Somehow, my mom is actually responsible for my coffee crush. I’ve been under the (misguided) impression that parents shield you from such things. But mine started leading me astray as a teen, encouraging me to get iced coffee.
She was a good little Southern girl with a big fat infatuation with the New England obsession with iced coffee. I know I thought it was gross initially, but like a lot of other things I thought were gross (squash, spinach, oatmeal), my palate either changed its mind or just accepted I was an adult and eating gross things now.
Either way, iced coffee is my biggest vice. And while I love getting it out, it does get expensive. Not to mention the time I must spend waiting in drive-thrus! So I worked on perfecting an easy home-brew, and I have to say, it’s pretty darn tasty.
After my regular ol’ coffee maker went belly up, I got a French coffee press and haven’t looked back. But you can do the same exact thing regardless of what you use.
First, I recommend a medium or dark roast coffee. Light roasts just get all diluted once you toss ice in there.
One of the tricks to good iced coffee is to brew it stronger than for hot coffee. See, you need it to stand up to the ice later on. If it’s too weak, the ice will just turn it to coffee-flavored water.
So there are two ways to accomplish this. You can either double the amount of coffee to water that you would normally use, or decrease the amount of water to coffee.
For example, I use three scoops of coffee and about 6 oz. less water. Or, I can use two scoops of coffee per every 6 oz of water.
You may need to experiment and adjust amounts, depending on how strong you like it and how much you’re brewing.
Once you’ve measured out the coffee and water, just brew it like you always would.
The second trick to good iced coffee is letting it chill.
I know, I know. That means waiting. But it’s totally worth it.
After your coffee brews, pour it into a container. Sometimes I let it cool off on the counter, sometimes I don’t. I haven’t noticed that it matters. Anyway, chill the coffee in the fridge for at least a few hours.
To cut down waiting time and all that, I brew enough for at least a couple days, and I like to make it late so it can chill overnight. Then it’s all set to go the next morning or afternoon…or both. If you have a to-go cup with a straw, just take it with you and skip the drive-thru!
Now a word about preparation. If you use sugar like me, this is a little trick I picked up so it mixes in.
Put the sugar in first with the milk (if you don’t use dairy, just pour in a smidge of coffee instead) and stir until blended. (Add some chocolate syrup at this stage for mocha.) Then add the ice, then coffee, and stir. It blends together much better in this order.
And voila! Satisfying iced coffee. Experiment with different coffees and amounts to get the taste you want. Add some cinnamon with the grounds when you’re brewing. Or add some flavored syrup (Torani for instance) for a kick.
There is nothing like a tall glass of iced coffee dripping with condensation. Enjoy!