It’s a mystery why iced coffee has not become as ubiquitous as iced tea in summertime, but coffee shops are doing their best to change that, with creamy, icy blends that satisfy both a sweet tooth and a need for caffeine when only the coffee bean will do.
It’s just as easy, though — and fun — to create iced coffee recipes at home to taste, saving a little money while savoring the perfect custom blend.
How to make iced coffee
First, the basics:
Coffee lovers take several approaches when considering how to make iced coffee. None are complicated. Cold-pressed coffee requires a coffee maker such as the Toddy, an hourglass-shaped glass coffee maker in which the coffee is poured through a filter, or a French press.
Another approach is to pour cold water over the grounds through a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth or a filter over it. An easier way is to simply pour hot coffee over ice, as you might with iced tea. The drawback, of course, is that the ice dilutes the drink. Solve that problem by freezing leftover coffee in ice cube trays to use in your iced coffee recipes.
Still easier? Some coffee lovers recommend just putting today’s leftover brew in the fridge for tomorrow’s iced drinks. One blogger claims it tastes every bit as good as the little bottles of flavored ice coffee drinks you can pick up at the grocery.
Cream and sugar?
Not everyone drinks coffee black, whether hot or iced. Add anything your diet will allow, from fat-free milk to half and half, with low-calorie sweetener, honey or sugar to taste. Vietnamese iced coffee is also a popular blend. It uses a dark-roast coffee with a quarter or half as much sweetened condensed milk, stirred in a cup, then poured over ice.
Perk up your coffee by starting with flavored beans. For a mild, sweet flavor without caffeine, try Pear’s Gourmet Coffee Decaf French Vanilla. Make coffee to taste, add milk and honey. Perfect for evenings, or for children and young teens who want to try an iced coffee experience but shouldn’t have the caffeine.
A delicious dessert blend starts with Berre Brothers’ Chocolate Caramel coffee beans. Top up with half and half, a dollop of whipped cream (low-fat if you like) or vanilla ice cream, and a sprinkling of cinnamon or garnish of chocolate curls.
There you go. Some simple ideas for super cool iced coffee on hot summer days.