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.
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!
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!
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