An Iced Coffee Primer

Here’s a classic OTB post that I thought you would all enjoy — Jason

The summer, now entering  full swing, brings us into the seasonal consumption of cold caffeinated beverages.

have recently been asked about the proper method for making Iced Coffee, as with the current economy being what it is, people now have the desire to drink and make Megabucks-style iced coffee creations in their own homes and workplaces, rather than spend $2.60-$3 per 16 ounce glass in a store surrounded by trendy jackasses using Macbooks and sipping their green tea lattes.

There are a number of ways you can produce very good iced coffee in your very own home, some involving Scientological devices such as “Cold brewing” requiring 8-hour preparation methods, snobbish apparatus such as “Toddys” as well as diluting espresso shots with iced water in order to produce “Iced Americanos’ and the like.

To this, I say, phooey.

Iced Coffee Tutorial by you.

To make really good iced coffee, you will need an inexpensive can of Latino-style “Espresso Coffee” such as Cafe Bustelo, El Pico or Pilon, or an inexpensive Italian-style brand such as Medaglio d’Oro (these are all made by the same company, Rowland Coffee Roasters out of Miami).

These all go for about $2.50-$3.50 for a 10 ounce can or $2.50 for a 10oz brick. If these brands are unavailable in your area, try either Community Coffee Dark Roast (With or without Chicory, this depends on your taste) or Cafe du Monde.

coffee-latino by you.

Latino-Style Espresso Coffees. Cafe Bustelo, Pilon, and El Pico are all  made by Rowland Coffee Roasters in Miami, Florida.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

If you prefer to purchase your coffee from a local roaster, buy their least expensive house espresso blend and have them grind it for French Press use, NOT for espresso machine use. You will also need a French Press, and optionally an electric kettle for boiling water.

Shown here is the 1.5L (48oz) Bodum Columbia, a stainless steel thermally insulated press which sells for about $99.00 at various Internet retailers.

You obviously can buy much cheaper presses in smaller sizes, however I like stainless presses because they stay hot much longer if you are making an entire pot and they are much more durable, having broken several Pyrex presses.

Iced Coffee Tutorial by you.

For 48 ounces of water, I use approximately 4.5 to 5 ounces of coffee. That’s double strength, so figure to 10 ounces of water you’re using 1 ounce of coffee. You want to brew at double strength because when you pour the coffee over ice and add milk or cream, you’re going to water it down.

You want it to approach an equilibrium where the coffee is still strong even as the ice melts. Boil your water in a pot or kettle, and pour it into the press, covering it and letting it brew for at least 3 minutes. I would even say walk away for 10 to 20 minutes, come back, and then plunge the press.

Iced Coffee Tutorial by you.

Decant your coffee into a container, and store this in the fridge. At this point, you can sweeten the coffee if you want, but I prefer to sweeten coffee at the time when I am drinking it. Once refrigerated you can keep iced coffee for up to a week. Do not reheat it or it will go rancid. Once you’ve made iced coffee, it stays iced coffee.

Iced Coffee Tutorial by you.

Fill a tall glass with crushed ice and pour in coffee about a thumb’s thickness from the top.

Iced Coffee Tutorial by you.

Lighten with cream or skim milk, and sweeten with raw turbinado sugar or Splenda. Enjoy.

10 Responses to An Iced Coffee Primer

  1. Rachel says:

    Do you use the same amount of ice when the concentrated coffee is still hot or do you always wait until it is chilled to use the concentrate with a full glass of ice?

  2. Lord Jezo says:

    Have you tried it with out crushed ice? I have no crusher so would be using cubes. Basic measurements still apply with filling up the glass and measuring the coffee?

    Going to try this over the weekend, the double strength coffee at the start is the key I had been overlooking. I would just make it and sit it in the fridge for hours to cool it down. Now a very efficient way to make iced coffee. In the winter I was actually putting my coffee pot out the door and leaving it in the snow to cool down. Double strength coffee is going to cut hours out of my preparation time!

    • You can do it over cubes just fine but crushed melts quicker. Remember this coffee is very strong and needs the water in the ice to bring it to equilibrium.

      • Lord Jezo says:

        I am sitting here now with my iced coffee. Made it double strength as you suggested and for the first time it came out great with out having to sit it out in the snow for 4 hours. Added some milk and sugar and it’s just as good as the stuff I have been buying. A whole new world of iced coffee has been opened up before me.

        Who knew I was missing such a simple step all these years to making iced coffee.

  3. Mimi Sheraton says:

    For stronger, undiluted coffee, brew extra coffee and freeze in ice cube trays.Then use those to chill the already cold coffee. Also to sweeten, prepare a simple syrup of sugar cooked in water until it dissolves and begins to form a light syrup. Chill and present with coffee.

  4. JoeR says:

    I like to use sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar and milk independently. It’ll thicken up the consistency a bit as well.

  5. […] An Iced Coffee Primer ( […]

  6. Iced coffee fan says:

    Are your measurements fluid oz for the water and weight for the coffee?

    • YES. Well, the measurement for the LIQUID is in what the Bodum’s Columbia’s maximum capacity is measured in, which I assume is fluid ounces. For the ground coffee, it is the measurement listed on the container/pack and the weight measurement using the digital scale. So when I say 5 ounces, I mean either half the brick of coffee (usually 10ounces is the brick) or 5oz measured on the digital scale, which is the same.

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