It sounds simple, making iced coffee. Brew a pot, pour it over ice. Presto, refreshing caffeine on the rocks. Yet, like all simple things, iced coffee has a couple of pitfalls that, when fallen into, turn coffee into a horrible drink that neither flavoring or cream can rescue.
It turns out that with a couple of rules (and perhaps some enhancements) mastering the skill of coffee chilled is, in fact, simple. So, whether you are a summer on ice kind of person or drink your beverages with ice all year round, making iced coffee is a skill worth exploring.
Making Perfect Iced Coffee
Chilling coffee is easy. Brew a great pot of coffee. Then, cool the pot. That is it. Either let the pot come to room temperature or (as we do at the coffee house), chill the pot in the fridge overnight. THEN pour it over ice.
We recommend using at least a medium roast and even stronger when serving coffee chilled. The reason why is that there is no way to avoid some dilution with an iced drink. So, if you start with a bold roast the coffee will maintain a better flavor profile while you are drinking it.
The key is good coffee, cooled then iced.
Cold Brew and Other Chilled Confusion
Don’t confuse cold coffee with cold brew. Cold brew is an entirely different process. Iced coffee should really be listed as “coffee on ice”. It is a hot brew process, exactly like any daily drip, chilled then iced.
Many also like espresso on ice. There is no way to chill espresso. The only thing you can do is pull the hot shot and pour it over ice.
Finally, any drink on a coffee house menu can be iced. The Americano is a great example. At The Bard’s Coffee we “temper” the espresso shot by using cold water to bring the temperature of the espresso shot down before we add ice. However, an Americano is still, at its core, an iced espresso with water.
So, now you know the secret. It is so simple it bears repeating. When making iced coffee, brew a great pot of coffee, cool to at least room temperature, then pour it over ice.
See you soon!
The Bard’s Coffee