not use it since you risk cross-contaminating the unfiltered and purified water.
It's also a good idea to use filtered water to make your ice cubes for the iced coffee, as they will melt into the drink, distributing the volume and strength of the coffee. Simply fill your ice cube tray the night before and you'll have pure, filtered ice cubes that will enhance rather than detract from the flavor of your beverage.
Try filtered water for yourself and see how different the end product may be!
For cold brew, use a coarse or extra coarse grind.
Cold brew coffee is best made with coarse or extra coarse ground coffee. For a smoother and slightly weaker coffee flavor that doesn't dominate colder drinks, use this grind setting or purchasing this pre-ground kind for your French press.
Coarse grind should resemble sea salt, and extra coarse grind should resemble peppercorns. The coffee beans used for these grinds are often larger, and there is very little grinding, resulting in larger, chunky bits.
Water does not immediately saturate the coffee when it travels over these grinds; instead, it goes through the small pieces and over the outer layer of each, slowly saturating the beans for a flavor that builds gradually. This produces a milder flavor, which is popular in iced lattes, iced coffees, and cold brew coffee.
Try a coarse grind for yourself and see how you like the change in flavor!
Make use of fresh, high-quality coffee beans.
Fresh, high-quality coffee beans produce better-tasting coffee. It's that easy!
Using the greatest quality ingredients possible will help you elevate your drinks if you want to reach the premium barista flavor in your own home.
This is especially true for cold brew and iced coffee, as colder foods and beverages often reveal more bitter and sour tastes than their hot counterparts. Warm drinks round out flavors because the heat mellows the taste, whereas cold drinks disclose more actual flavor.
Always use fresh, high-quality coffee beans to make the greatest iced coffee possible. You'll thank yourself later when you enjoy the drink since the taste and feel will be much more sophisticated.
Choose medium, low-acid roasts over those with prominent flavor notes such as fruit or florals, as these peaks will stand out when served cold and detract from the enjoyment of the iced coffee. For a smoother taste that complements the iced coffee style, choose roasts with more dessert-based flavor notes, such as vanilla, caramel, or chocolate.
Use Syrups to Add Flavor
Flavored syrups are a fun and easy way to spice up an iced coffee. Add a shot of syrup to your beverage for a luxurious twist that will truly stand out in the cold beverage.
To add a delectable twist to your iced coffee, try using basic store-bought syrups such as maple syrup, chocolate syrup, or caramel syrup. Make your own fun flavor.
During the holiday season, consider adding peppermint syrup, gingerbread, or salted caramel to your cold brew, iced lattes, or iced coffee as a pleasant treat to present to visitors. For extra fancy points, serve in a mason jar and garnish with a candy cane.
When it comes to syrup, there are numerous varieties available, and you may even manufacture your own at home. These delectable additions are ideal for warmer times when you crave a chilly yet sweet treat. There are also lots of sugar-free options to suit everyone's preferences.
With our 5 techniques for making iced coffee, you can say goodbye to watery, flavorless coffee and untidy puddles of melted ice and welcome to creating great iced coffee at home!