Cold brewing coffee produces a fantastic cold coffee drink. It’s mellow yet sweet
flavors are good when you want something other than a hot drink.
Maybe it’s hot outside and you want a cool beverage. Hence, iced coffee exists! It’s as easy to perfect as other handcrafted coffee drinks.
Don’t make iced coffee by brewing hot coffee and adding ice to chill it down. Never do that. All you will get is coffee-flavored lukewarm water. The ice will cancel out the heat then leave your beverage exceptionally diluted from the melted ice.
This is why we have something to share with you: two techniques to make great iced coffee year round. We realize that a good drink can be enjoyed anytime, whether its hot outside or not. (Although, we must admit that iced coffee helps cool you down in unbearably hot weather.)
What Not to Do
This is important, so I’ll state this again in case you skipped the introduction above: Great iced coffee is not made by plunking ice cubes into a cup of hot coffee. This is a travesty. If you’ve ever tried it, you know that the coffee is diluted by all that ice that melted trying to cool the drink down, so its never a true chilly coffee.
Also note that coffee is a fragile beverage. It doesn’t sustain extreme change in temperatures well. So adding ice to hot coffee to make it cold instantly will result in a coffee that is acrid, sour, and weak.
The Cold Brew Method
You should try both the cold brew and hot brew methods for iced coffee if you haven’t already. When done well, both produce a good drink with different flavor profiles. Cold brew makes the most popular iced coffee, and the result is mellower and naturally sweet.
What You’ll Use:
⅓ of a cup (2.6 oz.) of freshly ground coffee
1.5 cups (12 oz.) of cold filtered water
Ice (amount is subject to your taste)
French Press Coffee grinder
How its Made:
- Grind ⅓ of a cup of whole-beans till they are a little coarser than table salt. If you use a burr grinder, set the coarse/fine gauge to the middle ofmedium and fine. If you are accustomed to a mill grinder, you should make it a little coarser than you would a drip coffeemaker’s grind. If those references aren’t helpful, go for the consistency of sea salt.
- Pour the grounds into a French Press A French Press isn’t necessary for cold brew coffee, but it works very well since it’s easy to separate the grounds from the beverage when its done brewing.
- Add 12 oz. cold water to the coffee grounds and gently stir for 5 seconds It’s good to stir to ensure all the ground beans are saturated with the water evenly. Don’t overly agitate the mixture though, as that may lead to unwanted overly bold flavors.
- Put the French Press lid on top but do not press the plunger down. Pressing the plunger down prevents the grounds and water from properly infusing at this stage.
- Place the French Press in a refrigerator overnight. This gives the cold brew time to work its magical infusion. Note that if you don’t have room in the refrigerator to keep the plunger up on top of the press then it’s alright not to put the French Press’s lid on top.
- The following morning, press the plunger down to separate the grounds from the brew. Let it brew for at least eight hours. Many encourage you brew for up to 14 hours, so it’s more convenient to let it brew overnight.
- Pour your cold beverage in your favorite glass.
- Add ice, water, milk or sweetener to suit your taste. You may want to dilute the coffee with cold water if you don’t really want ice in it. Ice does melt and you cannot stop it from further diluting you drink more than your liking.
The Hot Way to Brew Cold
To make a good iced coffee with a hot brew, make it with a pour-over device. Put the ice in the mug and let the brew drip onto the ice. Thus the individual drips of coffee instantly turn cold and this cuts down on melted ice. Note that hot brew iced coffee will be more robust in flavor.
Cold brew coffee from a French Press will have fine bits of ground coffee sediment at the bottom of the liquid. Ultimately, the sediment may end up at the bottom of your coffee drink if you ground the beans too fine. If you especially dislike the sediment, then the hot brew method is right for you.
- If you have a larger French Press and wish to make more coffee at a time, you can make a larger batch of iced coffee (in the cold brew method) using the same ratio of ground coffee to water. Plunge and transfer any unused coffee to a separate container.
- Some say iced coffee can be kept refrigerated for about a week, although we’ve never tried this. We enjoy our beverages fresh at all times.
- Nothing says you should drink it through a straw, but it’s not a bad idea. The ice at the top of your beverage will be melting and dilute the flavors at the top of the drink, while the undiluted coffee lingers at the bottom end of your drink.
- The hot-brew iced coffee method originated in Japan.