Thursday, March 13, 2014

Making Iced Coffee at Home

Iced Coffee
Delicious Iced Coffee In Your Own Kitchen!


Spring is almost here and as the last bits of snow begin to melt away, coffee lovers everywhere are excited about getting to sip on their favorite iced coffees as a cool and relaxing treat. Today we’ll be taking a closer look on how to churn out some of the most delicious iced coffee you’ll ever have from the comforts of your own home.

How NOT to Make Iced Coffee

First Things First: Quality iced coffee does not come from tossing a few ice cubes into a cup of steaming hot coffee. Anyone who’s ever tried to cool down their cup of morning Java knows that the only thing this accomplishes is to water down your coffee, leaving you with a half-diluted ghost of the beautiful cup of coffee that it once was!

Great iced coffee requires you to completely change the way that you think about the brewing process itself. Instead of using piping hot coffee, we’ll be looking at how to cold-brew your favorite coffee using a French press and cold, filtered water to steep and chill our brew overnight for an extra-cold and extra-strong brew that only needs a little ice and milk to be truly excellent!

The Cold Brewing Method


The key component to cold brewing coffee is time; the more you allot the less bitter your coffee will be. This doesn't mean that other factors which are traditionally important to brewing coffee are any less important when using this method! (i.e – grind size, amount and type of water, amount of coffee, etc) 

For this method we are using an extremely coarse grind setting (the highest available on our machine actually). I would classify this grind as a “slightly large than a French Press” grind, meaning that you want to use a grind size that is just a little larger than what you would normally use in a French Press. The water that we are using is extremely cold, not frozen but cold to the touch.

There are varying opinions as to the amount of coffee that you should use for this and the ratio of coffee to water. I find that ½ cup of coarsely ground coffee for an 8-cup press is the ideal amount for making iced coffee, more and the brew can end up bitter, less and it will be too watery. As for water, I use the same amount that I would for any 8 cup French Press, around 3 ½ cups.

What You'll Need


Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of whole coffee beans - I used our Mocha Java Harrar Coffee for this 
  • 1½ cups of cold, filtered water
  • Ice, milk, sugar and syrups to taste

Equipment:

  • Coffee Grinder
  • French Press - (We even carry a press designed SPECIFICALLY for making Iced Coffee with this method, the Bodum Bean Ice Coffee Maker)

Instructions:

  1. Grind the coffee: Grind ½ cup of whole coffee beans at a coarse setting. (Note: If you prefer a finer grind setting, ensure that it is not so small that it passes through the screen in your press)
  2. Combine ground coffee and water: Place your French Press on a flat, even surface and carefully pour the ½ cup of ground coffee into the cylinder. Add the 3 ½ cups of cold, filtered water to the top slowly and in a swirling fashion to try and cover as much of the ground coffee with the water as possible.
  3. Stir: gently stir all of the coffee into the water until all of the ground coffee has been saturated.
  4. Place the lid on the press: ensure that you DO NOT press the plunger down, leave it in the upright position during brewing.
  5. Place the press in the refrigerator and brew overnight: make sure that the plunger stays in the upright position during this time period.
  6. Press the plunger: remove the french press from the refrigerator and depress the plunger to separate the grounds from the brewed coffee
  7. Make your Iced Coffee: a little milk, a lot of milk, no milk, sugar, no sugar, this step is completely up to you! (some people swear by just a pinch of sea salt but you’ll have to try that one yourself! We did however enjoy some Crème de Cacao syrup as it provides a nice sweetness without being overpowering)

A Different Iced Coffee

Yes, it’s really THAT simple! With just a few easy steps you’ll be well on your way to enjoying some great iced coffee for a much lower price than you’d pay at one of the big chain coffee places. Also, we found our iced coffee to have a much lower acidity level than other brewing methods, meaning that those who have a difficult time with coffee due to gastrointestinal issues will have a much easier time with this brewing method.

So there you have it, simple iced coffee from the comforts of your very own home. Have you tried making iced coffee using this method? What are your favorite ways to spruce up an iced coffee? Let us know in the comments section below and happy brewing!

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