Spring is is finally upon us, summer is right around the corner. Most days are just too warm for hot cup of java juice. So what do you do? Well, I don’t know about you but I make iced coffee! It’s super simple and still gives me that great coffee taste that I love and enjoy.Here are some tips to help you make a great iced coffee.
1. Start with fresh coffee beans. mmmmm I love using fresh beans and grinding them myself. It only takes an extra minute or two and you coffee tastes so much better. A great iced coffee was never made using stale beans so avoid buying your beans on sale. If you don’t drink iced coffee often, consider buying fresh beans at a coffee shop where you can buy only the amount you need for the occasion.
2. Test the taste. Hot coffee tastes different than cold coffee. So to get an idea of how your coffee will taste cold let a hot cup cool to room temperature. This little test will help you decide what tastes perfect to you. I put a little less almond or coconut milk in mine (skim works if I’m out!)
3. Use fresh ice. Ice has a tendency to get a stale if it sits in the freezer unused for too long. My husband doesn’t believe me, but its SO true. If you’re wondering whether your ice is helping of hurting your iced coffee, it’s easy to test: let a few cubes melt and come to room temperature, then taste the resulting water. If it’s water you would want to drink by the glassful, you’re in good shape. If not, toss out the old ice and make fresh. If it still tastes stale, buy a bag of ice, the cost is worth the boost in flavor. Funky ice can also have a funky flavor.
4. Brew it strong. Brew your coffee on the strong side as it will be weakened by the ice. To keep from diluting your drink, try turning your leftover coffee into ice cubes. Use these in the place of regular ice cubes to keep your drink chilled.
5. Try a cold brew. Some people object to acidity in their cold coffee. Cold brewing greatly reduces the acid content of coffee (with the same coffee it will lower the acidity one full pH point vs. hot brew).
Cool trick: Put 3/4 cup ground coffee in a quart Mason jar, fill with water and stir. Cap it and put in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Strain the resulting concentrate through a coffee filter to remove the grinds. Add water to taste when you’re ready to drink. You can even heat the reconstituted beverage for a quick, low-acid cup of hot coffee.
6. Don’t use burned coffee for your iced coffee. Seriously, just don’t. Saving leftover coffee for iced beverage is often fine, but don’t be tempted to use the dregs of a burnt pot. If it doesn’t taste good hot, it definitely won’t taste good cold. Who drinks burned coffee anyway?
7. Add some zip to your iced coffee. Adding fruits like strawberries, oranges, blueberries or even cherries and spices like nutmeg, cinnamon or cardamom are a great way to perk up your drink and your day.
The important thing is to have fun with it! Try lots of new things. Vary your usual routine. The worst that can happen is you won’t like it. You can always try something else!
If you’re short on time and don’t have a stash of reconstituted coffee available, try this recipe using instant coffee.
Vanilla Iced Coffee
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 1 1/4 cups milk of your choice
- Dark chhocolate shavings optional
- Stevia optional
- Put the first 5 ingredients into a blender.
- Pulse blend until the ingredients are smooth and frothy.
- Add the cold milk and pulse blend until all the ingredients are blended well.
- Pour over a few cubes of ice, add the chocolate and voila!
- You can also add the ice to the blender for more of a granita style.