What is iced coffee?
Iced coffee is a popular caffeinated beverage enjoyed by many around the world. It is essentially brewed coffee that is cooled down and poured over ice. This delightful drink has a rich history that dates back centuries and has evolved over time to include a variety of flavors and serving styles. In this blog post, we'll take a brief look at the origins of iced coffee and how it has become the refreshing beverage we know and love today.
A Brief History of Iced Coffee:
The Early Beginnings:
The concept of iced coffee can be traced back to the 1600s, when traders and travelers in the Middle East and North Africa first experimented with cooling down their hot coffee. In the 19th century, a similar beverage called "Mazagran" emerged from Algeria. This drink was made with strong coffee, sugar, and water, and it was often served over ice or chilled. French soldiers stationed in Algeria brought this refreshing concoction back to France, where it gained popularity in Parisian cafes.
The American Influence:
Iced coffee made its way to the United States in the late 19th century and quickly gained popularity. In 1920, a coffee shop in Boston, Massachusetts, began selling a cold, sweetened coffee beverage called "coffee milkshake" that quickly became a local favorite. It wasn't long before iced coffee became a popular choice for those looking to beat the summer heat across the country.
The Japanese Method:
In the 1920s and 1930s, Japan developed its own method of making iced coffee, known as "Japanese iced coffee" or "flash-chilled coffee." This technique involves brewing hot coffee directly onto ice, which rapidly cools the coffee and preserves its flavor and aroma. This method gained worldwide recognition and has become a preferred method for making iced coffee among many coffee enthusiasts.
The Rise of Iced Coffee Culture:
In recent decades, iced coffee has become a staple in the global coffee culture. The 1990s and 2000s saw the rapid expansion of major coffee chains, which popularized various iced coffee drinks such as iced lattes, frappuccinos, and cold brews. With an increasing number of flavors, styles, and brewing techniques, iced coffee has become an essential part of the coffee experience for millions of people around the world.
How to make Iced Coffee
We all know how much we need a good coffee in the morning to get us going, but what about iced coffee?
Some people prefer a hot cup of joe in the morning while others crave a refreshing cold drink to kick start their day, especially after exercise (if you’re that way inclined!).
Ready to try your coffee on ice?
Read on fellow coffee drinker and find out how to make the perfect iced coffee...
What you’ll need
- A tall glass
- Long spoon
- Ice cubes
- 200ml of coffee
- 50ml of milk/non-dairy substitute of your choice
- Optional: sugar, sweetener or syrup
- Make sure you have some ice cubes ready to go in the freezer. Pro-tip: to avoid the watered down taste that can come from melted ice cubes in your coffee, fill an ice cube tray with black coffee to make coffee cubes ;)
- Brew yourself 200ml of delicious coffee using your favourite coffee beans (not sure how? See other posts on how to make the perfect coffee with a cafetiere, Aeropress or stove top coffee maker).
- If you like sugar or sweetener in there, add it in now while your coffee is still warm so that the sugar or sweetener melts. If you’re using a syrup, you can add that in whenever you want.
- Leave the coffee to cool to room temperature or chill in the fridge for an hour.
- Add your ice cubes to the glass
- Pour your now room temperature (or chilled) coffee in.
- Add milk, or non-dairy alternative
- Give it a stir and enjoy!
Is this the same as cold brew coffee?
No, that’s a different drink entirely!
Cold brew coffee is made with cold water and left to brew for over 12 hours to create a strong, concentrated brew that can be used as base for all kinds of other drinks.
The slow infusion pulls all the great coffee flavor from the beans (and, yes, caffeine too - not to worry!). But it also leaves behind most of the compounds that can make for a bitter and sour taste.
It’s that simple
It’s easy to make iced coffee at home, and there are many different ways you can customize it.
You can use your favourite ground or even instant coffee, experiment with sweeteners like honey, vanilla extract or maple syrup to find what you love best.
If dairy isn’t something that interests you but want a creamy beverage instead, go ahead and add soy milk or oat milk in place of regular cream.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to making your own iced coffee concoctions so have fun experimenting until you find just the right one that suits your tastes best.
Why not start today?
Full iced coffee recipe
4-5 ice cubes (or frozen coffee cubes)
1 Americano or Double Espresso coffee, at room temperature or chilled
Milk or non-dairy alternative
Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons granulated sugar (or syrup, sweetener of your choice)
Fill a glass with ice. Pour in 200ml of cold coffee (sweetened if that’s how you like it). Add milk or oat milk, stir and enjoy.
Q: What's the best way to make iced coffee?
A: The best way to make iced coffee is to brew it double strength (with twice the amount of coffee grounds you would normally use) and then pour it over ice. This ensures that the coffee flavor doesn't get diluted when the ice melts.
Q: Can I use hot coffee to make iced coffee?
A: Yes, you can use hot coffee to make iced coffee, but you'll want to cool it down before pouring it over ice. You can do this by placing the coffee in the refrigerator or by pouring it over ice and stirring until it's cooled.
Q: How long does it take for hot coffee to cool down in the fridge?
A: It usually takes about 2-3 hours for hot coffee to cool down in the fridge. If you need it to cool down faster, you can pour it into a shallow container and place it in the freezer for a few minutes.
Q: Can I use flavored coffee to make iced coffee?
A: Yes, you can use flavored coffee to make iced coffee, but keep in mind that the flavor may be less intense once the coffee is iced. You may want to use a little more coffee grounds than usual to compensate.
Q: Should I add milk or cream to my iced coffee?
A: That's up to you! Some people prefer their iced coffee black, while others like to add milk, cream, or a non-dairy alternative like almond milk or oat milk. You can also add sugar or a flavored syrup if you like.
Q: Can I make iced coffee in a French press?
A: Yes, you can make iced coffee in a French press by following the same brewing method as you would for hot coffee, but using double the amount of coffee grounds and adding ice to the press once the coffee has brewed.
Q: How long can I keep leftover iced coffee in the fridge?
A: You can keep leftover iced coffee in the fridge for up to 24 hours. After that, it may start to lose its flavor and freshness.