Why Iced Coffee is Hot

This past week, a customer let me know that when she told a friend she liked her coffee cold, the friend responded with “Bleh! Gross!” I found this amusing, but also interesting. How many people automatically think of coffee as a hot beverage and absolutely unenjoyable any other way? With summer weather already here, I thought this would be the perfect time to present cold coffee in its best forms.

The Cold Brew

Iced coffee, itself, is simply the same brewed hot coffee you love, but chilled. You can do this with any of your favorite blends (although, I suggest an African blend if you want to pair with citrusy summer tarts or fruit). There are three different good techniques to making iced coffee, the first of which is how we roll at our shop:

  • Brew the coffee as you normally would, pour it into a pitcher, and set in the fridge overnight.
  • With half the water of your pitcher volume, brew the amount of coffee you would for the full amount (ex. For a 2 liter pitcher, you would use your normal measurement of 1-1/3 cup of coffee for the 8 cups, but only brew it with 4 cups of water). This makes the coffee double strength. Then, you will fill your pitcher about 3/4 full with ice. When you pour the coffee over the ice, it will re-create the correct balance of water to coffee while instantly chilling it.
  • There are also cold brew systems available for coffee, although I don’t have first hand experience with it. My friend swears by his Toddy Coffee Maker, which is under $40.

With both of these methods, I suggest adding light ice to the cup as well. While you can enjoy it black, it’s always fun to add milk (half and half is the best in iced coffee!), sweeten, and even flavor it. Syrup sweeteners are the best way to go with a chilled beverage, as it leaves no spinning specs or uneven flavor in your drink. Don’t worry, dieters -there are also lots of sugar-free syrups out there that are made with sucralose (Splenda©).  We have a few of our flavors for sale, but I must also give a shout out to World Market for having an amazing selection of syrup flavors.

C’mon ...
Who has bacon-flavored syrup?

The Iced Espresso

This one is a fairly simple idea. Whatever the hot drink is, we make it with all the same ingredients, but cold.

  • Americano – is shots and hot water, so iced, its shots, cold water, and ice.
  • Latte – is shots and steamed milk, so iced, its shots, cold milk, and ice.
  • Chais – are chai base and milk steamed together, so iced, its chai base, cold milk, and ice.

  …you get the picture.

If you’ve never had one of these, try it next time it’s really hot outside and you need your espresso fix. Most people are surprised at how much they like their favorite espresso beverage iced.

ABC also features the Espresso Martini, which is a shaken iced espresso with a flavor (Irish Cream/Cinnamon is the best!), and cream layered on top of the foam. It’s delicious!

The Frappe

Ok, so since we’re talking cold coffee, we’ll go ahead and throw these frozen blended joys on the list. Frappes are not coffee in its purest form, but rather a freeze-dried (or somehow particled) and ready-to-blend coffee powder. Yeah, even that name-brand pumps a powdered mix into your cup; they just mix it ahead of time. BUT – in all forms, it is absolutely still coffee. I love adding extra shots, and at ABC, that means adding REAL chilled espresso!

Many people think that frappes can be made like any latte, but that is sometimes not the case. On the other hand, there are fun things you can do with frappes that you can’t do with a hot or iced coffee beverage. Keep these things in mind when ordering your blended coffee:

Many frappe recipes can’t be made completely sugar-free, but we can definitely find ways to cut those calories for you. All of our frappes at ABC are under 200 calories when ordered without alterations.

None of our frappes are made with dairy (unless it has whip cream, of course).

All coffee frappes on the menu can be ordered as a cream version (no coffee) and vice versa.

We have some delicious inclusions available, such as chocolate chips, Oreos©, and malt!

Don’t say you’ve never wanted your
dessert and coffee in one cup!

I hope this answered any questions you may have had about “cold coffee”, but as always, you can always ask me anything coffee related via our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/Americas-Best-Coffee.


In-house Coffee Master

We want to come home with you!

Here at America’s Best we offer a variety of whole bean coffees for purchase by weight to take home and enjoy when you can’t make it in.  For most people, the thought of brewing coffee at home can be a bit daunting.  Maybe you have brewed up and pot and thought, “well this is good but it’s just not the same”.  We have too.  After working with coffee for many years, we feel confident to share with you the secrets to the perfect cup of coffee at home.

1. Start with the best beans – All of the coffee beans sold at America’s Best are roasted fresh right here in Arlington.  It is delivered piping hot to our doorstep within hours of roasting and we order only enough to get us through 1 week, so you, Our Celebrated Guests, get the best beans there are.  To keep your coffee fresh at home, store it in an opaque sealed container away from heat.  Do not store coffee in the freezer as condensation can accumulate in the beans causing a degradation of flavor and freshness.  (I know, mom has been telling us to do this for years…little did she know…)

2. Pick your brewing method – Depending on how you plan to brew your coffee will make a determination on the grind appropriate for the best cup of Joe.  The finer the grind, the more surface area is available to make contact with the water.  The longer the brewing method, the coarser the grind should be.  We an grind your coffee for you, but strongly recommend grinding at home so your beans are as fresh as possible.  We can also grind a portion of your beans and you can come back at any time to grind the rest.

  • Percolators and French Presses require the coarsest grind
  • When using an automatic drip, the most common means of brewing coffee at home, you want to use a medium grind for a flat bottom filter, medium fine (slightly finer) for a cone shape filter
  • To brew espresso whether in an Espresso Machine or a stove top Espresso Maker, use want to use a fine grind
  • Turkish coffee is always ground as finely as possible.

3. Water to ground coffee ratio – the perfect ration of water to grounds is 6 ounces Water to 2 tablespoons Ground Coffee for brewed  coffee and equal ounces of Water to Ground Coffee for espresso.  Filtered water is preferable over unfiltered – do not ever use distilled water.  If you prefer your coffee a little weaker it is best to add some hot water to the brewed coffee after it is done brewing.

Sharing with friends and family-coffee is a great excuse to interact with your fellow humans.  A conversation over a cup of Joe is a great way to get to know someone or to catch up with your favorite pal.

Stop by today for a pound of Mexican beans with a subtle sweetness and a hint of nuttiness or a half-pound of French Roast with a smoky boldness and deep rich texture.

Your in-house coffee masters,

Isabella and Rachel