The continuous growth of iced coffee is inevitable. In the summertime when it gets very hot, drinking an iced coffee is our respite.
About 22% of the population drink iced coffee every day. The data reveals a simple truth: many people love their iced coffee. Despite its popularity among coffee drinkers, there has never been more confusion surrounding a beverage. Cold-brew, cold press, slow, drip, flash chilled, and the list goes on. With its many varieties, many get confused about which is which.
Let us take a closer look at iced coffee drinks. Check out its ingredients, its different variations, and most importantly, how to make one in a professional setting or even at home.
What is Iced Coffee?
Iced coffee is a milky coffee served cold. Iced coffee is prepared either by the traditional brewing process or with instant coffee, then served over ice or chilled milk.
So, how does a barista make the perfect iced coffee?
Below are three different yet easy methods to make an iced coffee.
Method 1: Japanese Iced Coffee (Espresso)
The Japanese method of making ice coffee using heat is gaining popularity all over the world. Brewing coffee with heat over ice is the best way to extract the vivid flavor and aromatics of the coffee. This method typically subtracts the weight of the ice from the water used for brewing. The way you do a cold brew will be up to you. You can brew the coffee in the most common devices such as Chemex, Hario V60, Melitta, and more. When making one, be sure to set the dripper over a vessel with a perfect size. That way, it can contain your ice and coffee in one vessel.
The Japanese method rapidly chills the coffee to preserve its acidity. Here is how you do it.
- Weigh out the right amount of coffee to use. Fill the kettle with water and heat it.
- Grind coffee roughly until it has the texture of kosher salt. Before boiling it, remove the kettle and let the water settle.
- Start a timer and pour just enough water to saturate the coffee bed. Let it bloom or expand for at least 30-45 seconds. Us the least possible amount of water to cover all coffee grounds.
- Once water is added, give it a shallow stir, and let drain. If possible, aim for a flat or a coffee bed shape in a dome. The total brew time should be around 4:30-4:50.
- Remove the filter and give the blend a good several swirls. Doing so will melt the rest of the ice and will incorporate all coffee in it.
- Serve the coffee over ice and enjoy.
Method 2: Cold Brew
Cold brew, otherwise known as cold drip or cold press is a method of brewing coffee with cold or room-temperature water. It is processed without heat. Instead, it is made by infusing ground coffee in cool, filtered water for hours at a time. The result is naturally sweeter and smoother than any other coffee drink.
The benefit of cold brew is that it has less acidity than hot brewed coffee. It also saves you time in the morning when you need a quick coffee fix. You can brew it in bulk, store it in the fridge, grab it, and you are ready to go. The downside of it is that it needs to brew overnight and it has a lower yield, which means it costs more.
The real difference between this brewing method and others is the water temperature at which the extraction of coffee takes place. While regular brewing methods use near-boiling temperatures to extract coffee, the cold brewing method is different. It exchanges time for temperature and can range from 4 to 20 hours depending on the method to make a full batch of cold brew.
The results can be drastically different depending on the number of ingredients and how long you brew it. It is important to know the difference so you can create your perfect cold brew.
Here is how it works:
- Grind the coffee roughly. You can do it by yourself at home or wherever you buy the coffee beans.
- Combine the coffee grounds with water and let them steep overnight (12 hours minimum). During this time, the coffee grounds will slowly infuse into the water. This stage will create a strong, concentrated brew.
- Strain the coffee grounds the next day, and you are ready to go.
Adjust the concentration of your cold brew coffee and making it stronger or less to suit your taste. If that ratio of coffee beans to water is not quite to your taste, keep adjusting until you hit the perfect balance.
Method 3: Ice Filter Coffee
Ice filter coffee produces a much sweeter and brighter cup with greater acidity than a cold brew. This brewing method helps the coffee’s characteristics to shine.
As per the term, ice filter coffee simply filters coffee poured over ice. When made well, it lets the bright and fruity flavors of coffee grounds come through. It works well with washed and wet-process coffees with plenty of natural acidities.
- Grind your coffee and boil it. Aim for a sugar-like consistency and finer grind than you would normally use for brewing a standard coffee.
- Rinse the filter paper with lukewarm water over the sink to avoid warming your decanter.
- Stir it continuously to ensure all the grounds are saturated evenly.
- Once the coffee bed has fully drained, remove the filter. Then, stir the brewed coffee and ice together until it is fully mixed.
- Serve over lots of ice without overly diluting the drink.
- Try it in different variations – black, with a dash of milk, or a splash of tonic water, if you have them available.
We hope this blog post cleared up any confusion about iced coffee drinks and will help you navigate the world of iced coffee. We suggest taking a barista course to know more about coffee types and how to make them.