And while you may love waking up to the striking aroma of freshly brewed hot coffee in the colder months, it may not be exactly what you crave on a hot summer day. That’s where iced coffee comes in!
A recent rise in the demand for iced coffee has seen its reputation rapidly increase in our modern world. Stressed out students now turn to the drink, seeking a quick but still just-as-tasty way of getting their caffeine fix so that they can power through lectures and assignments galore.
Though, if you walk into any well-meaning coffee shop, you’re bound to find people of all ages drinking iced coffee. You’ll also see several iced coffee options on the menu — all of which can be completely tailored to fit your preferences. But nothing beats a money-saving yet still delicious homemade iced coffee.
Regardless of whether you know exactly what an iced coffee is, or you’re an avid coffee drinker looking to cut down on your preparation method, our guide will give you all the answers you will need! So sit down (with or without a beverage) and enjoy our take on all things iced coffee.
What Is An Iced Coffee?
To put it simply, an iced coffee is a cold version of your favourite hot coffee. You may expect ‘iced coffee’ to be made by leaving a cup of coffee to cool down to room temperature, but that’s not the case. Instead, it’s usually a combination of hot espresso and milk with ice added.
An iced coffee will not contain frothy or steamed milk like a normal coffee, as the taste does not translate very well into the iced version. This explains why you may find much less milk added to an iced coffee than a regular one!
However, depending on personal preference, you may find that on some occasions, iced coffee can be quite milky. If this is the case, another shot of espresso can be used to help balance out the flavours.
To summarise: you will likely find that the flavours of a regular coffee and an iced one are also different. The iced version tends to be much more bitter, but you can adjust this according to your preferred taste.
How To Make Iced Coffee
If you’re looking for a quick, easy, budget-friendly way to make an iced coffee, look no further. These methods will have you creating an iced drink that tastes just like the gourmet coffee-shops you may know and love, if not better!
Homemade iced coffee requires no special ingredients, which means you can make a cup whenever the mood may strike you without having to leave your house. Now you know what a true iced coffee entails, why try making one yourself at home following our straightforward method?
Before We Begin
To make a coffee-shop standard cup of Joe, you’ll need to begin with good quality coffee. If you prefer a more bitter taste, use a medium roast. However, as long as you enjoy the taste, it doesn’t matter what type of coffee you use or how you brew it.
Sugar: Adding milk and sugar is completely optional. If you do wish to add some sweetness to your drink, we’d recommend either adding granulated sugar or sugar syrup to give it that extra bit of flavour.
Milk: You can also add any type of milk, whether you prefer almond or 2% milk. If you’re using regular milk, we would recommend looking toward using whole milk rather than skimmed milk, as this can make the finished iced coffee taste a bit watery.
Making Traditional Iced Coffee At Home: The Method
- Double espresso (or a strong coffee)
- Milk (semi-skimmed, full fat, almond… whatever you prefer)
- Brew a strong, punchy coffee. You may find that using a double espresso for this step works (and tastes) the best.
- Then, melt 1 teaspoon of sugar into the hot coffee. This step is completely adjustable, so you can add more, or not add any sugar at all.
- Pour your coffee over half a glass of ice. Here, we’d recommend using ice made from frozen coffee. This will help to stop your drink from being too diluted.
- Top up with milk and stir until you are satisfied with the consistency.
- Drink up!
Pro Tip: If you want to spice your iced coffee up a bit, feel free to add a shot of flavoured syrup into your drink!
How To Make Iced Coffee Without Having to Water It Down
If you’re ready to make a slightly different yet still great-tasting iced coffee with little to no effort, then you’ll love what we’re about to share with you.
- Brew a regular cup of coffee as you would normally drink it. If you don’t want any excess crystals in your coffee, feel free to add any sugar to your hot coffee prior to the following steps. Using simple syrup instead of granulated sugar is another option.
- Then, place your mug into the freezer until it has cooled to your ideal temperature. You can use any mug of your choice for this stage.
- Remove your coffee from the freezer.
- Add milk, sugar, and ice until you are satisfied with the taste and appearance of your iced coffee.
… And voilà! You have the perfect non-watered down iced coffee.
Our Top Tips
- Make sure the coffee you brew is extra-strong so that it can offset any dilution once you add ice. Alternatively, making a pot of coffee and pouring it into ice cube moulds to freeze overnight will add an extra burst of flavour when you make your iced coffee. This may help to adjust the level of bitterness or sweetness of your drink.
- When sweetening iced coffee, cold water makes it hard for the sugar to dissolve. In this case, you should either try to make your own sugar syrup or, to make your life even easier, you could even add a flavoured syrup to give your iced coffee that bit of added sweetness. Or, for extra indulgence, feel free to add a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of condensed milk!
- If you’re after something that bares resemblance to an iced coffee but tastes and feels much lighter, you could even try to mix espresso (or your preferred coffee) with tonic water. This might be more ideal for the summer months, or simply as a lighter way to enjoy getting your caffeine fix. To achieve different flavours, you could experiment with different milk (think coconut, hazelnut, or almond) or you could even add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon to taste.
Making an iced coffee doesn’t have to be difficult. It is actually one of the most straightforward coffee drinks to make, especially at home, and can be personalised to your exact requirements. And if you can get the balance of coffee and milk just right, you’ll be well on your way to indulging in your favourite iced flavours in no time!