Iced coffee drinks for a hot summer

in Brewing Coffee

A long time guest to the site asked over Twitter how to beat the summer heat and still enjoy the great taste of coffee.  It turns out coffee has been enjoyed cold for at least as long as World War II where soldiers in a hurry to get their coffee fix got used to cold coffee, and even developed a taste for it.

In North America, where steaming coffee suits the colder months, retailers introduced iced coffee as an experiment, validated by the popularity of iced tea.  While off to a slow start, iced coffee is catching on in various forms, and the best part is that you can make it yourself at home.  It’s this easy.

  1. Brew a half-pot of coffee to your regular strength.
  2. Once brewed, pour it into a container that can withstand the heat and temperature change, and put it directly in the fridge.
  3. Once cool, remove from the fridge and stir it to make sure coffee solids are fully dissolved and the coffee is a consistent strength and body throughout.
  4. Pour over ice.  A standard half-pot should serve four people.

As far as the best coffees to use, coffee afficianadoes at Peets Coffee and Tea recommend coffees from Costa Rica or Kenya (make sure it’s AA auction lot).  They also recommend Papua New Guinea coffee which is one of my absolute favorites so I mention it separate because for personal taste, I think this one has to be enjoyed hot.  But don’t let me be biased and give it a try, you’ll just find it’s a little more difficult a coffee to find.  They also recommend their own Ethiopian Fancy blend.

My preference is an iced mocha, and when I happen to be passing a Starbucks and don’t feel like a hot coffee, I order a mocha frappuccino.  I take it without whipped cream so I can enjoy more coffee flavor and a few hundred less calories.  One of these came in handy recently on a scorcher of a day walking in the blazing heat with no shade.  The great espresso taste but blended with ice was the perfect drink, and even turned on a non-coffee-lover friend to it.

While on the Peets website, check out the new Iced Coffee Press that Bodum has designed.  I have yet to use one, but apparently you put the coarse-ground coffee and cold water in the fridge overnight and press it in the morning for a smooth coffee over ice.  I would have thought that long a time before pressing would overextract the coffee but without heat, I will take the word of the good people at Bodum that it doesn’t.

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